Blog: OpenSky, Technology & the Citizen

Digital Regulation for Government

By Michael Cronin

By Michael Cronin

Managing Director

OpenSky, Technology & the Citizen

We in OpenSky have spent 15 years working hard to improve technology in Government. It is one of those things that makes it easier to get up at 6am on that Monday morning when it’s dark and wet (& that’s during the better part of the year here in our green & beautiful Ireland). While Tech is not the full story when it comes to change for a better and safer world, it has its place and we are proud to be driving force for some of that change in Ireland.  

Digital Citizen Tools 

Not so long ago, a friend said to me in passing, that since most, if not all Government services are now online, surely thjob is done since citizens can interact easily with the services they need. While yes, it’s great that many services are available online for citizens, there is quite a journey to travel before everything is available that’s needed.  Take a recent project of ours to enable a new digital way of interacting with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLR) as part of their wider Civic Hub initiative. Yes, DLR already had online methods of interacting with their citizens, however this project not only delivers digital channels to the citizen, but it also completes the digital journey throughout the numerous divisions with the Local Authority, in effect joining the Citizen directly to the responsible department, not just to the initial contact desk.  

Then you add the digital tools needed for the Local Authority to efficiently deal with the issue raised by the Citizen, now the digital solution not only supports the Citizen request straight to the relevant department, but it also underpins the resolution of the request and subsequent update to the original requestor. The end result is that DLR are now able to provide a faster service to the Citizen using less resources, whilst providing 24×7 contact channels.  A major step up from filling in an online form which sits on someone’s computer screen awaiting action.  For more on this topic, you might like to read another of our Blogs about Minimising Business Impact when Upgrading your Case Management System”.

Collaboration in the Provision of Homeless Services 

It is true to say that often Technology is just an enabler for our better safer world. For example, in OpenSky, we provide the technology platform behind Ireland’s response to homelessness. While the technology platform we built, does not give out blankets on cold nights, does not serve food to those in need – as this is managed by the fabulous people working in Voluntary and Government agencies, the system we built allows up to 100 separate agencies, to jointly collaborate in the provision of services to those experiencing homelessness.  It underpins the availability of emergency accommodation to those in need and crucially, it allows analysis on how to continually improve our policies in response to homelessness.  

To me it is clearly our responsibility as Technology Innovators to ensure our AI systems reflect business and societal rules of conduct. 

Artificial Intelligence 

One of the other motivations to face the world on that dark and wet Monday morning, is that when working with Technology, everything is always changing (although sometimes it is a reason not to get up too!).  Taking a customer-centric approach to continuously bring value to those who matter most (our customers)we must constantly evaluate and innovate with the best technology options. Some of these are bringing change to how the Citizen experience is in the digital world.

The much talked about Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now, or is definitely becoming, the face of many businesses – which has brought a new level of responsibility for companies like us in OpenSky.

If our AI is deciding, for examplewho gets the allocation of a house on the social housing list and that intelligence is evolving, it’s now not necessarily the employee of the Government Agency who is taking the decision on the allocation of housing, but initially a programmer in OpenSky and additionally the ability for the system to self-learn.  

To me it is clearly our responsibility as Technology Innovators to ensure our AI systems reflect business and societal rules of conduct.  The intelligence programmed by our teams must be transparent in its decisions and open to interrogation and routinely audited. Our AI will work beside the staff in our Government customers, often as a trusted advisor and collaborator, assisting in routine tasks and decision making at all levels. This again brings service efficiencies to a higher level and allows for an exploitation of information to support decision making not previously possible, all positive for you or I as citizens.  

Our Goal: A Safer World 

The goal for our Technology, is to support that drive for a better and safer world, which enables all people to actively participate in governance and receive the services they need. The advent of AI driven solutionsbrings responsibilities for OpenSky – to set standards for what it means to realise a responsible digital eco-system that is transparent in the way it makes decisions, and which creates trust with our customers and citizens. 

Am I excited? Yes. 

Nervous? Maybe just a little…. 

 

About OpenSky 

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works.

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.  

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, legacy system modernisation and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services. 

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processes, connecting citizens – building a safer nation. 

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About The Author

Michael is co-founder and Managing Director of OpenSky. He leads the organisation as it brings a new dawn of digitalisation to Government across its market sectors.

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Blog: OpenSky Data Systems GovTech Digital Services Now Available Through Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3

Digital Regulation For Government

By Susanne Mc Cabe

By Susanne Mc Cabe

Business Development Manager

OpenSky Data Systems GovTech Digital Services Now Available Through Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3

GovTech Digital Services

We are very happy to announce this year that OpenSky Data Systems has been awarded with a place in Digital Outcomes and Specialist 3 Framework (DOS3).

