Minister of Economic Affairs Dr. David Estwick??

Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. David Estwick, is urging the Information Society of Barbados (ISB) to assist government in its quest to improve information management across the public sector.

He made this observation recently, while addressing a celebratory dinner in honour of Central Bank Governor and past president of the ISB, Dr. Delisle Worrell, at Hilton Barbados.

Dr Estwick lauded the ISB for its efforts in uniting users of information in all spheres of endeavours as was evidenced when the organisation partnered with the Ministry, to host a series of town hall meetings to promote the importance of information communication technologies (ICTs).???????? "It is my view that associations such as yours can make a significant contribution to the development and use of ICTs in the local economy.?? Organisations such as the ISB have a role to play not only in information management, but as lobbyists in effecting a change of attitude to the use of ICTs, in the public and private sectors," he added.

Cognisant of the crucial role ICTs will play to enhance the island’s competitiveness in the global market, Dr. Estwick outlined government’s plans to help the island achieve this.

As part of this strategy, he alluded to the proposed National ICT Plan which had already received Cabinet approval.?? He noted that the paper, aimed at developing an ICT literate society, would allow citizens to participate in the ISB by promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the island, that would lead to easy access to ICTs across the island.

The plan also seeks to position Barbados as a competitive jurisdiction; transform the public and business sectors to an e-environment; and facilitate the continuity of governance in national disasters.

"The use of ICTs within the public sector is being actively promoted as a catalyst which will serve to stimulate productivity and competiveness and to respond to the increasing adoption of technology-based systems by the business community," Dr. Estwick remarked.

The Economic Affairs Minister also pointed to the benefits of the e-government programme. "The goals of Barbados e-government programme are better delivery services to citizens and businesses; greater productivity and efficiency in the operations of government agencies and greater transparency and governance through broadening public participation in the governmental process." jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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