Another goal under the Barrow administration is to move swiftly towards E-Governance. Prime Minister Barrow says the ideal is to have the public systems digitized. This, he says, will aid in having payments, bills and files organized and online.
“But perhaps the most ambitious initiative underway, which will give force to the ingredients both of speed and honesty necessary for the proper conduct of public business, is our Digital e-Government Crusade. Unlike previous attempts to apply ICT technology and systems to the processes of governance, the program underway, spearheaded from the OPM and led by a manager with CEO rank, will retain proven, world-class specialists to revamp everything from the manner in which taxes are assessed and paid, to the compilation and filing of land folio accounts, to the issuance of permits and licenses. Augmenting the Taiwanese-funded advances achieved at the Central Information Technology Office (CITO), Government is engaging of Microsoft to guide the all-out conversion to digital government. System-wide digitization, we are convinced, once implemented to a break-out point, can effectively reverse the concerning levels of dishonesty afflicting not just the public services but the wider society. Technology offers core advantages such as automation, human-free processes, visibility and access to information, and traceable enforcement. India, the world’s second most populous democracy and a vast nation whose governance traditions we share, is but one current and glimmering exemplar of how digitization is enhancing mass-scale service delivery, while rooting out dishonesty. With astonishing results, that country is in the final year of a US$150b campaign to combat corruption with e-government and digitization tools.”
Three hot-button areas that will be placed on the network for the Central Information Technology Office (CITO) are Customs, Immigration and Lands Departments.
“The start we have already made here at home has seen the completion of arrangements for the relocation of the ASYCUDA servers from Customs to CITO’s hosting facility in Belmopan. The Ministry of Natural Resources ICT system, and responsibility for its administration, will also be transferred to CITO. We as well wish to bring Immigration on to CITO’s network, but this must await finalization of new premises for the Department.”
The Central Information Technology Office (CITO) was established in 2004 from the Belmopan Computer Centre.