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BAHAMAS: Digitization IDB Loan – Welcome Remarks – Senator Kwasi Thompson

#Freeport, April 9, 2019 – Bahamas

REMARKS AND WELCOME

SEN. J. KWASI THOMPSON, MIN. OF STATE FOR GRAND BAHAMA

For the

SIGNING CEREMONY

THE INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK LOANS

“GOVERNMENT DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION TO STRENGTHEN COMPETITIVENESS”

and

“THE CONTINGENT LOAN FOR NATURAL DISASTERS”

Ballroom A, Melià Nassau Resort

Monday, 8 April 2019

Prime Minister the Most Honorable Dr. Hubert Minnis, Cabinet Colleagues, Senior Government Officials, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to extend to you all a very warm welcome on behalf of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Government of the Bahamas and to say how grateful we are that you have accepted our invitation to attend today’s signing of two very important IDB loans namely the “Government Digital Transformation to Strengthen Competitiveness” and “The Contingent Loan for Natural Disasters”.

The Government has begun to heighten the role of Information Communication and technology or ICTs as a national priority underpinning the further development of the Bahamas. Embracing ICTs will not only serve as the mechanism for our economic resurgence and social development but also by creating much needed future growth.

The Government has begun plans to transform Grand Bahama as a Tech Hub for not just the country but the region. However, if we are to realize this goal we as a Government must first change the way we do business. We cannot expect a national digital revolution to take place if the Government is not prepared to embrace is own digital transformation.

This Government’s commitment to embracing ICTs is therefore evident by today’s signing which will continue the ongoing transformation of the Public Service. 

We must improve the digital infrastructure and capacity within the public service to provide improved levels of customer service efficiency, transparency and accountability. I am truly excited that Today we move one step closer to establishing the new digital workflows that will redefine the way the Government does business with the public.

 This Government has established a Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister whose mandate is to transform the Public Service.

The goal of the National Digitization Project for Government services: “e-Bahamas 242: Making Government Work for You” is simply to better connect Government to the people by reducing time, frustration, and cost. The goal will be achieved by adhering to the following guiding principles some of which are being introduced for the first time.

1. A Single message and theme of Government working for you, the people.

2. Use of Simple Single window facility through which we can access services 24hrs a day.

3. Interoperability for transporting data securely between the relevant agencies and the user or citizen;    

4. Strong Cybersecurity

5. Once only concept enshrined in legislation that once one Government agency has the information no other agency can ask for it;

6. Data ownership in which your personal data is owned by you and you can see who is looking at it;

7. Public Awareness and Education for the preparation of citizens and public officers.

Ladies and Gentlemen

We are particularly pleased to welcome Mr. Luis Alberto

Moreno President, Inter-American Development Bank.

 What is equally as important to what we are doing is why we are doing this.

It is no secret that The Prime Minister has a passion for people especially the poor and underprivileged. It is therefore no surprise that he has not only been a supporter of this digital transformation but the chief driver. He has ushered in a new wave of trust, transparency and accountability in government and is truly focused on better connecting with people.

And we are all looking forward to the Prime Minister’s Digital Transformation Charge to country.

I close with these words on E-Government. “E-governance is easy governance, effective governance, and also economic governance. E-governance paves the way for good governance.”

Thank you and once again Welcome!

Remarks by Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson.

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