Digital Outcomes and Specialist 3 Framework (DOS3) is a digital procurement framework with a specific objective to help public sector agencies buying digital outcomes and specialist resources in an agile way that will improve outcomes and procedure.

Crown Commercial Service has announced recently the approved vendor list on this specialist UK wide procurement framework. The framework is available to all UK government agencies (local, arms length and central) who want to invest in technology teams to deliver improved digital outcomes for services and citizens. OpenSky Data will continue to provide real benefits to help buying institutions through collaborative relationships with Digital government project teams who work in a spirit of co-creation to deploy innovation fast, often and with the unique benefit of a digital partner that understands your agencies language and is a Gold Microsoft Partner with ISO27001 and ISO9001 accreditation.

DOS3 is divided into lots and we are proud to be awarded a place on Lot 1 (Digital Outcomes) and Lot 2 (Digital Specialists).

William Flanagan, Commercial & Technology Director and Co-Founder, OpenSky Data Systems:

“We are delighted to secure our place on DOS3, Lot 1. Given our proven success in delivering Digital Transformation and Digital Outcomes for Government (Local, State Agency and Central) in Ireland and the UK, we look forward to working in a co-creative framework with client teams in the UK. DOS3 firmly removes procurement barriers to real agile design and deployment of government technology systems and places the citizen and the government user centre stage”

What OpenSky Data Systems capabilities can you buy through Lot 1 & 2 on DOS3?

 

Digital Outcomes-Team Capabilities, Lot 1:

Performance Analysis & Data

What types of performance analysis can we provide?

  • A/B and multivariate testing
  • Data analysis
  • Data Visualisation
  • Performance Framework
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Web Analytics

Security

What types of security can we provide?

  • Security Policy
  • Threat Modelling

Service Delivery

What types of service delivery can we provide?

  • Agile Coaching
  • Agile Delivery
  • Business Analysis
  • Product Management
  • Programme Management
  • Project Management
  • Service Management

 Software Development

What types of software development can we provide?

  •  API Development
  • Cloud-based Service Development
  • Content management System
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Data Development
  • Desktop Application Development
  • Desktop Application Development
  • Front-end Web Application Development
  • Machine Learning
  • Message Queues
  • Mobile Application Development
  • Search
  • System Integration
  • Web Application Development
 Support & Operations

What types of support and operations can we provide?

  • Hosting
  • Incident management
  • Monitoring
  • Network Administration
  • Services desk
  • Systems administration
  • Tooling

Testing & Auditing

 What types of testing and auditing can we provide?
  • Accessibility testing
  • Application testing
  • Data Auditing
  • Load and performance testing
  • Process auditing
  • Software auditing
  • System auditing

User Experience & Design

What types of user experience and design can we provide?

  • Accessibility
  • Brand Development
  • Content Design and Copywriting
  • Cross-Platform Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Design
  • Prototyping
  • Service Design
  • User Experience and Design Strategy

User Research

What types of user research can we provide?

  • Usability testing
  • User journey mapping

Digital Specialist, Lot 2:

Individual Specialists Roles

  • Business Analysts
  • Data Scientist
  • Designer
  • Developer
  • Performance Analyst
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Programme Manager
  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Service Manager
  • Technical Architect
  • User Researcher
  • Web Operations Engineer

Crown Commercial Service

Crown Commercial service is committed to work equally with a diversity of suppliers, in particular the SME community, establishing The Digital Marketplace to facilitate the access of contracts in the public sectors in the digital field. According to Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General last year “I want to see a revolution in the way we deliver public services – so that people up and down our country feel that government is at their service at every single stage in the journey.

That is why we are today publishing our Government Transformation Strategy, outlining our commitment to reshape government by ensuring millions of people are able to access online the services they need, whenever they need. We will deliver these changes while driving efficiencies wherever possible, making considerable savings for the taxpayer.

Only by transforming the relationship between the citizen and the state – so that the latter serves the former – will we deliver the Prime Minister’s commitment to build a country that works for everyone”….

To provide this Digital Transformation helping UK Gov. small and medium size enterprises, such as OpenSky Data, are proving their capacities by means of digital, data and technology services to the Government to provide cloud computing services.

According to Crown Commercial ServiceCabinet OfficeGovernment Digital Service, Digital Outcomes and Specialist 2

framework proved very popular with Central government with 91% of the total value of services contracted being with a central government agency. Only 9% of transactions was by the wider public-sector community but with improvements in DOS3, this is expected to improve.

