interop academy bih

Continuation of ReSPA Interoperability Academies: Advancing Data Exchange in Bosnia and Herzegovina

02 July 2024 News

1-2 July 2024, Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The second ReSPA Interoperability Academy, held in Jahorina, followed the overall goal of Interoperability Academies across ReSPA Members to address the issues related to interoperability and exchange of data specific to each public administration aiming at their improvement. The Academy for Bosnia and Herzegovina gathered representatives of two interoperability networks - the Inter-sectorial Working Group for Interoperability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Coordination Group for the Interoperability of Council of Ministers of BiH – for which the administrative and technical support provided Ministry of Transport and Communication of BiH and General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of BiH.

According to findings from ReSPA and other organizations, Bosnia and Herzegovina faces significant challenges in interoperability. The technical infrastructure for interoperability lacks enforceability and support, requiring substantial financial and technical assistance to be effective for data exchanges over the Government Service Bus. Although the 'once only' principle is legislated, its implementation varies. Data exchanges by agencies are hindered by legal provisions related to personal data protection and the paper-based logic of regulations. Several fragmented registries, collectively considered equivalent to a population register, exist without a central register of registries. In some cases, authoritative data is stored at the municipal level.

On the first day of the Academy, participants got insights into the state of play regarding interoperability in Bosnia and Herzegovina through an Overview of key findings from analytical documents and reports (2022-2024) and an Overview/Snapshot of programmes and initiatives with impact on enhancing interoperability in BiH. They also got first-hand insights into the provisions of The Law on Protection of Personal Data by delving into legal and technical obligations imposed by this Law and discussing how to meet the challenge of ensuring that data can be exchanged and used effectively between different actors while respecting the provisions of this Law. The members of both networks discussed possible ways forward for increased operational functioning of each network.

Besides good practices exchange and successful interoperability initiatives in BiH (UNDP in Canton Sarajevo), and lessons learned, participants on the second day acquired an advanced understanding of the EU policy framework for achieving seamless data exchange within EU members and cross-border while creating digital public services that are interoperable by design across borders and sectors.

Through open and fruitful discussions as well as through interactive work the challenges and hurdles have been discussed by both networks and possible measures for improving the different aspects of interoperability in BiH have been proposed.

Academy has been welcomed and praised by Robert VIDOVIĆ, General Secretary of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of BiH, as well as by Armen BUKVIĆ and Dario PERIĆ, chairs from both networks who encouraged and advocated for the more intensive work of these networks in the near future.

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