“Digital public services are so painful” because “each region reinvents the wheel,” explains hacktivist Gómez-Obregón


We have already spoken before in Genbeta about Jaime Gómez-Obregón, a hacktivist who uses “information technology and open data to surface, expose and destroy scams and corruption in the Public Sector”, as it has already demonstrated first with its platform on public procurement in Cantabria and then with its website on irregular donations from Juan Carlos I.

Now it is embarked – in addition to a campaign to release the data of the Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry, whose website for now even lacks a search engine – in a new project on public procurement at the national level:

But, in the meantime, Gómez-Obregón has participated in the digital meetings Ask me on the Menéame platform, where users have been able to directly ask you questions about your work.

And has written your views on our digital administration issues, as well as about the deficiencies of certain currents of ‘technological solutionism’.

“I am pessimistic that one day we will have an effective e-administration”

On the functioning of our own public administration, from its territorial structuring to its digitization capacity, Gómez-Obregón refers in his answers to users to several of the threads that have been hanging on Twitter over the last year:

“I am pessimistic that one day we will have effective e-government. Conway’s law is a well-known adage that human organizations design systems that reflect their own internal structures. Although it is not dogma, it is well adhered to. Spanish digital services “.

The Smart Cities that were going to revolutionize the world and (for now) have come to nothing

And in your opinion, the state of the autonomies —On which he has no opinion (“Jaime never talks about politics,” he explains himself) – It has led to things like the ‘infraindustries’ that have arisen around the autonomous ‘frameworks’ of the Autonomous Communities.: “Each administration has its own isolated technological” silo “incompatible with the others”.

“The certification of the Asturian engineer is a piece of paper in Cantabria. The certification of the Cantabrian engineer is a piece of paper in Asturias”.

“This model for the development of digital services is harmful to the interests of the Administration. By imposing these local requirements, they close the door to very valid providers, but who are not certified in the technology of the village on duty.”

“This barrier to entry artificially erected by administrations The public sector is the best breeding ground for a technological infra-industry: IT consulting firms that bid with the administration. Super high turnover, shitty salaries and painful products“.

For our protagonist, “each public body is free” when it comes to developing online services: “although there are agreed interfaces to intercommunicate the most essential, frequently each territory reinvents the wheel“.

Some of those problems could be solved, in his opinion, If it were to bet on a model like that of the Italian government, which has enabled a repository on GitHub that acts as an “open meeting point for those who develop digital services in their public administrations”, which has even made it possible to create a ‘Bootstrap Italia bookcase‘.

“What we need is not a brand new decentralized and distributed database”

When asked if you think blockchain technology could “be a good solution for control and transparency in public administration”, Gómez-Obregón is clear: he does not see “any significant contribution” from said technology to this field.

“There is a lot of hype, a lot of inflation of expectations, around blockchain technology. […] What we humans do not fix, technology does not solve … And what we as a country need is not a brand new decentralized and distributed database “.

For him, the solution comes from the hand of a improving public debate (less ideological polarization, a demanding citizenry willing to pay for good journalism, journalists freed from political servitude) and legislative changes (including the opening of the Commercial Registry data). “I could go on the list, but none of this is fixed with blockchain.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here