The Federal Government is upbeat about these new opportunities and by the end of August this year they are hoping to complete a comprehensive audit of the current internal telecommunications systems.
This is all part of the Administration’s initiatives to establish a Government Wide
Area Network, (GWAN), in order to facilitate greater efficiency and enhance global competitiveness, said a Government release.
In order to commence operations and guide the process, the Government has contracted the services of Mr. Nigel Cassimire, a Consulting Telecommunications Specialist with the
Caribbean Telecommunications Union, (CTU).
Another objective of the project, according to the Minister responsible for Information Technology Mr. Glenn Phillip, is the implementation of Government’s I-Literacy initiative, which provides laptops to high school students and teachers. Phillip is of the view that the laptop program will be boosted if the GWAN initiative is successfully implemented.
“They will need to interact, not only with educational services, but [learn about] the function and role of Government,” he stated, while also citing plans to increase e-Government services and offer Voice -Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services. “These services cannot be instituted in a meaningful way unless we have a serious interface network and this is part of what the [technical] audit will tell us as we look forward to the future,” Minister Phillip stressed.
The CTU consultant however is very optimistic about the benefits of GWAN, and he is reported to have advised government that the GWAN is an effective tool as it would essentially connect all of Government’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) operations and services.
Mr. Cassimire explained, “The more that we facilitate the interworking of Government, the more we make it easier for citizens and businesses to interface with Government, while noting that Ministries and Departments must work together to simplify processes.
“If we had an integrated network within the Government, we can make it easy and maybe even pleasurable, to deliver those services,” Mr. Cassimire stressed. He added that a business-friendly and less bureaucratic environment will be beneficial when dealing with international matters and foreign investments.
Upon the completion of their assignment in August this year, the CTU team, which also includes Business Development and Operations Manager, Rodney Taylor, is expected to submit its recommendations to the Government for its consideration.