Singapore expertise sought to expedite Household Transfer Management Project
Sri Lanka is seeking Singapore expertise in expediting the implementation of the Household Transfer Management Project (HTM) with the aim of introducing a National Digital Identity (NDI), which will ensure that all financial and non-financial digital transactions are conducted in a transparent but secure manner.
The Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Ministry Secretary has been directed by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) to discuss with the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore to get down two independent consultants from Singapore to study the specifications and assist in the evaluation of bids for the selection of suitable parties for the procurement of necessary inputs towards the implementation of the project.
The proposed project will be implemented by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).
It is over one year since inviting for bids to select eligible and qualified bidders for various sections of the project. The Cabinet appointed Procurement Committee (CAPC) and Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) have been unable to arrive at a decision on suitable bidders, official sources revealed.
Seven international bidders have submitted bids last year for the procurement of designing, developing, supplying, delivery, installing and implementing the software hardware and infrastructure for generating digital identity for citizens of Sri Lanka and for the Household Transfer Management (HTM) system.
But the CAPC and TEC came to a conclusion that all those bidders have failed to fulfill the tender evaluation criteria and decided not to award the tender to any of them, a senior official of the ministry said. The NDI will have a unique number in all other relevant data bases namely â€“ passports, tax file, customs documents, vehicle registration, voter registers, welfare registers, bank data bases, utility bills, etc, official sources said.
Apart from using it to enhance tax collections, it can also serve to regularise various other systems such as welfare payments which will help reduce corruption, delays, waste and enhance efficiency. Two committees were set up to formulate a national policy on collection, storage, sharing and use of citizensâ€™ personal data and to ensure the proper governance process for the proper implementation of the HTM project.
The governmentâ€™s digital strategy includes the introduction of the National Payment Platform (NPP) enabling the public to transfer funds from any of their bank accounts through the mobile phone for the payment of goods and services using their NDI. The NPP will bring in savings for the government by increasing efficiency thereby reducing cash movement and the cash float in the market.