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The newly established Ministry of Digital Transformation is expected to accelerate the country’s transformation process post covid19 with the target to enhance the efficiency of government operations.

On Monday the Prime Minister announced the split of the Ministry of Public Administration and Digital Transformation into two ministries. Allyson West will continue to head the Public Administration Ministry and Hassel Bacchus, who served as a minister under the previous ministry, has been appointed as Minister of Digital Transformation.

Newsday was unable to reach Bacchus, but Minister of Communications Symon de Nobriga explained the creation of the new ministry is “part of government’s transformation process and the fact that we understand we have to accelerate the pace in which we revive that process.

“The Ministry of Public Administration is very broad so it was more efficient to create a standalone ministry where Bacchus would have the resources of a full ministry behind him targeted solely to the process of the digital and the transformation process."

While he was unable to say just yet the logistics of creating the new ministry, De Nobriga said both ministries would move full speed ahead with their work as the details are being ironed out.

De Nobriga said the focus of shift is to put more effort into thinking digital.

The location of the new ministry will be announced soon.

“I think the process of digital transformation, like everything else, has been affected by covid19. It has tested our ability to move things forward as a government. The government has had to focus on a whole host of issues that are covid19 related in terms of our social intervention, in terms of education. While we are committed to the process we have to be honest and say we must accelerate the process now especially with the arrival of more vaccines and as we prepare for the reopening of more of our sectors.

The first target is sensitising the public and getting everyone familiar with using platforms. “We shouldn’t be thinking of a timeline, we should be thinking of phases that will bring us to the digital stage we need to be at.”

Over the past year, the government, particularly the Ministries of Education, National Security, Social Development and Finance as well as the Judiciary, has had to challenge its self through the creation of an online platform to facilitate online learning, payments of fine and social assistance. There were challenges associated with the transition of these platforms where some of them crashed with the heavy online traffic.

This move follows several mentions by the Prime Minister on the development of a digital platform that would assist with the growth of the economy.

In July 2020, during a press conference, Dr Rowley said "By 2022 TT will be clearly a digital nation." He made this comment after promising to create jobs for tech-savvy youngsters as he vowed to transform TT into a digital nation.

Even before the pandemic Rowley, in his feature Address at UTT’s Second Annual Research Symposium spoke of “incorporating and embracing digital transformation in an era of modernity.”

Up to last Saturday Rowley also touch on the importance of turning the focus on establishing a robust digital system for the country.

Also, last August Amcham called on the government to digital transformation top priority.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Elizabeth Gonzales

Quelle/Source: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, 14.07.2021

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