Business Times

E-government policy reduces public inconvenience

By Chanaka de Silva

The e-government policy to be implemented through the Secretaries, Additional Secretaries, Chief Innovative Officers is for the convenience of the public, a top official said this week. “A properly-maintained database makes people’s life simple and comfortable,” said Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga addressing the National Conference on ICT policy for the government, held at the Ceylon Continental Hotel last Saturday. The Secretary said that the foreign countries including ICT giant India had a lot of praise for Sri Lanka’s ICT achievements, the world awards won and Sri Lanka’s flagship project namely the Government Information Centre (1919).

It was stated that several countries were keen in emulating some of Sri Lanka’s projects and adopting them to suit their countries. These included the Government Information Centre and the Lanka Government Network which links all government institutions. Mr Weeratunga said that in a particular instance ‘1919’ ( the government hot-line providing information to the public on a 24x7 basis) had saved him from embarrassment. It was pointed out to him that when a particular Sri Lankan government institution’s website was accessed it was found not to have been updated. However the service provided by 1919 was able to compensate for the shortcomings of the website.

The Secretary said that the excellence of one project was no excuse for imperfections in other projects and he would request secretaries of all ministries to ensure that the websites of their ministries are updated regularly.

Giving a comprehensive overview of the legal framework of the e-government policy Attorney General Mohan Peiris said that ICT would turn the course of history if ‘we would be bold enough to make use of the e-government policy’.

Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath said that the enactment of the Computer Crimes Act No.24 of 2007 is an effective tool in the prevention of computer related crimes. “In the fast changing ICT environment the Computer Crimes Act provides a safeguard for all those who use it,” he said.
The event was attended by over 70 top officials comprising Secretaries, Additional Secretaries of ministries and their chief innovative officers.

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