The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) commenced its pilot consultation for a whole-of-government efforts in ICT at the provincial level with a pilot trip to Wewak, East Sepik Province from 21 – 27 September.
Deputy Secretary, Digital Government and Information Delivery, Mr. Russell Woruba, visited the East Sepik Provincial Administration, ESP Provincial Health Authority, EU-STREIT Program and the Passam National High School of Excellence.
The visit was a means of awareness on the implications of the proposed Digital Government Bill which, amongst other things, directed usages of the Government Cloud, development of a Secure Data Exchange, Social Media Management Desk to manage misinformation and how public administration can best utilise the available technologies to improve its operations and deliver services to the citizens.
ESP Administrator Mr. Samson Torovi expressed sincere appreciation for the work carried out by the DICT in following up on the investments under the Integrated Information Government Systems (IGIS) which was a precursor to Digital Government.
Mr Torovi’s vision is for East Sepik to be a leading province in terms of ICT delivery for its government business.
The trip was envisaged as DICT’s first at sub-national level to cause the uptake of digital government initiatives currently implemented at national government level.
“There are foreseeable challenges in implementing digital government as standards, directions and coordinating within the ICT sector has been non-existent in the past”, Deputy Secretary Woruba stated.
“However, with the Digital Government Bill, DICT will now be the ICT Manager for Government which will coordinate and maximise the ICT investments, set standards, and elevate ICT within Government from merely transactional status to one that is strategic in delivering Government policy directive even at provincial and district level where the challenges are real.”
DICT will be working with the ESPA towards an MoU to provide technical assistance in terms of developing an ICT Strategy and implementation plan for hosting its Integrated HR Information System and others applications on the Govt Cloud, advisory on infrastructure development, cybersecurity protection for end points, and upskilling of ICT staff through ongoing online training.
Other meetings held included those with the Divine Word University’s Kaindi Campus, Brandi Secondary School and Passam National High School of Excellence ICT Strategies.
The current EU-STREIT program will also envisage strengthening ongoing efforts in growing ICT entrepreneurs, and developing solutions along the vanilla, cocoa and fisheries value chain.
The visit has come as a fitting tribute from DICT to the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare, who as Prime Minister approved initial Digital Government endeavours and the late Sir Peter Lus, who was emotionally farewelled during the Independence celebrations in Maprik that week.