Minister for Public Works, Public Utilities and Digital Economy, Fidel Grant has announced that a new and improved government services website will be made live soon.
He made the disclosure during a press briefing this week.
“This website will provide seamless access to the respective ministries including forms presently in hard copy that will be available online and the relevant payments can be made via government portal,” he said.
Grant also spoke on the implementation of the hospital management system which will be used to connect the hospital and the Health and Wellness Centres.
“Once the system is operational there will be connectivity across the country, so the Health and Wellness Centres and the hospital will be connected,” he explained.
Grant continued, “A patient will be able to access his or her medical records anywhere in the country using a unique identification number.”
Furthermore, he explained that medical staff will be connected and can use the medium to get support from each other.
This he said will transform health services with the aim to make the sector more efficient and more effective.
“To put it simply, we will be moving away from what Dominicans call the doctor book into a more efficient system,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Grant disclosed that recently the government secured funding from the World Bank in the amount of just over EC$76 million to support the implementation of Dominica’s digital strategy.
This digital transformation is expected to modernize the way business is done in Dominica and will ensure that the public sector delivers services to its citizens and industries in Dominica, and create an environment where young people can be innovative and create sustainable jobs for themselves.
“Under component one of this project we would start with the focus on legal and regulatory framework to institutions, reform consistency with global best practice to support the modernization of telecommunications and the digital financial services sector while mitigating against growing risk of the digital economy including cyber security, data protection, and privacy,” the minister explained.
Component two which he said deals with digital government infrastructure and platform services will support public sector modernization, resilience, and delivery of digital public services to individuals and businesses.
“It will aim to ensure that Dominica has put in place the core infrastructure and platforms, institution and human capacity needed to efficiently and effectively manage internal government operations,” he noted. “For example, public goods will be widely accessible online wherever you are in the country, region, or across the globe.”
According to Grant, “We will have access to data and information across borders to smooth administration of regional trade, immigration, and other services.”
He added, “We will have the ability to rapidly target and deliver payments and social services to citizens and businesses in the event of a natural disaster.”
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Please. There are readymade systems used by govts and companies globally. Google has a great system that’s ready to go. Western govts even use their system.
Not good enough for this CM. He needs to reinvent the wheel yet again and use it in his daily propaganda in order to finally convince us all that he is the best thing since sliced bread. Or is he just desperately trying to justify those huge bonuses he awarded himself over the years.
It’s about time.
Such an integrated multi-purpose online repository sounds good in theory; however, any such cyber based venture requires an interconnected multi-tiered IT platform with specialized professional support.
Pulling off such a challenging, complex and resource intensive project will require alot more capital than the proposed ECD $76 million to roll-out.
Aside from today’s exhorbitant IT consultation costs, the expenditures for hardware, software, network, cyber secutity and Help Desk specialists may not yield the expected returns on investments.
In a nutshell, you provided some “whats” but need to be more forthcoming on the “how and how much”.
I disagree. Expertise will be expensive (as with any technical project) but our user-base is very small. Nothing highlighted here is ground-breaking, these are problems which have long been solved. If done properly and with the private sector in mind the returns will far exceed $76 million.
I will point out the unacceptable lack of digital financial resources available. In order to accept card payments online within Dominica, one must go through the banks, and wait months to sign-on as an E-commerce merchant. After that you are subject to 6% fees on your transactions, yet people wonder why businesses keep using mo-banking or cash. Improvements here alone will increase productivity significantly.
These projections are impressive. However, in reality the on-the-ground IT situation is appalling.
DOMLEC struggles to get their online payment portal working 24/7 and the Office of Disaster Management contact number – as given on their website – is out of date.
To get an email response from government departments, and in particular Fidel Grant’s own Ministry, is nigh impossible.
When I raise these failings with management, I am given the impression that it is me being troublesome.