The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GoRTT) must find ways to meet citizens’ needs even though it is operating in a difficult economic environment which demands both public restraint and greater efficiency.
The Minister of Public Administration and Communications, the Honourable Maxie Cuffie made these comments while participating this morning in a panel discussion titled "Digital Government as a Transformation Tool" in Chile.
He referenced the IDB study done last year in Trinidad and Tobago and five (5) other Latin American countries on the quality of service and citizen satisfaction which identified a number of areas that require improvements such as making appointments at public hospitals and registering children in schools. The Minister believes that technology could be used to bring about these kinds of changes.
He said the IDB study not only called for greater use of ICT in delivering public services but it showed that citizens are clamouring for this. The Minister gave the undertaking that the Trinidad and Tobago government is moving in this direction with initiatives such as GenTax that allows the online payment of taxes.
According to him the private sector led e-Business Roundtable also provides an example of private public partnerships (PPP) through which the GoRTT can get input from the business community and academia.
The Minister is among more than fifty ministers and industry experts who are discussing the lessons learned, trends and regional perspectives in the use of technology as a cross-cutting tool to place the state at the service of citizens.
Twenty three (23) Latin American and Caribbean countries, and representatives of Korea, Spain, Estonia and the United Kingdom, multilateral agencies and international experts are meeting at the IV Ministerial Meeting on Electronic Government in Latin America and the Caribbean and the 10th Annual Meeting of the Gealc Network, co-organized by the Chile Government, the Organization of American States (OAS) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The Annual Assembly of Gealc Network will approve Annual Work Plans for Digital Government in the region for next year, as well as elect new members and issue the Declaration of Santiago.
Gealc Network (acronym in Spanish of Electronic Government of Latin America and the Caribbean) is an initiative of American countries supported by the OAS and IDB. The Gealc Network has been built as a mechanism of systemic horizontal technical cooperation in order to promote, multiply, strengthen and streamline interchanges to develop, spread and implement best practices in electronic government supporting institutional development processes and their advances in the region.
The meeting began earlier today in Santiago and ends tomorrow, December 2nd.