 

About OpenSky 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.  

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, legacy system modernisation and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services. 

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processes, connecting citizens – building a safer nation. 

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About The Author

Susanne McCabe leads Business Development for OpenSky Data. She is responsible for building awareness and interest in our brand, solutions and services, globally. She builds trusted relationships with government business and technology teams which enables us to design and deploy GovTech solutions in a sustainable, scalable and efficient way, maximising value to government buyers.

Susanne’s 20 years plus experience and education in marketing, sales and business development, brings a synergy to her teamwork with the marketing and sales teams at OpenSky Data. Her interests include CSR, Behavioral Economics and Dancing.

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Digital Regulation for Government Posts

Government & Public Services
Digital Regulation For Government
Michael Cronin

OpenSky, Technology & the Citizen

We in OpenSky have spent 15 years working hard to improve technology in Government. It is one of those things that makes it easier to get up at 6am on that Monday morning when it’s dark and wet (& that’s during the better part of the year here in our green & beautiful Ireland).

Read More »
Government & Public Services
Digital Regulation For Government
Susanne Mc Cabe

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Blog: Smarter Taxi Regulation

Digital Regulation For Government

By Susanne Mc Cabe

By Susanne Mc Cabe

Business Development Manager

Smarter Taxi Regulation: Ireland, London & New York

All around the world taxi regulators are investing in their technology platforms to increase staff and driver engagement online efficiencies, manage changing policy and regulatory compliance and create Realtime collaboration with industry and government partners along the taxi regulation continuum.

Zero paper and reduction in call centre investments is the ultimate goal. Many regulators are struggling to drive even 20% of its service and business processes online which given the complexities and breadth of taxi authorities role, is understandable. Advances in workflow technologies, online customer engagement portals and API availability in most modern systems, moving towards a 100% online function, is now an achievable goal for many.

While in Ireland taxi regulation is a national regulatory duty, taxi regulation responsibilities across the world vary. In the USA, various states have eliminated regulations in order to completely level the playing field between traditional taxis and the newer Transport Network companies ie Uber. Other States are considering regulation of TNC’s at a State level while retaining the traditional regulatory powers of city and county regulators.

Outside of London, taxis in the UK are regulated by over 300 local councils, many of which adopt very old taxi legislation in various ways using very different systems, which is a challenge currently under review by the Department of Transport which aims to publish their national working group report in January 2019. In 2018, the Urban Transport GroupTaxi! Issues and Options for City Region Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Policy” report called for a new approach to taxi and PHV policy to ensure a good service for users whilst also making sure the sector contributes to wider public policy goals around public safety, congestion reduction, economic inclusion and air quality.

 

How are Taxi Regulators using Technology to achieve a safe, compliant and collaborative industry?

In Ireland, drivers can engage with the National Transport Authority through the driver portal and complete all their engagements (pay fees, book in skills test, create link etc) online on a selection of devices, applications / renewals remain offline and all industry contractors and government partners collaborate in Realtime with the Taxi Directorate through their core business application – CABS. All drivers and vehicles are linked in Realtime through a smart mobile application which enables the driver to link to a particular vehicle and this is enforced strictly by the NTA inspection team through the mobile inspection app iCABS.

In the USA, according to the IATR, the Transportation Network Company (TNC) movement has run its initial course, there is now some freedom from political pressures exerted on taxi regulators, who may now pick-up the pieces following the casualties of disruption.  Finally, for the incumbent taxicab and limousine industries, key decisions are being made on whether to lobby for the elimination of regulations that tie their hands from competing. From a technical standpoint the Federal Transit Administration’s Mobility on Demand Sandbox Program presents an interesting moment of opportunity to connect TNC’s and taxi regulators with federal services through data sharing.

Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) for the District of Columbia in Washington D.Clead the charge in terms of technology and its application to modernise the regulations engagement with drivers, inspectors, the public, industry and government partners. The authority has recently launched its Open Data Taxi Dashboard,  An Option For Payment Technology (OPT) and can showcase other useful technology applications however licencing and renewals remain offline.

New York

In New York, the biggest taxi regulatory body in the USA (similar in numbers of taxis licenced to London & Ireland) – The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), created in 1971, is the agency responsible for licensing and regulating New York City’s medallion (yellow) taxicabs, for-hire vehicles (community-based liveries, black cars and luxury limousines), commuter vans, and paratransit vehicles and employs 600 staff assigned to various divisions and bureaus.

