To bring government closer to the people through effective governance, improved service delivery and socio-economic growth so it can become a smart, interactive and well-informed society by promoting collaboration and participation including innovation and learning and an open, transparent and accountable government.
Minister for information and communication technology Hon Timothy Masiu for the first time had gathered all his staff from the Ministry and the Department for an in-house digital transformation workshop to discuss and contribute ideas about the way forward for the ICT sector.
Minister Masiu reminded staff in his opening remarks that transformation starts from within.
‘Since coming into office in October 2019, the Department has seen notable advancement starting with the launching of the ICT Roadmap in November the same year, followed by locating the Ministry and Department in the same building in January 2020, and working on the departments’ new Corporate Plan, Vision, Mission, Organisation restructure and the advancing progress in the Digital Transformation Policy and Bill to follow.’
The Minister believes that just as the Marape-Steven governments’ policy of ‘leaving no children behind’, similarly in digital government transformation journey, we need to make sure we do not ‘leave any staff behind’.
It is about empowering the motivating the public sector employees to engage in major change and innovation by encouraging employees to make suggestions about changes or improvements to processes, systems or programs.’
The policy informs that Digital government is about a citizen centric government that is responsible and responsive, based on strong understanding of the needs of all citizens or people who use and interact with the government. It is about cost-effective and reliable digital e-government services to serve its citizens, business and government service delivery.
Equally important in the transformation process is the idea of empowering public-public partnerships so both can jointly create digital government services and applications that can reduce transaction costs and provide significant savings in performance and in money.
The policy highlights that Digital Government is a major transformation leadership and change management exercise, which must be progressively and systematically implemented, and required strong political will and government stability and consistent funding support. These were some of the key messages resonated in the 3 days’ workshop.
The workshop was also an opportunity to demonstrate to government agencies how future government meetings can be conducted, in line with the new Pandemic Act and guidelines and under digital transformation strategy.
The department is currently driving the use of virtual online meetings in conducting government businesses, supported by our development partners. The workshop has both physical and virtual participants from Port Moresby and abroad as far as United States.
‘The next step of the Policy and Bill formulation is wider stake-holder socialization, and this can be done through virtual online meetings. This way the workshop can accommodate many people who want to attend,’ Minister Masiu said.
We are confident, excited and have learnt from our recent workshop that by using the virtual online meetings is what the government can do in terms of cost saving, quality consultation and shortening of process of policy and legislation formulation, which is necessary in the reforms and leading of digitalizing of other cabinet processes and services.
The last day of the workshop the government initiated an ICT sector dialogue with the ICT services operations including PNG Dataco, Telikom, Bemobile, Digicel and regulator NICTA on infrastructure and services rollouts, and Internet service pricing challenges. This was one of the many ongoing dialogues to watch out for in the future, as start of implementing this digital transformation focus on accessibility and affordable digital services delivery to the citizens especially in the rural areas.
Deputy Prime Minister Hon David Steven was present to open the Dialogue and highlighted that the draft Digital Transformation Policy to now be an agenda of the Marape-Steven Government.
Minister Masiu took the opportunity to express his appreciate to the Department staff and the ICT operators for their contributions to the Covid19 NOC operations, where he is a member to this Ministerial Committee. He has assured the country and the government of his ministry and the department’s support to Covid19 information dissemination and awareness supporting the SOE operation and the National Joint Agency Taskforce in light of recent cases.
The Prime Minister Hon Jame Marape who was passing through took time to close the Dialogue.
Minister Masiu thanked Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Hon Davis Steven for their presence during the workshop and dialogue and also requested the continued support of ICT Operators.