July 28, 2011
July 28, 2011
The government unveiled its new $10.2 million online portal yesterday , which it says will streamline services and make doing business in The Bahamas more efficient.
“Today marks a very significant milestone in The Bahamas,” Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham told attendees at the website’s official launch, held at the Sheraton Hotel, Cable Beach.
“We are moving government services from the counter only to the computer screen also. This is a fundamental change that will have tremendous benefits for the entire country,” he continued. “Improved responsiveness is critical to building a more effective public service.”
The new portal has brought several functions online, including enabling the online payment of property taxes, renewal of driver’s licences and allowing government suppliers to track payments issued by the Treasury Department.
Additional services will be available online later this year and by June 2012 the government hopes users will be able to renew work permits and make passport and work permit applications from the site.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Zhivargo Laing commented: “Technology can make us more productive, more efficient, more effective and more competitive. It can make us more prosperous and more affluent.
“It will ultimately make us all better off.”
The portal is the result of a collaboration between the Finance Ministry and IDA International–the government of Singapore’s technology subsidiary. IDA consultants arrived in The Bahamas early in 2010 to undertake a six-month study of the country’s technological capability and make recommendations to improve online services.
Since the project was officially launched in November last year, the government has established an Information Technology Dept to manage the new website and, according to Financial Secretary Ehurd Cunningham, it intends to develop the revamped government site even further. “The completion of this project is not the end. E-government for The Bahamas is only just beginning,” he said.