THE government has not fully adopted ICT in all its workplaces despite the efforts invested in realising Brunei's e-Government initiative, a senior government official said.
In a keynote speech delivered at the launching of the e-Government Executive Training Programme yesterday, Dato Paduka Hj Matsatejo Sokiaw (pictured), permanent secretary of the Energy Department at the Prime Minister's Office, urged government ministries to do a complete paradigm shift to ensure their entire IT system used would contribute to the efficiency of their work and maximise their output.
He was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office and Chairman of Brunei's e-Government Leadership Forum (EGLF) Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Yasmin Hj Umar.
Dato Paduka Hj Matsatejo said that progress has been made in e-government since the review to identify key areas of improvement was conducted in 2010.
Among these are 31 projects costing $117 million endorsed by the EGLF and CIO meetings; 25 e-government projects awarded amounting to $64 million, the launch of e-Darussalam portal and the e-Government Innovation Centre in 2011; the roll out of One Government email; and the participation of 129 EGNC staff and 3,002 civil servants in IT trainings and courses.
However, he stressed that the adoption and usage of ICT in the workplace is still low despite the progress that has been made.
This, he added, was clearly indicated from the usage of Government email and GEMS (Government Employee Management System).
"Statistics from EGNC showed that only 15 per cent of the registered government email accounts are active users," he said.
"While statistics on GEMS absorption rate showed less than 26 per cent of GEMS accounts created for all government employees are used," he added.
He also said that indications in the areas of e-services have also shown a low take-up, where statistics from the EGNC showed that the total users registered with e-Darussalam since its launching in July this year accounted for only 2,014, whereas the number of daily unique visitors logging to the portal as of November was at 5,456.
"Findings showed that although some of the procedures like registrations and submitting applications could be done online, it still requires people to come to the office of the agency to complete the application," he said.
"I don't think technology is the issue. Perhaps, the problem we had were also about people and current processes," he added.
He said that mindsets of the permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries need to be changed from that of 'passive passengers' to 'drivers' on the e-Government transformation for Brunei.
They should take a leadership role, he added.
He said that the permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries are accountable for the success of their Ministries IT programmes.
"For Brunei to climb to the top 40 in the United Nations' global e-Government development rankings, we need to be looking critically at everything we do and learn from what other countries such as Korea, Canada, UK, Bahrain and Singapore have done better than we do," he said.
The e-Government Executive Training Programme for permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries was officially launched yesterday at the Indera Samudera Hall at the Empire Hotel & Country Club, and will be held every Saturday for four consecutive weeks.
Organised by the e-Government Innovation Centre (eG.Inc) of the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) in collaboration with the Prime Minister's Office and the e-Government National Centre (EGNC), the training is aimed to equip permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries from all ministries with relevant knowledge and skills to realise knowledge-based economy (KBE) to respond with the ever-changing ICT.
A statement issued by the eG.Inc said that the training programme focused on key management topics such as Industry Policy for Economic Diversification, with particular emphasis on change management and international attitudes, of which is needed to spearhead the government in a dynamic environment.
"It will provide an arena for thinking of various challenges being found in the areas of governance, public policy, and international society interaction using e-Government as a tool for governance," the statement said.
Yesterday's training was conducted by Dr Un Chan Chung, the former prime minister of South Korea, who shared lessons from the republic's experiences in carrying out its National Development Plans and developing its industries, and Bindu Lohani, vice president of the Asian Development Bank, who discussed development challenges and priorities for Asia as well as his thoughts on Brunei.
The Brunei Times
Sunday, November 27, 2011
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