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Monday, 27.05.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001
The misuse of technology is a reality that must be addressed by the Barbados Government.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds, while supporting the Resolution to take note of the Draft E-government Strategy in the Lower House yesterday, brought the example of large companies that might have the capacity to make online transactions that might be traceable or accounted for by the Inland Revenue Department.

As a result, he noted that Inland Revenue would have to be vested with greater investigatory power and reach.

"Not that Government becomes an encroaching "big brother" -- but it is entirely possible for transactions which take place that bring in large sums of income but remain outside the scrutiny of the Inland Revenue," he stated.

In addition, Symmonds saidd that if Barbados is to see itself as a regional information technology centre, then Government has to connect its citizens through modern communication technology and create a framework for that technology. That framework, he said, has to be one where there is both e-governance and e-commerce.

"A built-in agenda is to have in this region an e-commerce protocol so that business people, citizens, consumers, all persons and all entities in CARICOM would be able to seamlessly interface with each other by way of e-commerce transactions. We are therefore speaking about using information technology, making it accessible to all in a way that will advance our economic value as a society and as a group of countries."

"The ultimate of e-government has to be not only the provision of government services and the ability to access those services, but critical there has to be a capacity on the part of the individual because the citizen of Barbados is also the consumer and the consumer must also be able to access the service."

To this end, he lauded Government's initiatives which have led to the creation of community centres across the island. He stressed, however, that more has to be done in order to ensure that every parish has these centres outfitted with the necessary technology, that can be easily accessed by all Barbadians.

"That is what distinguishes us from the rest of the so-called industrialised world. The fact that we are on the wrong side of a digital divide -- our challenge is to create the answer to technological illiteracy."

Symmonds stated that when one speaks about e-government, cost reduction not only in terms of the way Government does its business, but also as it relates to the benefits to the consumer must also be considered.

He added that "going to stand in line in the Licensing Authority and taking an hour to get out of that line is wasting time and time is money. What we are saying (is) that Government must come to a point where it can issue or renew a driver's licence where a citizen does not have to take out or carve out an hour and a half of his day to stand in a line".

Quelle/Source: The Barbados Advocate, 26.07.2006

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