#digitalisation #egovernance #connectivity

Come autumn, everyone on #thefaroeislands will be able to use the national eID and service portal! We catch up with Nicolai Mohr Balle, Program Manager of The National Digitalization Program to give us an update on the project.

1. Nicolai, last time we spoke in fall 2018, you mentioned that you consider the National Digitalization Program as a game-changer for the growth of the local IT industry and that keeping both data and the systems here helps build a great expertise. 1,5 years later what is your view?

There are advantages in thinking local, when it comes to building a national digital infrastructure, like the one we have built in Talgildu Føroyar. Mainly it has been a great opportunity for the Faroese IT industry, to improve their competencies and competitiveness. Vendors involved in the program have been able to attract new and highly skilled employees and now have contacts outside the Faroes that could give them the job opportunities in foreign markets. As a country it is also important to have control of the digital infrastructure since it will host crucial services for citizens and businesses. The best way of keeping control, is to have the infrastructure situated on the islands, and to make sure it is maintained, operated, and developed by the local IT industry.

2. What is the future of the Faroe Islands digitalization project? Do you see new business developments?

You could say, that we have only finished paving the roads, and now are getting ready to develop all the services that can improve the quality, efficiency or convenience for everyday life, and the way we are doing businesses in the Faroes. It is only now after we have finished developing the infrastructure, that we for real, can benefit from this investment. The possibilities and opportunities are therefore huge. Now we need to get all service providers to develop their services using the national digital infrastructure, either as part of the citizen portal, or by using the eID to access their own service portals. On our citizen portal we will first welcome all public sector service providers, to show citizens their data, and offer them their services online. Later we will also welcome private sector service providers, like banks, insurance companies etc. to do the same. The next thing we need to do, is to develop a new strategy for the next years. In this strategy we will probably decide which part of the public sector we will focus on next. One sector could be the health sector, where the perspectives for new and better services for the citizens are significant. In the new strategy we probably also will develop a business registry and business portal, where we can gather all e-services to businesses in one place.

3. NEXUS in Stockholm is supporting the Faroese e-governance program and claims that “it will be one of the most modern implementations yet done globally” where can you help other countries to learn and join the future of e-governance?

Nexus is one of our sub-vendors in the eID project. Together with our main vendor Klintra, Nexus alongside with other sub vendors, have developed a state-of-the-art solution, that probably is world-class. We are especially proud of our online identity proofing process, which we believe is rather unique for a national eID. We believe we can help other countries in many aspects of e-governance. From the development of a digital strategy, to how to organize and manage a national digitalization program, in regard to concepts for data sharing and for enterprise architecture, and for concepts and development regarding citizen portals and eID solutions.

4. How can the e-governance program of the Faroe Islands help by sharing knowledge during any related conferences held in the islands?

For the last couple of years all our efforts and resources have gone in building all the elements of the digital infrastructure. For that reason, we have not done as much as we would like when it comes to knowledge sharing. Since we now are entering the last stage of the program and most of our projects are finishing, we will try to focus more on these topics. One of the things we will consider, is to host a digital conference of some kind in the Faroe Islands. We believe that we have a lot of interesting projects and solutions that could be part of such a conference.

Additional information:

The National Digitalization Programme of the Faroe Islands (Talgildu Føroyar) is a programme of the Ministry of Finance that sets out to digitalize services for citizens, industries and the public sector in the Faroe Islands. The objective is to modernize the welfare and services of the population and ultimately create competitiveness, growth and production capacity. Talgildu Føroyar is based on the national digital strategy that was developed in 2015.

For more information about the National Digitalization Programme, visit talgildu.fo

The national eID in the Faroe Islands will be compliant to EU regulation on eID’s, the so-called EIDAS regulation. To provide and have an eID means to be owner of a secure personal key, that functions as a digital identification and signature for all citizens, and can be used by all providers of digital services both private and public. Additionally, the digital identity will allow citizens to access their personal data and e-services, such as tax and health information and services and, it can be used as a digital signature and will also in the near future have the possibility of giving others power of attorney. All digital services will be gradually implemented on the Digital Portal to increase the value and efficiency of public services. The e-governance process reduces office capacity, saves resources in the public sector and provides customers and citizens with faster and better services.

Also read the initial article about Digital Faroe Islands 


More about knowledge clusters on the LinkedIn company profile of Visit Faroe Islands Meetings and on www.tmf-dialogue.net