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RIA to declare public procurement for Estonia's state mobile application

mRiik mobile application.
mRiik mobile application. Source: RIA

Estonia's Information System Authority (RIA) will soon hold a public procurement for additional development work on the state mobile application. Politicians say the app will be available to download this summer.

The head of the mobile application department for RIA, Greta Preast, informed ERR on Thursday that the second phase of the state app (mRiik) development is currently underway, focusing on adjusting the legal framework to enable identity verification through the state app.

"We are also advancing the app's functionality, design and technical solutions. Our goal is for the state app to fit both technically and design-wise into Estonia's e-government ecosystem, serving as an additional platform for using state e-services," said Preast.

Preast noted that the main burden of the app's development falls on RIA's own development team, with plans to announce a tender for finding an additional development team soon.

She explained that the national mobile application is a platform on smartphones for accessing Estonian e-government solutions and services, acting as an additional channel for consuming personalized state services

"Through the state app, citizens can conveniently use the most popular e-services of the state portal eesti.ee, view information about themselves and their children, prove their identity within the country, report local government issues via the 'Anna teada' feature and view the Land Board's map layers," Preast shared.

According to Preast, the application heavily relies on Estonia's existing e-government solutions but allows for enhancements specific to mobile platforms: speed, service geolocation, longer connection sessions, shorter user journeys and access to the camera and microphone.

At a personalized state information event on Monday, a representative from the IT company Nortal presented their ideas about the application.

Preast mentioned that Nortal has not been involved in the development of the application so far, but the company could participate in the tender for an additional development team, which is planned to be announced soon.

At the beginning of last year, Deputy Secretary General for Digital Development at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Luukas Ilves stated that, in cooperation with the Estonian Information System Authority and the Ukrainian Diia agency, Estonia's national mobile application, built on Diia's technical components and design, would soon be published.

Ilves added that Estonia has long been building common technical solutions with other countries. "You don't always have to reinvent the wheel. Learning from each other and sharing best practices lays the groundwork for the reuse of strong solutions, and mRiik (mState) is a good example of this," Ilves said.

However, the state app was not completed over the past year, and its completion has been further delayed.

ERR asked Greta Preast whether the state app is still being developed on the technical foundation of the Diia app.

"Our goal is for the state app to serve as an additional platform for using state e-services and to fit the existing e-services' technical solution and visuals," Preast replied.

"We are moving in the direction that the technologies and services developed for the state portal eesti.ee could be displayed in the mobile application with reasonable time, financial and human resources expenditure. It's equally important that citizens can use services with the same logic and design, regardless of the platform," she added.

"This necessitates a new architectural language concerning the developed mState pilot, but where possible, we use the service logics developed during the pilot," Preast explained.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eesti 200 leader Margus Tsahkna stated this Tuesday that the national mobile application will be publicly introduced this summer.

"This is a platform that will need further development of various services. It's a very big reform, I think one of the biggest reforms made in the last decade in terms of Estonian public services," Tsahkna said.

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology, Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200), presented the vision of a personalized state and its practical development opportunities at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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