The TLC licenses and regulates over 50,000 vehicles and approximately 100,000 drivers, and performs safety and emissions inspections of the 13,587 medallion taxicabs three times each year, as well as biennial inspections of all TLC-licensed For-Hire vehicles, making it the most active taxi and limousine licensing regulatory agency in the United States.

Systems at the TLC are traditional mainframe systems at the core, but the team at the TLC, along with support from the DoITT have developed some unique driver information upload portalslicencing applications and renewals are only taken online and data and Google Big Querys are open and shared. Tapping into the potential offered by unifying smart meter data with the information held by the TLC, is clearly an interesting exploration for the Commission.

OpenSky‘s Taxi Regulation teams continue investing in innovative ways of building smarter systems to support smart regulation”

London

In London, Transport for Londons Taxi Regulation body approved plans to modernise London’s private hire industry which included: 

  • A fare estimate for customers in advance of their journey
  • The provision of driver and vehicle details to customers, including a photo of the driver, before the start of each journey where customers are able to receive this information
  • Requiring operators to keep improved records and provide driver and vehicle information to TfL regularly to make enforcement easier and more effective

 

In 2018, for the first time TfL’s Taxi and Private Hire (TPH) Compliance Officers have been granted new powers by the Metropolitan Police to carry out road stops without police presence for the first time. TFL offers website visitors an online taxi checker and while drivers can register to apply online, renew online and pay fees online, there are still steps in the process offline.  The TFL Twitter handle for Taxi Industry updates has over 14.5k followers and is a good example of using social media for industry engagement. As Uber renews its licence in London for the foreseeable future, how can technology help TFL level the playing pitch and ensure the safety and high taxi standards it holds so dear in London?

 

Taxi Private Hire London.

In London, New York and Dublin, taxi regulation teams continue to invest in innovative ways of building smarter systems to support smart regulation, albeit in various ways depending on public priorities, economic conditions and evolutions of taxi policy and regulations. The Role of Taxis in the Future of Digital Urban Mobility was a key issue explored by regulators from around the world at the 4th edition of UITP International Taxi Seminar in London this year and technology was discussed as a key enabler of unlocking the value of the taxi transport system to wider public transport strategies. Many regulators from around the world presented their use of technology in maintaining safe, compliant and collaborative taxi industries including Montréal Taxis BureauLand Transport Authority of SingaporeLand Public Transport Commission (SPAD) of Malaysia and the Dubai Taxi Corporation, UAE. Overcoming industry obstacles and supporting rapid adoption of changing taxi regulations using the best in class innovation in technology is a common theme when speaking with global regulators

Our Taxi Regulation team at OpenSky data continue to work with regulators across the world assessing technological landscapes, future visions for model architectures and secure data management and enhancing the technological capability of in house technical teams or where support is minimal from in house tech support, providing a one stop shop for rapid innovation in line with strategic policy.

Interesting Links from around the World

IATR – International Association of Taxi Regulators – http://www.iatr.global/

UITP Taxi Platform – http://www.uitp.org/expert-groups

The Regulation of Taxi Markets in the European Union: a liberalisation forced by technological disruption  – https://www.coleurope.eu/regulation-taxi-markets-european-union-liberalisation-forced-technological-disruption

Taxi driver licensing in select EU countries/cities – http://www.ttnh.ie/news/taxi-driver-licencing-doc2..pdf

About OpenSky 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.  

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, legacy system modernisation and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services. 

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processes, connecting citizens – building a safer nation. 

Share

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About The Author

Susanne McCabe leads Business Development for OpenSky Data. She is responsible for building awareness and interest in our brand, solutions and services, globally. She builds trusted relationships with government business and technology teams which enables us to design and deploy GovTech solutions in a sustainable, scalable and efficient way, maximising value to government buyers.

Susanne’s 20 years plus experience and education in marketing, sales and business development, brings a synergy to her teamwork with the marketing and sales teams at OpenSky Data. Her interests include CSR, Behavioral Economics and Dancing.

Subscribe for more Posts updates

Recent Posts

Follow OpenSky

Digital Regulation For Government Posts

Government & Public Services
Digital Regulation For Government
Michael Cronin

OpenSky, Technology & the Citizen

We in OpenSky have spent 15 years working hard to improve technology in Government. It is one of those things that makes it easier to get up at 6am on that Monday morning when it’s dark and wet (& that’s during the better part of the year here in our green & beautiful Ireland).

Read More »
Government & Public Services
Digital Regulation For Government
Susanne Mc Cabe

Smarter Taxi Regulation

Blog: Smarter Taxi Regulation Digital Regulation For Government Smarter Taxi Regulation: Ireland, London & New York All around the world taxi regulators are investing in

Read More »