Challenges: High volume of content, multiple users, and advanced legislative workflows
A part of the French Prime Minister’s office, DILA is a French government entity responsible for supervising the legal processes and publishing the laws. Legal content must be regularly updated and its accuracy verified. DILA is partnering with more than 150 local administrations in France to publish public and legal information and give access to citizens.
As a part of the legislative process, DILA also manages the questions asked to the Government from the National Assembly and the Senate. Every time a session is held, members of parliament can formally ask questions to the government on any topic. These requests can be complicated and may involve several departments or other government entities and must be formally answered within three months.
More than any government entity, DILA must face a heavily regulated environment, with an incredibly high volume of content and several thousands of users and thus must be digitally connected. The creation, modification, and maintenance of the law and norms are highly complex and involve numerous processes. It goes without saying that the digital collaboration between different government entities was not always an easy task; workflows were not automatized (let alone digitized for most) and content accuracy and quality could lead to issues.
At that time, three main goals were identified by DILA:
- Improve quality and time of response by the government to the members of the Parliament
- Improve the content production workflow for the government agencies
- Allow content analysis and data visualization on users’ activity and performance
Solution: Highly modular and flexible applications for each core legislative process
With more than 4200 users and 700 cases per week, the Nuxeo Platform has allowed the French Government to create a successful e-government case management application.
In 2010, DILA launched a new project to make the law and administrative content production and publication very easy between three different government entities: the Government, the National Assembly, and the Senate. This project, SOLON, is helping the three entities manage the legislative processes end-to-end. In parallel, another project, “Réponses”, was born. This application maintains a smoothen flow of the question/answers between the Members of the Parliament and the Administration.
With a similar architecture, the two applications are running on a Nuxeo cluster composed of six application servers and backed by an Oracle 11g RAC database.
Both applications are similar to mailboxes. Questions and/or documents are received and semantically analyzed (office items are also digitally transformed through a template), an automatic workflow attributes the asset to the appropriate entity, creates a case, and a process is started. Once the digital content has been approved and e-signed, the final version is published by DILA. Every case has its own roadmap, and it is entirely customizable by adding or removing steps as it is processed further. The application saves the complete history and changes, and the user can go back and forth between the changes. Some departments also use the REST API to integrate further with the system and offer more automation to their employees.
Security is critical and only those employees who have clearance can access the sensitive or non-public data. A combination of permission-based (ACL) and rule-based access control, offered natively by the Nuxeo Platform, implement the required complex access control scheme.
One of the primary outcomes of creating these solutions is to digitally monitor and visualize the legislative activity among the various government entities involved.
The two projects are major e-government initiatives and have improved the core legal process of the French government as well as improved relations with the parliament. These projects have been in production since 2012 with help from SWORD Group, and the extensibility and customization of the Nuxeo Platform have allowed to keep it up-to-date and answer all the legal and administrative content management issues faced by the Senate, National Assembly, and the French Government.