Technology to adapt the municipal civil service to the challenges of the health crisis

The contingency plan put into operation by the Municipal IT Institute (IMI) when the state of emergency for Covid-19 was decreed ensures municipal staff can work from home, guarantees a secure network connection, provides teamworking applications and makes sure other services are covered.

20/05/2020 16:58 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The reportDigital Transition and Teleworking at Barcelona City Council during the Covid-19 Crisis”, presented at the May session of the Commission for Presidency, Citizen Rights, Participation, Safety and Prevention, sets out the IMI’s technological strategy to adapt the municipal civil service to the challenges of the Covid-19 health crisis.

The strategy is based around four main areas:

  • Guaranteeing essential services for citizens, working for municipal staff to have access to tools which enable them to do their work remotely.
  • Covering the healthcare response through contingency plans, providing the necessary tools and designing continuity protocols for information systems.
  • Strengthening support for the public, with greater flexibility for procedures and guaranteed availability and use of the Virtual Procedures Office, the 010 freephone number and municipal social media.
  • Continuity for other public services provided by the City Council, guaranteeing that non-essential services are provided via teleworking.

The IMI had a budget of 1,423,720 euros to implement the plan, much of which was used to acquire laptops, licences and the provision of alternative remote connection platforms.

Solutions to make teleworking possible

Municipal staff have access to applications and corporate spaces which enable them to use the corporate network remotely. Alternative connection options have also been sought based on private virtual networks, to establish secure connections, while the number of licences for simultaneous connections has also been increased to enable 6,000 connections a day. All these measures help guarantee the capacity of municipal staff to work from home.

IMI management later signed up users with platforms and designed user guides. A telematic support team is also working to resolve doubts and carry out troubleshooting tasks.

The process had to take into account municipal staff without their own IT set-ups to be able to work from home. There were 573 requests for corporate laptops, on top of the 1,200-plus devices distributed before the health crisis.

Support for field hospitals

The Municipal IT Institute has been working to ensure the electronic communication networks function for the various field hospitals in the city. These facilities were set up to care for Covid-19 patients and take the strain off hospitals during the health emergency. The work of the IMI in this area has helped guarantee wi-fi at the facilities, as well as data connectivity between the temporary centres and the hospitals.


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