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Abstracts of Magazine FUJITSU 2010-9 (VOL. 61, NO. 5)

Special Issue: Latest Local Government Solutions to Promote Decentralization

  • Fujitsu's Approach to Achieving Decentralization Reform

Considerable time has passed since the fiscal health of local governments deteriorated. Municipalities have been working on various measures as administrative and fiscal reform for cutting expenditures. However, we have entered an era of serious population decline, and Japanese industry is facing competition from emerging countries. In terms of both local government revenue and expenditure, it is clear that a more difficult business environment will come in the future. In the midst of full-scale decentralization from the national to local governments, such as movements for regional autonomy, this paper clarifies the background to needs for dramatically improving the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments. Moreover, this paper gives an overview of examples of the Fujitsu Group's efforts toward achieving decentralization reform. It also discusses how the Fujitsu Group can help to form a sustainable and vibrant local government from the viewpoints of enhancing management and increasing operational efficiency.

  • Common Framework for Municipalities in Cloud Age: "New INTERCOMMUNITY21 Framework"

Currently, the prolonged recession has made reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of systems an urgent task even for municipalities. Against this background, Cloud computing has been attracting attention and computer systems have already been undergoing a paradigm shift from ownership to use. Fujitsu has analyzed the effect of, expectations for and challenges with Cloud computing and strengthened the INTERCOMMUNITY21 Framework, an application framework intended for municipalities, to make it adaptable to Cloud computing. This paper presents the points in strengthening the framework in preparation for the age of Cloud computing and the activities for its implementation.

  • Local Government Cloud and Operational Reform by SuperCALS e-Procurement SaaS

Under the recent severe financial conditions, local governments are required to implement measures for maximizing the effect within the limited project budgets and provide secure public services. However, the frequent collusion and bribery incidents over public works have become social issues. To address these problems with procurement, Fujitsu launched the SuperCALS e-Procurement package—currently used by 17 prefectural and over 200 municipal organizations. In April 2009, in line with "from ownership to use," a trend in ICT, Fujitsu started offering SuperCALS e-Procurement SaaS as a Cloud service for electronic bidding. After outlining the social background of the electronic bidding system, this paper describes service functions to realize local government Cloud by SuperCALS e-Procurement SaaS. It then gives examples of activities that cover operational reform including the centralization of application acceptance and qualification examination with a prefecture-municipality common contact and simplification of participation in bidding regardless of categories of business.

  • Optimizing Resident Information Systems of Big Cities with Open Package Software

While Japan is in a tight fiscal situation, the government is standardizing its work. Under these circumstances, efforts to match work to package systems as much as possible have become the mainstream, and this is also true for the resident information systems of big cities. Fujitsu has been advancing the development of package products for big cities since 2006. In doing so, it has focused its research and development on large-scale transactions. In particular, because such standardization centers on users shifting from mainframe systems, Fujitsu has assumed that batch performance needs to be maintained and reliability ensured, repeatedly investigated development methods and functional requirements, and reached the stage of offering products. This paper describes Fujitsu's efforts for using open package software to optimize resident information systems of big cities with populations of 300 000 or more. It also introduces case studies of these efforts.

  • Case Examples of Migrating to Open Systems Using Mainframe Assets

Local governments are optimizing their procedures and internal processes through BPR and other means in the context of administrative and economic reforms. One consequence of that optimization process is the need to restructure the core systems supporting their work, and as such they are migrating at a steady pace from mainframes to open systems. When migrating to an open system, the low costs of initial acquisition and installation are easily identified. However, in the long run, because of the larger number of servers to administer and the shorter lifecycle of the systems, other problems arise including a higher TCO. This paper presents the comprehensive solution proposed by Fujitsu to address these problems through the use of OSIV/XSP running on PRIMEQUEST hardware. It also describes this solution's merits, giving case examples of local governments and their assessment of its effectiveness.

  • Revolution in Operation and Maintenance Process Style of Municipal Systems

Municipalities nationwide are seeing a tendency toward a continuous fall in tax revenue due to deteriorating domestic fiscal conditions. Ordinance-designated cities are taking measures and vendors are also making attempts for innovation to address challenges including: 1) stable operation in the midst of limitations to system operation and maintenance (O&M) by customers alone due to the decrease in specially skilled staff and increasingly complicated operations caused by repeated system reforms, 2) improvement of service levels and quality, a potential factor for higher costs, as cost reductions are demanded, and 3) transition from host-centered system configurations to a departure from hosts. This paper describes the activities for solving problems faced by the authors in the O&M business (on-site outsourcing) conducted by residing in customer sites and the measures implemented by using the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) concept to break away from the current individually-managed business.

  • System to Support Provision of Specific Health Guidance: Guidance Using Mobile Phones to Prevent Metabolic Syndrome

To reduce the prevalence of lifestyle diseases, the government started the program of Specific Health Checkups and Specific Health Guidance in 2008, obligating health insurers to provide guidance to insured parties and raise their awareness of lifestyle diseases. Examinees are classified into the levels of information provision, motivational support, and active support, based on their checkup results. Among the examinees, those in their 40s to 60s find it difficult to improve their diet and exercise though they understand the importance of doing so. It is also necessary to give guidance without exceeding the limited resources available. Under these circumstances, Fujitsu developed Gambare! Genki-kun, a system to aid in the provision of guidance to insured parties, and is starting an SaaS service. The system was verified in internal monitoring for one year, and its effects were confirmed on a numerical basis. This paper outlines the system and presents the verification results.

