Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Male' Road Project ?

I am not sure how many of you remember the Male' Road Project (cement roads) which paved the roads with concrete then destroyed and replaced with bricks. I am not sure how much money we did spend on this project. Maybe Millions?

Did we not learn from those experiences?. I don't know we are still doing things the same old way. That road project was a big joke, paving the roads was nothing new to the world. We did not have to reinvent the wheel, but we did.

I think the same concept is being applied for the existing e-government project. Where it's obvious that we know that this is not the best approach or the right way. Still we have to do it, the way it's documented 10 years back, since we have invested and have committed.

The sad part is there is no concerns over this. We don't have any proper standards or policies, rather now it's a massive IT project. In my view this is not the ideal approach. It should be more about establishing common standards across government, delivering services more effectively, and providing ways for Ministries to work together using technology.

It is obvious that the public money need to be spent efficiently to improve the service continuously, and e-government is the key. The government should give more priority to this project which I feel is lacking right now. The actual delivery of e-government should be the responsibility of all government Ministries. NCIT should work with government Ministries to achieve the Government's vision for e-government. The NCIT should lead, facilitate and coordinate e-government activities. However I don't know how many individuals know what is this vision or if we really have any; or is it just an idea?.

To transform Maldives towards e-governance there needs to be goals set for the government. These goals should reflect judgments about the key things that need to change at a system-wide level if we are to advance to the overall goal of establishing an e-government in the Maldives. Some of the key dependencies include : Content, Confidence and Connection. These needs to be addressed before we can move on technically. I feel before we move on with the technical implementations of the existing e-government model, we need to revise our visions and objectives of e-governance. Better understand and plan the so called "e-government project". To do so we need to start with the basic fundamentals, like setting up government wide IT standards, etc.

E-government should not be a fashion item; it should be a major step forward in communications that has been accepted internationally. It's not an option. It's important the government helps minimize the time the public and business community spend on transactions with government.

1 comment:

meekaaku said...

I agree. The main task should be to formulate the common standards which are open and non-proprietary. Most of the required standards are already out there and well established. Its just a matter of selecting which ones to use.

I remember a conversation I had about 2 years ago with one of the senior people at NCIT. I casually asked what kind of encryption protocol/algorithms they will be using to secure the communications. And you won't believe the answer. He said it would be the developer's (ie, the singaporean party's) own proprietary algorithm. Security through obscurity. Not sure if they are actually doing it that way now though.