Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Shaw tells ICT agency to fix issues with new funds

Published:Friday | August 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Audley Shaw (left), minister of finance and public service gives a listening ear to Dr Andrew Wheatley, minister of science, energy and technology, before signing the memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Finance and eGov Jamaica Limited at the Ministry of Finance yesterday.

The Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, says eGov Jamaica Limited should use a $171 million cash injection to make it an immediate priority to address its internal challenges so that it can help to boost productivity in Jamaica's public sector.

eGov is a 30-year-old government entity set up to provide information and communications technology services to government ministries, departments, and agencies.

Shaw's ministry and eGov signed an agreement yesterday that will facilitate the entity receiving money from a $4.4 billion loan to Jamaica from the World Bank.

Shaw says the entity must use the additional money to improve its technical capacity, establish an information technology governance framework, and retool.

"Technology is something that is not only a way of life in the world today. We have to be better prepared to use technology to make us more efficient. A key component of all of this is how we can lift the productivity of the public sector, and if you talk about increasing public sector productivity, you cannot do so without talking about e-governance," She said.


Won't see benefits in first year


Herman Athias, CEO of eGov, said members of the public would not see any significant benefits from the new cash injection for at least another year.

He explained that the time would be taken to work on the identified challenges faced by the entity.

"We are looking to get our quality of service up to an 80 percentile position in two years. That, in turn, will have a positive impact on the service that is being delivered by the ministries, agencies, and departments. I don't believe that the public will see the true effect in the first year because most of the work will be looking at the way we do business as an organisation."

Technology Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley also insisted that addressing the internal issues would help to boost eGov's performance.

eGov, formerly Fiscal Services Limited, initially started out providing technology services to the revenue departments to now including the implementation of services for the entire Government.

The entity is getting the $171 million from the loan that falls under the Government's Strategic Public Sector Transformation Project.