Internal information sources and services are a component of the European Interoperability Framework its Conceptual model for integrated public services provision.

Public administrations produce and make available a large number of services, while they maintain and manage a huge number and variety of information sources. These information sources are often unknown outside the boundaries of a particular administration (and sometimes even inside those boundaries). The result is duplication of effort and under-exploitation of available resources and solutions.

Information sources (base registries, open data portals, and other authoritative sources of information) and services available not only inside the administrative system but also in the external environment can be used to create integrated public services as building blocks. Building blocks (information sources and services) should make their data or functionality accessible using service-oriented approaches.

Public administrations should promote policies for sharing services and information sources in three main ways.

  1. Reuse: When designing new services or revising existing ones, the first step should be to investigate whether existing services and information sources can be reused;
  2. Publish: When designing new services and information sources or revising existing ones, reusable services and information sources should be made available to others for reuse;
  3. Aggregate: Once appropriate services and information sources are identified, they should be aggregated to form an integrated service provision process. The building blocks should exhibit native capability of being combined (‘interoperability by design’), to be ready for mash-up in different environments with minimum customisation. This aggregation is relevant to information, services and other interoperability solutions (e.g. software).

The reusable building block approach finds a suitable application by mapping solutions against the conceptual building blocks of a reference architecture1 that allows reusable components to be detected, which also promotes rationalisation. The result of this mapping is a cartography2
of solutions, including their building blocks, that can be reused to serve common business needs and ensure interoperability.

More specifically, to avoid duplication of effort, extra costs and further interoperability problems, while increasing the quality of services offered, the conceptual model features two types of reuse.

  • Reuse of services: Different types of services can be reused. Examples include basic public services, e.g. issuing a birth certificate, and shared services like electronic identification and electronic signature. Shared services may be provided by the public sector, the private sector or in public-private partnership (PPP) models;
  • Reuse of information: Public administrations already store large amounts of information with a potential for reuse. Examples include: master data from base registries as authoritative data used by multiple applications and systems; open data under open use licences published by public organisations; other types of authoritative data validated and managed under the aegis of public authorities. Base registries and open data are discussed in more detail in the next section.

There is a recommendation related to internal information sources and services:


Source: European Interoperability Framework - Promoting seamless services and data flows for European public administrations, COM(2017)134, 23 March 2017, url (Available in the languages of the EU Member States)


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