In 2015, RIVM collaborated with the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) to launch a Shared Service Centre Campus with the objective of providing more wide-ranging ICT facility services and stronger synergy. The CIO office was established to coordinate this new branch of ICT services, which was given a more clearly defined identity in 2016, says CIO Willem Steenis.
“The CIO Office actually fills three roles. First, we have the advisory role: we provide advice on commissioned programmes that have an ‘i-component’, and of course advise our own line managers and key people in the primary process. We also serve an enforcement role: we are charged with monitoring compliance with rules and regulatory frameworks; in situations where our advice is not followed and the interests of the organisation are in jeopardy, we can issue a no-go. Finally, we have a portfolio management role. This means that we take care of combing questions and developing a vision on information policy.”
That sounds like quite an extensive scope of work, and it is. Even so, the CIO Office has a permanent team of just seven people, supported by two flexible team members. In the centres and staff units, local information managers ensure a reliable connection to the CIO Office.
“The CIO Office continued to expand in 2016, while still focusing on current requests for information that demand our attention. We are, for instance, very busy monitoring huge programmes that need to comply with directives put in place following the Elias Committee report,” Steenis states.
In order to properly carry out these tasks, investments were made in 2016 towards professionalising central and local information managers, whose CIO tasks were often assigned on top of their other operational activities. Concrete steps were also taken in 2016 towards creating a service that will be a foundation for RIVM's increasing number of websites and online tools, minimising barriers to access and making it more user-friendly for people with visual impairments. Of course these services comply with the full range of stringent laws and regulations. The recently created Innovation Park in Bilthoven will also serve as a test platform for more and faster continuous application development.
Finally, 2016 also saw the first steps towards developing an RIVM data strategy, which will be finalised in 2017. Together with the i-vision, i-strategy, and i-agenda, RIVM is creating a robust and flexible foundation for a data-driven knowledge institute that seeks to be at the centre of society, focusing on both the technological and human conditions necessary for open dialogue.