  • Bridge Inspection Support System—Assisting with Infrastructure Improvement for Safety and Security

The life of a bridge is said to be about 50 years. Many bridges built during the high-growth period have been deteriorating and in the 2010s many of them will be aging. Still, 88% of all bridges remain uninspected due to local governments' lack of budget and human resources. To receive subsidies, it is necessary to formulate plans for service life extension and repair. To promptly solve these problems, Fujitsu uses Cloud technology to provide a solution in which a construction consultant remotely examines images of a bridge that have been shot by local government staff with a high-definition camera. This solution adopts Fujitsu's video tracing and visibility improvement technologies. Describing development activities and a demonstration experiment of a system to support bridge inspection, this paper presents the method and effect of conducting preventive maintenance on bridges, achieved with local governments' limited budget and human resources.

  • New Citizens Information System toward Cloud Computing: MICJET MISALIO

In the harsh environment of a rapidly changing society and strict local financial conditions, local government information systems are significantly changing. As a result of keeping pace with constant systematic and legal reforms, the cost of local government systems is putting pressure on tight budgets, and reducing this pressure poses a challenge. On the other hand, the ICT environment with SaaS and Cloud computing is also changing, and the time has arrived to reconsider the mission-critical system of citizens records and taxation information. Fujitsu has started offering the new citizens information system MICJET MISALIO, an attractive administrative service which consecutively presents solutions for local residents, based on the three concepts of standard system, system of usage, and system of growth and continuation. This paper introduces the concept and features of MICJET MISALIO.

  • Outline of New System of Public Accounting and Our Approach to Its Introduction

As the economic structure itself has now significantly changed in Japan through the high growth and economic bubble periods, many local bodies have difficulty in their management. Meanwhile, trends toward local autonomy including a wider-area local government system and autonomous settlement region concept are under way. In view of these trends, local bodies are required to publish forecasts of financial conditions and conduct financial and administrative operations in line with the actual regional situations. Under these circumstances, the new local public accounting system was established for soundness, efficiency and resiliency of operations through business accounting techniques. This paper clarifies the purpose of the new system and challenges in its introduction and presents a version of Fujitsu's package software IPKNOWLEDGE that supports the new system. It also describes Fujitsu's activities including the consulting services for fixed asset evaluation, a requirement for introducing the new system, and analysis of financial documents for subsequent effective use.

  • Fujitsu's Approach to Care Insurance System

Japan's National Health Insurance Law was established in 1938, on the basis of which the national health insurance system by individual municipalities was launched in 1961. This marked the realization of a universal healthcare system, where all people carry some insurance. However, medical expenses have continued to soar due to the increasingly aging society. The proportion of social security costs in the national budget went as far as exceeding 27% in fiscal 2009 and the health insurance system has always been inevitably reviewed. As part of this, a nursing-care insurance system was established in 2000 and an elderly care system was established in 2008. These were difficult projects for municipalities and system venders such as Fujitsu. Fujitsu responded with a package called MCWEL, intended for municipalities. This paper explains the switch to a nursing-care insurance system that is representative of a national health insurance system, and Fujitsu's MCWEL package.

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government's New Approaches to Promotion of Public Transport Use and Reduction of Environmental Burdens

Traditionally, local government services for citizens have been based on providing resident services that are common nationwide though different in scale. Recently, however, more local governments have come to offer their own distinctive services accompanying changes in the environment surrounding them. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has also been carrying out various measures to build a vigorous city and reduce environmental burdens. This paper presents, of the many different measures implemented independently by the TMG, case examples of services built with the cooperation of Fujitsu. One is the points system run by the Bureau of Transportation for promoting the use of public transportation and improving passenger services. Another two are the system of reporting on measures against global warming, and the system regarding emissions trading and the obligation to reduce total emissions of greenhouse gases, run by the Bureau of Environment and intended for monitoring and controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Business Reform and Improvement through Business Fieldwork for Local Government

The environment surrounding local governments has been constantly changing in the last decade and staff's awareness has significantly changed within local governments, where operational reform is under way. In the field, however, an increase in business volume and staff downsizing due to environmental changes have created a gap between plans and actual progress. To close this gap and proceed with reform, a system of visualizing the actual situation and reflecting it in reform and improvement activities is required. Fujitsu proposes Field Innovation for continuous improvement by totally optimizing interactions between people, processes and IT. Based on this concept, we provide Business Fieldwork for local government using Business Ethnography. It is Fujitsu's original method for visualizing the actual situation, and can be used for business reform and improvement starting with the field. This paper presents its outline and method together with analysis examples and verifies the effect of its application.

  • Local Governments' Approach to Global Warming

It is becoming more important for each country across the world to carefully address global warming issues, such as by reducing greenhouse gases (CO2 and so on). Under these circumstances, not only the central government and prefectures but also municipalities, basic units of local government, have taken the initiative in tackling global warming in a more concrete way. Furthermore, the situation surrounding public finance in central government and local governments is getting worse, triggered by a population decrease and severe industrial competition with other countries. Therefore, new approaches aiming to stimulate local economies, such as promoting clean energy including solar power, are becoming more popular through public-private partnerships for designing sustainable local societies. This paper presents the possibilities of the public sector market from the viewpoint of "Conserving the Global Environment." It introduces three cases of municipalities which Fujitsu Research Institute (FRI) has supported, aiming to stimulate local economies.

  • ICT to Support Three Types of Visualization for Revitalizing Local Agriculture

In Japan, agriculture is the leading industry in regional areas. And revitalization of local agriculture is directly linked to regional revitalization. Fujitsu is conducting R&D and a pilot project to visualize the three areas of agricultural management, production and sales with Cloud computing technology so that agriculture can be a profitable and sustainable industry. This paper reports on the results of investigation conducted at a study group, held by Miyazaki Prefecture in 2009, on the use of IT in Miyazaki Prefecture (2009) to revitalize agriculture by having local entities adopt ICT. It also reports on Fujitsu's Human Centric Computing and ICT deployment in the agricultural sector using Cloud computing technology.