Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and hSenid Joint Venture comprising hSenid Business Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd., Respere Lanka Pvt. Ltd. and WSO2 Inc. embarked on a software development of the eLocal Government (eLG) project recently.
The project aims at making the service by the Local Government Authorities more people-friendly, more effective and more efficient through the use of ICT. The launch took place at ICTA with ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura and representatives of the three companies constituting hSenid Joint Venture signing the relevant contract.
Questions addressed by ‘eLocal Government Project’
The project called the ‘eLocal Government Project’ asks the question "Do people face problems in obtaining the services the Local Government Authorities are expected to deliver to the people? Are the current 330 Local Authorities in Sri Lanka delivering efficiently the service they are entrusted with?" The project looks at the services of the 18 Municipal Councils, 42 Urban Councils and 270 Pradeshiya Sabhas in the island.
The services they are expected to perform consist of four types of primary healthcare, public thoroughfare and community development and public utility services.
The project will consider the services expected to be rendered under the above main heads. Under primary healthcare Local Authorities (LAA) act as the public health authority, manage solid waste, maintain the drainage system, rationalise latrines and accommodations; Under healthcare the LAA also provide conservancy and scavenging services, prevent insanitary buildings and nuisances etc. The public thoroughfare service is divided into maintenance and repair, service in connection with buildings along thoroughfare, action against damages to thoroughfare and utilisation of thoroughfare for special purposes. Community development has the following heads: pre-schools, libraries, and livelihood development. Public utilities are divided into: water supply, markets and fairs and playgrounds and children’s parks.
The Local Government Authorities (LAA) also handle the preservation and development of environment and revenue management. Rates and taxes and assessment of properties come under revenue management. It has been found that over the years there have been serious problems in connection with the local authorities. This poor service delivery and socio-economic contribution is considered to be due to ineffective and inefficient governance. The situation is further spelled out and the following problems have been found to exist in the local authorities: lack of facilitation towards a meaningful democratic representation, lack of an effective data management system, lack of public confidence in Local Government, lack of civil society participation, obsolete systems and inefficient resource and revenue management and the lack of accountability and responsiveness in service delivery.
The ‘eLG project’ has been proposed to address these problems. It envisages developing and implementing ICT based solutions which can be freely deployed at all LAA to meet their generic requirements. These requirements include increasing the efficiency and effectiveness in governance, assuring citizen-friendly delivery of services by improving social accountability and transparency, enhancement of social inclusiveness and access to opportunities. Among other such ICT based solutions are the strengthening of the revenue base of the LGA, encouragement of participatory good governance and improved management in socio-economic development orientations.
GPR System Study and fivefold processes
To support this objective of the organisations concerned ICTA has already completed a Government Process Re-Engineering (GPR) and System Study and prioritised five critical processes. These processes would be interacting with the citizens most and provide better services. The following are the five prioritised processes: (A) Collection of Regular Revenue Receivable to the LAA, (B) Issuing of Certificates and Licences, (C) Providing Regular Services to the Public, (D) Complaint/Objection Management, (E) Capturing and Updating of Land Information
Two phases – Negombo, Homagama, Seethaawaka in second phase
Currently the hSenid Joint Venture is engaged in developing the ICT solution for the first two processes only as the first phase of the project. The software being developed is expected to pilot run at the Pilot Sites, namely, the Negombo Municipal Council, Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha and Seethawaka Urban Council during the second quarter of 2013.
Caption (eLMIG 2173)
(From left) ICTA Re-engineering Government Programme Director Wasantha Deshapriya, Lanka Government Information Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. Chairman and ICTA Board Member Ravi Senanayake, ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura, hShenid CEO Dinesh B. Saparamadu, WSO2 Founder, Chairman and CEO Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, Respere Lanka Pvt. Ltd. CEO Pradeeper Dharmenda, hSenid Business Solutions Director / General Manager Sampath Jayasundara and ICTA Re-engineering Government Senior Project Manager Thusha Mukunthan