JIS News

The Central Information Technology Office (CITO) will be spending $27 million this financial year to develop a number of projects including the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategy and E-government Plan.
The information is contained in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives recently by Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Phillip Paulwell.
The National ICT Plan will provide for a comprehensive analysis of the capabilities and skills that exist in the country and propose policies, strategies, projects and programmes to achieve critical ICT objectives.
CITO will develop partnerships to implement priority aspects of the plan and secure funding required to support the implementation and sustainability of the plan.
In terms of the E-government Plan, the Ministry Paper said that focus will be placed on building strategies and initiatives, which are aimed at promoting greater access and inclusion of the citizenry.
E-government is defined as the use of ICT for the provision of information and public services to the people. The aim is to provide efficient government management of information, better service delivery and empowerment of the citizenry through access to information and participation in public policy decision-making.
Jamaica was ranked the number one E-government state in the region in the 2004 United Nations Global E-government Readiness Report.
In the meantime, CITO will also be working to establish free and open source software (FOSS) pilots. The project, which came out of a decision by Cabinet to investigate and implement an alternative software to Microsoft, will be carried out in a number of government agencies and Ministries. Upon completion, a comparative analysis will be formulated to assess its effectiveness.
The success of these pilots will reduce the cost of procurement and management of software licences for the government.
CITO also expects to complete further work in the area of web standards, especially in terms of effective promulgation, adoption and compliance.
CITO was established by the government in 2001 to develop a National ICT Strategic Plan that will facilitate the development of an efficient and integrated ICT environment, and increased capacity and capability of the Jamaican people to leverage the opportunities provided by ICT in the global environment.

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