PUBLIC Administration Minister Allyson West said digital transformation in the public service was happening in silos.
She was contributing to the budget debate in the Senate on Friday.
“Members of the public continue to complain about services in the public sector because transformations happen in silos. They are not taking advantage of economies of sale. Every time you go for a service at a ministry you have to establish who you are and bring documentation.”
She said this is why Government opted to introduce the e-identity (through her ministry) which allows people to be easily recognised by any government service. She explained this will allow the public sector to be more proactive in supplying needs.
“They are known before you ask.”
She gave the example of the Social Development Ministry not having to wait for a baby to be born with a birth defect and the parents come in to make an application.
“The relevant information will be made available to all service providers. The state agency charged with the responsibility for the child will be advised the need exists.”
She also explained the difference between digitisation and digitalisation. She explained digitisation was about converting hard copy records into soft copy records while digitalisation was use of technology and digitised records to affect how things get done and how people are served.
“It is not just turning hard copies to soft copies but re-engineering with the citizen in mind.”
West said countries that have implemented digitalisation have adopted a philosophy where there is “no wrong door” and whatever government building someone enters their needs can be met there. She said her ministry was putting the right hardware and software in place for storage and for access between agencies.
She also said an exercise was being done to ascertain the current gap in broadband coverage. She reported the last survey was done in 2013 and the Telecommunications Authority of TT and the Central Statistical Office was scheduled to return to the ministry and inform them of the current gaps in broadband coverage.
West responded to Opposition Senator Wade Mark who went on quite a bit on the state of the economy.
“I want to remind him we are in middle of pandemic and it is having deleterious impact not only health but also on economies.”
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