The e-government drive is moving forward full throttle as Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Hon. Marlon Penn announced that the electronic features of the government service will move forward with the automation of some Labour and Immigration Departments.
While speaking on the NDP radio program on Monday 19 March Hon. Penn announced that the automation at the Labour and Immigration Departments is a needed and timely phase in the e-government vision.
In providing an update the Junior Minister said: “We are now assiduously working on amalgamating the Labour and Immigration processes … That is envisaged to [be]online by early April. Persons could schedule, attach their documents that are necessary for clearance, attach the Labour and Immigration documents, or have that process be addressed simultaneously.”
Virtual Public Service
In 2015 phase one of the promised e-Government service was launched with the unveiling of a new revamped government website that is a portal to all government services. However, many who have waited anxiously for e-Government services such as online payments were told that they had to wait a little longer as it was mentioned that such service will be provided in the second phase of the upgrade.
Since then hurricanes Irma and Maria amplified the need for online services. Hon. Penn who is the Chair of the e-Government steering committee announced on Monday that someone is offering to create the platform needed for the e-government services.
The Junior Minister announced: “We were blessed with a donor who actually came forward and wants to donate the programing aspect of our e-government platform. We are now vetting that proposal, with a view of possibly taking him up on that whole offer and that would be a savings of approximately $10M if we are able to get the entire e-government suite built out from this developer. We are also grateful for all those persons who have come forward since the storm to assist us with these process of deploying e-government throughout the public service.”
The need to speed up the e-government process was mentioned by Premier Smith in the 19 March budget address during which the BVI Leader mentioned that the government embarked on an ambitious programme of modernization within the Immigration Department and that an aggressive e-Government effort is expected in concert with the public sector reform initiative.