JIS News

The operations and activities of the nation's Parliament are one step closer to being transformed, through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, has disclosed that the Ministry has received a formal submission and accompanying budget from the Clerk of the Houses of Parliament for the project’s consideration.

The Minister was addressing the inaugural annual LIME Government Forum, at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel on October 30.

Mr. Paulwell pointed out that implementation of the initiative will result in a significant reduction, if not total elimination, of the large volume of paper currently used to conduct the business of Parliament, especially during sittings.

This will be achieved through the procurement of computers, such as laptops and tablets, among other applications, which will be available to parliamentarians for their use. This will enable them to access information, including the full presentations of each day’s sittings, which will be posted on the parliament’s website.

"Very shortly the Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Fund (USF) will be looking at the (project)," the Minister said.

The USF, formerly the Universal Access Fund Limited (UAF), is the Technology Ministry’s agency which facilitates universal access to the country's ICT platform through financing of the requisite applications which accelerate the deployment of broadband services islandwide. Funding for the undertaking is derived from a levy collected from service providers, on incoming international calls terminating in Jamaica. 

"We are going to enable members, who wish to take it up, to borrow these devices from the Parliament, so that they can access the information that is stored. Over time, you are going to see the reduction of all that massive paperwork, much of which remains behind after each sitting, because it’s just too much for people to struggle with,” Mr. Paulwell said.

"Technology allows us the option of streamlined document storage, transfer and retrieval, and we need to take advantage of that," he emphasised.

The forum, held under the theme: ‘Solutions that Enable Public Sector Transformation’, was hosted by LIME to engage government and information technology in dialogue  as well as provide insight and demonstrations on the solutions which can, among other things, enhance the public sector’s provisions.