Friday, 3 April 2020

Weekend hack-a-thon participants write program to sell electronic highway vignettes

Prague Daily Monitor |
27 January 2020

Starting Friday night, a group of 60 volunteer programmers worked through a hack-a-thon and, by Sunday night, launched a fully functional web based system from which the state could sell highway toll vignettes. In coming weeks the volunteer group wants to hand the program over to the state, said Tomáš Vondráček, the organizer of the hack-a-thon.

The fiasco with the electronic vignette system started when the initial CZK 401 million tender was criticized by a group of unions, the opposition and Premier Andrej Babis himself for the contract being overpriced and not transparent. The operation and building of the system was initially contracted to Asseco Central Europe. The Minister of Transport Vladimír Kremlík (ANO) was dismissed due to the case.

The e-shop is fully functional on ferznamka.cz with the group fulfilling all of the necessary demands for the public parts of the tender. For the parts of the system requiring certain security elements Vondráček explained that the State needs to hire a company with the proper security certificate sand know-how.

The system is open for testing, one can buy a virtual sticker for between CZK 1 and CZK 3 which are not valid on highways in the country. Language should not be a problem as there are several major language options. Proceeds from any testing will go to the Kolečko Nadační Fond, a childrens charity.