Building public trust through better IT services and more secure digital information

The Palestinian Ministry of Justice in Ramallah works determined to increase the public’s trust in the digital systems used throughout the ministry’s purview. The ministry’s IT Unit is the centre of gravity in the process of improving, strengthening and upgrading the systems and procedures. The ultimate aim is ensure that the Palestinian public has full confidence in the protection of their digital data and rights.

A study visit conducted last week concludes an extensive 3-step programme designed by the Mission’s Rule of Law Section to capacitate the IT Unit of the Ministry of Justice to provide secure digital information systems and services. The programme has been implemented through on-site technical assistance and exchange of best practices on IT security. The third and final step included a 4-day long study visit to Sweden for three representatives of the ministry’s IT Unit from 25 to 28 March 2019.

Day one and two
The Swedish Prosecution Authority was in lead of the first two days of the study visit. IT experts and prosecutors presented the Swedish Justice Sector Information System – a system designed to transfer structured information and supporting documents on suspicion of crime (the offence, the time and the place of the offence, the suspect, the victim, etc.) from the Police’s case management system via the Public Prosecution to the courts. The remainder of these two days were dedicated to IT security, including encryption, smart cards, permission structure and policies for users and safe IT management.

Day three and four
The last two days were prepared by the Swedish National Courts Administration and focussed mainly on technical matters identified during the previous steps of the programme. IT experts presented the data architecture and described new e-services for the public to be introduced shortly.

Visiting Experts
The study visit was preceded by steps 1 and 2 during which teams of visiting Swedish IT experts provided on-site advisory and coaching in Ramallah. The first visit by experts from the Swedish Prosecution Authority took place in early February followed by the second visit by experts from the Swedish Court Administration in late February 2019.

A highly efficient way
“From our point of view, the 3-step programme has been a highly efficient way of bringing useful qualitative IT knowledge and visions to Palestine. The substance has been adapted to Palestinian needs, challenges and competences, rather than just conveying information on how things are done in Sweden”, says the Mission’s Ministerial Legal and Administration Expert Lennart Guné.

Top photo: The visitors were greeted by the Deputy Prosecutor-General Kerstin Skarp (in pink) who expressed her appreciation towards the visiting Palestinians, EUPOL COPPS and the participants from the Swedish Prosecution Authority’s (SPA) IT Unit for enabling the valuable exchange of experiences. From left: Head of the Palestinian Ministry of Justice IT Unit Hanan Yaghi; the Mission’s Ministerial Expert Lennart Guné; Deputy Prosecutor-General Kerstin Skarp; Karmel Rahimi and Ibrahim Salman, experts from the Palestinian Ministry of Justice’s IT Unit and Husam Sarandah, Legal Advisor in EUPOL COPPS.

Bottom photo: Front row from left: Husam Sarandah, the Mission’s Legal Advisor; Deputy Prosecutor-General Kerstin Skarp; Ibrahim Salman, IT Expert at the MoJ IT Unit; Hanan Yaghi, Head of the MoJ IT Unit; Anders Thoursie, Head of the SPA IT Department. Back row from left: Johan Larsson, Head of the SPA IT Unit; Davor Lukic, Head of the SPA IT Security Unit; Lennart Guné, the Mission’s Ministerial Expert; Karmel Rahimi, IT Expert at the MoJ IT Unit; Christian Rothman and Micael Sundqvist, both IT Security Experts at the SPA.