JIS News

As government moves to make its services available to the public online, efforts are now being made to allow Jamaicans to have greater access to their Members of Parliament (MPs) via the Internet.
In an interview with JIS News, Head of the government’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project, Richard Gordon said that “Parliament will be hooked up to a high speed net, so that all Parliamentarians (will have) their own e-mail addresses”.
The initiative, he pointed out, was being done in collaboration with Cable and Wireless.
He also said that a wireless system would be installed in Parliament, so that MPs or visitors to who have laptops that are wireless-enabled, would be able to log on to the Internet.
According to Mr. Gordon, Commerce, Science and Technology Minister, Phillip Paulwell tabled a motion for permission to install the wireless system in the Chamber as well.
“Every Parliamentarian from the West to the East, will be online,” he stated, adding that it would allow them to receive e-mail from their constituents and to be kept abreast of activities taking place in their constituencies.
The ICT Project Officer envisioned that with a secured infrastructure, delegates to international conferences might be able to communicate with Parliament and exchange confidential documents in order to make important and timely decisions.
He pointed out that this was the case with first world delegates at international conferences. “They are exchanging confidential documents with their governments, updating it and sending it back, making proposals and adjusting the proposals, while delegates from the developing countries are using faxes and archaic systems or maybe they have to go back to their countries to have dialogue before they can come with a new position,” he added.
Mr. Gordon pointed out that the ICT project aimed to put in place the same kind of facility as existed in the developed world, which would ensure ease of communication over a secured environment.
He said that a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which was currently being developed, would allow users to encrypt their documents and to add their electronic signatures in order to ensure the safety of confidential documents over the Internet.

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