JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Parliament is expected to begin deliberations shortly, on the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Authority Bill, which seeks to improve the use of technology across Government.
  • Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, in making the disclosure, said that the provisions will serve to “put all of Government on the same technology platform.”
  • She said that by moving forward with the legislation and embarking on other technology-driven initiatives, the Government is demonstrating that it is “very serious” about putting the society on the path to being a knowledge-based and digital society.

Parliament is expected to begin deliberations shortly, on the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Authority Bill, which seeks to improve the use of technology across Government.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, in making the disclosure, said that the provisions will serve to “put all of Government on the same technology platform.”

She said that by moving forward with the legislation and embarking on other technology-driven initiatives, the Government is demonstrating that it is “very serious” about putting the society on the path to being a knowledge-based and digital society.

Mrs. Williams was speaking at a post-Collision conference debrief at the Canadian High Commission on Waterloo Road, St. Andrew on Wednesday (June 5).

The Bill, which was tabled by Mrs. Williams in Parliament last month, seeks to enable consolidation and delivery of services across Government through a range of modalities; and establish a mechanism for development of the directives, codes, standards and guidelines for the acquisition, use and management of ICTs.

In addition, the legislation aims to equip and retool ICT staff in order to increase the efficiency and productivity of the workforce, and ensure the security and reliability of ICT-related systems and services.

It will also facilitate transfer of the functions of eGov Jamaica Limited and the Office of the Chief Information Officer to the ICT Authority to be established.

Mrs. Williams said the Bill is “a beginning step in putting Government on a single platform,” noting that more services can now be accessed online, with others to come on stream.

The Minister informed that she recently took a Science, Technology and Innovation policy to Cabinet, which will further propel the growth of technology in Jamaica.

“We are hoping that when it gets laid in Parliament and we go through additional public consultation, that this document will be a live document… because we are really interested and serious about growing the technology industry in Jamaica,” she said.

In the meantime, Mrs. Williams was provided with a first-hand account of the experiences, major lessons learnt, and new ideas coming out of the Collision Conference, which took place from May 20 – 23 at the Enercare Centre in Toronto, Canada.

A 17-member delegation, representing 13 local organisations, attended Collision, which is North America’s fastest growing technology festival.

Following the debriefing, Mrs. Williams expressed interest in several of the ideas brought forward, particularly in the areas of sports and cyber security.

“I need you to put on your collective hats to say, how do we come together in a structured way to move (the ideas) forward,” she charged the team.

In her remarks, Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Laurie Peters, said Canada has long been recognised as the “hotbed of technology” and has been dubbed the “silicon valley of the north.”

She noted that best practices and lessons in ICT from Canada can be utilised to the benefit of Jamaica, and to strengthen connections between the countries.