Bürokratt Network to apply once-only principle on gov e-services


When we talk about gov e-services, Estonia has been a pioneer in it for more than 20 years. This success is largely based on X-road, allowing participants to securely exchange sensitive data. Bürokratt, along with others, can make requests about my prescriptions, driver’s licenses, family relations, mandates, etc.

Within ca 3000 X-road requests, different participants use them AS IS or create new services based on them. Which is great, because there’s no central decision-maker deciding which services are good enough to create and maintain.

Problem to solve

But this has also led us to the problem of having a lot of gov web portals, often duplicating each other’s services. Estonia takes implementing once-only principle (OOP) seriously, but expecting to replace data duplication in all of our systems in a short time frame, doesn’t add up.

So, the goal is not only to provide one single point of entry to the end users, but also to reduce the costs of creating and maintaining duplicate e-services.

Bürokratt Network to the rescue

In essence, Bürokratt Network is a star network, connecting every participant to a central hub, while making sure that interruptions within any of the participants won’t result in affecting other participants. At least not technically.

Connecting independent service providers

Business-wise, Bürokratt Network is a group of independent gov e-service providers, acting on the basis of serving each other’s clients as if they were their own. Why is this important? Because by serving each other’s clients, there’s no need to create and/or maintain duplicate services, which actually already have an owner.

What needs to be done

Technically, Bürokratt Network will be based on DMR (Distributed Message Rooms). In short — hassle-free opt-in/opt-out any time, all the participants validated as secure and trustworthy by Bürokratt Core by applying central procedures and near real-time monitoring.

But it doesn’t take just technical developments to achieve that. On the contrary, most of the working hours will come from customer support agents and trainers, teaching machine learning-based models to understand how Estonians talk when they want to use some of our gov e-services.

Bürokratt doesn’t build its own e-services

In my opinion, the most important aspect of Bürokratt is the fact that there will be no central gov e-services provided by Bürokratt itself. Only the functionalities that are required to set up, run, maintain, and improve necessary software, clients, etc. All of the actual services will be created and maintained by our clients.

Next — Bürokratt Service Module to create gov e-services on the fly

In our next article, we cover Bürokratt’s Service Module, which is the key component to creating X-road- and API-based gov e-services by using a simple GUI and making them accessible both via Bürokratt and as stand-alone APIs.

Rainer Türner
Bürokratt architect
Information System Authority of Estonia