About this project

Citizens of Estonia are communicating extensively with the state through the internet on a daily basis so it was about time to upgrade the government sites into modern information gateways.

Estonian Gov

For citizens of Estonia, e-services have become routine: e-elections, e-taxes, e-police, e-healthcare, e-banking, and e-school.

Almost 90% of inhabitants have an ID card, which not only serves as identity document, locally and within the EU, but it’s also recognised as a travel document. It is the key to almost every innovative e-service in Estonia.

More than 90% of income tax declarations are presented through the e-tax system; registering a new business takes up to 18 minutes online; and in the last parliamentary elections 24.3% of the votes were received digitally.

Citizens of Estonia are communicating extensively with the state through the internet on a daily basis so it was about time to upgrade the government sites into modern information gateways.

Project objectives

In 2012 Government office brought together representatives of all the Ministries to decide on the look and feel of a central platform, named “Government Portal”.

Its aim was to create similarly designed and structured websites of the Government, Government Office, and 11 ministries, that could form together in a common online environment.

It was important to provide the public with better services by making information more accessible and cutting costs by providing unified manuals, training processes, maintenance, etc.

Technical goals

To fulfil these needs, a distribution-like reusable platform had to be built. Wunder pitched and proposed using Drupal which was the winning choice in the end.

Each instance of the platform needed to:

  • allow good content management workflows and aggregate some content to their central site valitsus.ee
  • be fully responsive
  • have WCAG 2.0 AA support
  • have integrations with central CRM databases run on SAP technologies
  • have pre-made templates to help content editors organise content into well structured content pages
  • have secure login options via ID-card and Mobile-ID
  • use Google Site Search for a unified search across all the sites using the platform

The deployment phase of the project was demanding, due to the fact that 13 different sites had to be migrated to the new platform. The sites were running on a mix of outdated solutions, including custom PHP frameworks, local proprietary CMS’s, Typo3, Drupal 6, etc.

The total amount of content to be migrated and restructured was close to a hundred thousand nodes.

Outcomes

The first beta versions of the platform were delivered in December 2013 and improvements and bug-fixing continued throughout the winter of 2014. The first sites were then launched on the new platform in spring 2014.

As of August 2014, 10 of the 13 sites have been migrated and are running on the new platform. Government Office has hired a dedicated Drupal webmaster to oversee the deployment and continuous development processes.

If the platform architecture and future functionalities continue to be centrally guided and developed, some few hundreds of thousands of euros of state money could be saved in a 3-5 year period.

The platform has sparked interest among several other government institutions besides the Ministries, who are also looking for centralised solutions. Two different projects have been started to create a spin-off from the main platform to provide those solutions, and we’re actively participating in both of them.

Drupal 7 is now the most recognised open-source CMS system in the Estonian public sector.

Live sites on the new platform

Central Gov. site valitsus.ee.

Ministries mkm.eeriigikantselei.eejust.eevm.ee, and envir.ee.

Interested?

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