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Jamaica has recorded significant successes in the deployment of e-government services and remains the leader in the Caribbean in this area.
Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Phillip Paulwell, made this point while speaking at the recent 28th Anniversary and Charitable Presentation Ceremony of the Independent United Order of Solomon in Toronto, Canada,He cited the e-payment system at Jamaica Customs, the National Land Agency, the Companies Office of Jamaica, which allows online access to registration forms, the Registrar General’s Department, and the Inland Revenue Department’s tax payment portal, all of which have contributed to revolutionising the public sector.
“Today we are moving from a low tech to a relatively more high tech environment. We are moving to the next level, where e-government is not only viewed as moving existing public services online, but where the emphasis will be on joined up, online government services. We are ensuring that the necessary infrastructures are available for the creation and development of a knowledge-based society,” Mr. Paulwell told the audience.
The Minister said the goal was for every Jamaican to have access to broadband technology and to have faster and cheaper access to the Internet.
“We have laid the basis for developing Jamaica into a major technology and knowledge hub. Our vision now is to be the leading centre for Information and Communications Technology,” he stated.
Mr. Paulwell used the opportunity to call on Jamaicans in the Diaspora to contribute to the island’s development. “The Jamaican Diaspora has made seminal contributions to the development of many areas in their adopted countries – education, science and technology, research, business, representational politics, sports, academia, the service industry, and the arts. We invite you now to make similar contributions to Jamaica in these and other sectors,” he said.
Minister Paulwell also congratulated the Independent United Order of Solomon on “28 years of sterling service to the Canadian, the West Indian and indeed the world community. You have impacted thousands of lives through your contributions of medical equipment, scholarships and other donations”.
At the function, more than Cdn$22,000 in scholarship awards was presented to 10 students. These included seven third-year medical students from the University of the West Indies (Mona campus) and three third-year students from the University of Toronto. Medical equipment was also donated to organisations.