Long lines and slow transaction processes at state offices may soon be a thing of the past as government prepares to invest millions into a digital transformation initiative that will usher in the conveniences of e-governance.
“Budget 2022 allocates $10.8 million to the Caribbean Digital Transformation Project, as a precursor to over $50 million in expenditure over the 2023-24 period. The entire project is designed to enable digital government, digitise specific priority services, fill infrastructural gaps and place citizens at the centre of the transformation process,” finance minister, Camillo Gonsalves said during his Budget Address on Monday. “We intend that the benefits of this digital transformation will be tangible and felt to the average Vincentian in ways that will improve how they do business, access information, and interact with the Government.”
The Digital Transformation project is a regional US$94 million project involving the OECS Secretariat, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
It is structured to create an enabling environment; build digital government infrastructure, platforms and services; and enable digital skills and technology adoption.
And the finance minister said that his government’s belief in the potential of this project is such that they are investing US$30 million into it — the largest allocation among the participating countries.
For the average Vincentian, a digital transformation will manifest itself in several ways.
“It means that you will be able to search land titles and register deeds digitally and affordably. It means that businesses will seamlessly pay for and clear imported goods through a technologically enhanced customs process. It means that e-Payment and e-Taxes will become a practical reality. It means that Vincentians will be able to interact with their government digitally, through a single e-Government portal, to register births and deaths, receive copies of official documents like birth certificates or deeds, report problems or lodge complaints, renew passports and driver’s licences, pay taxes and fines, and have personal data securely linked to a unique, individual ID number,” Gonsalves said.
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