Pooling and large-scale projects
This joint commitment to share information and resources takes practical shape at various levels:
1. Pooling services and applications
Among the key aspects of the computerisation and modernisation of administrative procedures, the BRIC is able to leverage portal-, business and technical-type platforms portals as well as integrated user-friendly and secure distance solutions:
- Nova to manage planning and environmental permits
- BOS to manage the secretarial aspects of meetings and assemblies
- SInCrHo to monitor accounts receivable for hospitals
- UrbIS, geographic databases and on-line services for their use
- the IRISbox electronic desk providing regional and local services on line
- the Fix My Street application for reporting problems with roads.
Sharing as many technological building blocks as possible, these platforms and services also interact more with one another and with third-party corporate platforms.
By supporting far-reaching regional consolidation, the BRIC brings together people, organisations and institutions. It enhances the quality and efficiency of public services and achieves economies of scale for both users and administrations.
2. Pooling infrastructures
Regional Data Centre
As a public body, the BRIC protects the security and confidentiality of its partners’ data through its Regional Data Centre. This is an essential basis for the provision of high-grade IT services and also assures data protection: Backup online, E-mail, Domain Name Server, Hosting, etc.
The BRIC Regional Data Centre currently comprises a main server room and a backup site. Plans are being made to set up a new Data Centre. The Region’s institutions will thus be able to enjoy the following advantages:
- improved stability;
- greater physical security;
- redundancies for the power supply and air conditioning.
The reinforcement of the current Data Centre will achieve this ambition.
As a first step, the BRIC is working to improve the availability, performance and security of the Regional Data Centre. A specific action plan is to be put in place in 2017. Moreover, in a second phase the BRIC is to extend its infrastructure in another professional Data Centre so as to have the space necessary to meet the demand for hosting from the institutions of the Brussels-Capital Region.
The BRIC has started a transparent and concerted dialogue on sharing CCTV services throughout the Region.
The aim is to generate synergy and share information among various bodies (police zones, Brussels public transport, Brussels Mobility, Port of Brussels, etc.) within an ethical framework in strict compliance with Belgian laws on privacy and the use of CCTV .
The advantages of such an approach are as follows:
- better coordination of actions on the ground;
- real-time surveillance of incidents;
- the prevention and reduction of crime and terrorism;
- faster, more efficient response by emergency services, etc.
The pooled CCTV solution rests on solid foundations:
- the BRIC as project coordinator;
- the Regional Data Centre to host the platform;
- the IRISnet fibre-optic infrastructure to carry video flows throughout the Region and between the various players who are to join the initiative.
3. Pooling IT purchases
Via the BRIC Procurement Central, e-Catalogue users can centralise their IT orders on line to obtain faster, easier and secure service as well as very competitive prices.
Since 2016, e-Catalogue users have benefited from a new, user-friendly website with optimised ergonomics.
4. Pooling data
The public sector is the source of a huge amount of data that it creates or collects when undertaking its missions: public transport timetables, all kinds of public statistics, library or museum catalogues, maps, information on public revenue and expenditure and details of public procurement contracts, etc.
Open Data argues in favour of releasing such public data, except when the information is sensitive or personal. The aim is to promote its use as widely as possible, for example to create innovative services. In this respect, Open Data presents both a democratic and an economic opportunity.
Open Data licence
Together with Brussels Mobility, the BRIC has drawn up an Open Data licence that can be adapted for the entire Brussels Region. The Centre itself circulates UrbIS cartographic data under this open licence.
In practical terms, the Open Data licence creates the right to reuse the data concerned provided the source of the data is mentioned, along with the time of the most recent update, and in particular:
- to reproduce, copy, publish and pass it on;
- to circulate and redistribute it;
- to adapt, modify, extract and process it, in particular to create derived data or information;
- to use it for commercial purposes, for example by combining it with other data or including it in a product or an application.
The BRIC is taking on a pioneering role by using this open-licence system to circulate UrbIS cartographic data, that is all the geographic databases of the Brussels-Capital Region, developed and constantly updated by the BRIC.
Provision of authentic sources
Since it was set up, the BRIC has developed a range of web services and websites offering a mine of data (Neighbourhood Monitoring, Brussels Mobility, Urban Planning, etc.). These include the Brussels Region Open Data portal, the sole point of entry to data sets from Brussels public services and their partners.
In this specific context, the BRIC has been given the task of managing the technical platform of the portal as well as providing support and advice in this area, coordinating data and leading a regional working group dedicated to the topic of Open Data.
Data and services integration
The exchange of electronic data, which lies at the base of the process of administrative simplification, must be supervised by service integrators. In the Brussels-Capital Region, this role is fulfilled in practice by the BRIC. On 26 April 2014, an order was passed by the Brussels Parliament meeting in plenary session. This is an essential stage for efficient data exchange.
In this context, the BRIC guarantees the security, the confidentiality and the integrity of data forwarded via the serviced integrator, Fidus, the legal administrator of electronic data exchange for the institutions of the Brussels-Capital Region.