Technology will improve public sector efficiency, says Paulwell
Observer staff reporter
Thursday, December 13, 2001
WESTERN BUREAU -- Minister of industry, commerce and technology, Philip Paulwell, is convinced that information and communication technologies being set up in the public sector will make that sector more efficient and save the country money.
"We believe that we are going to have a much more efficient and better quality of service from the public service because of information and communication technologies, and we believe that we will achieve substantial cost savings by this greater efficiency," Paulwell told participants at the third Caribbean Ministerial Consultation and High-Level Workshop at the Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay on Tuesday.
He added that information and communication technologies would also bring greater transparency and openness in Government, which will enhance the country's competitiveness.
"Our democracy will also be enhanced by the greater participation of our people in these various areas," Paulwell stated.
He said government has already begun to make important changes in the operations of public sector institutions, in an effort to improve efficiency through a Public Sector Modification Programme.
"The aim is to modernise 17 pilot agencies and three ministries in order to enhance efficiencies and to increase performance and the quality of service provided to the public. Other aspects of the programme include the contracting out of government services where they are better provided by the private sector and the establishment of computer information systems to improve financial and personal management," Paulwell said.
He also disclosed that Government is presently in negotiations with the Inter-American Development Bank to put most of the revenue collection agencies on line by early next year.
"We are looking at Customs, NIS, General Consumption Tax and the National Insurance Agency, and we are confident that the programme will be implemented next year."
According to Paulwell, when the programme is implemented, citizens will be able to pay their taxes without having to travel to town centres.
"The project will also include training for employees and a massive education programme," Paulwell said.