The two-day FutureGov SAARC Summit 2012, the first ever Future Gov SAARC Summit which is at the same time the third annual FutureGov Forum Sri Lanka commences today (18).
Venue and time
Organised by FutureGov Asia Pacific magazine and the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), FutureGov SAARC 2012 will be hosted at Cinnamon Grand Colombo. While registration on both 18th and 19th begins at 8.00 a.m., conference on day one will end at 5.p.m. The conference is scheduled to be brought to a close at 2.50 p.m. on 19th instant.
FutureGov Summit SAARC 2012 will bring together an unrivalled international speaker line-up comprising of government thought leaders, experienced practitioners and industry experts, to deliver a balanced mix of real-life best practice case studies, expert presentations and interactive panel discussions. This forum will cover the strategies on how to align technology investment with agency priorities – to create necessary infrastructure and establish the enabling environment for the implementation of e-government services, thus, creating an effective and efficient e-Governance.
- Digital inclusion
- Mobile government
- Big data
- Information security
- Cloud computing
3 KEY FACTS
- All government organisations need Trilingual websites registered under “gov.lk” domain
- ICT projects exceeding Rs. 2 Million needs ICTAconsultation
- Government Information Center – 1919 hotline in all 3 languages
WHO WILL ATTEND
Commissioners IT, Chief Innovation Officers, Director Generals, Chief Executives, IT Directors, Chief Technology Officers, Secretaries of IT, Director Information Systems, Chief Financial Officers, Infocomm Specialists, IT Heads, Enterprise Architects, Senior IT Analysts
- Digital Inclusion – Connecting with citizens while reducing cost of service delivery
- Mobile Government – Giving citizens access to services through mobile devices
- Big Data – Strategies to improve the collection, storage, distribution and analysis of ever-increasing data volumes
- Information Security – Get ready for the G-Cloud: strip away hype from reality and assess the role of public, private and hybrid models in driving government agility, efficiency, scalability and sustainability.
- Cloud computing – Will Sri Lanka’s infrastructure be ready for cloud?
Opportunity for interaction
Bringing together experts from around the world, FutureGov SAARC Summit 2012 that begins today provides a unique opportunity for public sector buyers and private sector solution providers to learn from one another. The conference focuses on key areas of ICT adoption in governance including digital inclusion, mobile government, large scale data management, information security, and cloud computing. Backed by in-depth research and conversations with senior regional government employees, the event provides tailored solutions to region specific issues in e-governance.
FutureGov SAARC Summit 2012, will also showcase new developments in public sector service delivery from around the world . With a large number of international, regional and local experienced experts participating, the summit will provide a platform for public servants to meet and interact with their international and national peers.
Put together by the editorial team of FutureGov Asia Pacific magazine and (ICTA), this event is part of the region’s largest network of public sector modernisation events. Among such public sector modernisation events were recent conferences in Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong. FutureGov SAARC Summit 2012 draws amply from an international network of leading Government technology practitioners to create a uniquely international event.
The Summit features more than 150 senior government officials from the eight countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ( SAARC) - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri-Lanka. There will be additional speakers from other countries including Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and USA gracing the conference.
Some of the distinguished participants who will offer their valuable contribution at the conference are: Public Management Reforms Minister Navin Dissanayake; Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, MP Dr. Harsha de Silva; ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura; LIRNE Asia, Sri Lanka CEO Prof. Rohan Samarajive; Indian Rural Development Ministry Joint Secretary D. K. Jain; Afghanistan Information Management Services Senior GIS Manager Ali Ahamad Wali; Indonesian Agricultural Ministry Advisor Ir. Hj. Yusni Emili a Harahap; Pakistan Telecom Authority Director General (Services) Muhammad Talib Dogar; USA State Department Deputy CIO Janice Fedak; Chennai Centre for Development of Advanced Computing Director Mudubai Raman Rajagopalan; New Zealand Primary Industries Ministry Border Change Programme / Joint Border Management System Director Channa Jayasinha and Western Australian Child Protection Department Acting Chief Information Officer Marc Dimmick.
ICTA’s contribution to eGovernance
Underlining the importance of the Summit ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura said:“The summit will focus on effective and efficient e-Governance. It will give participants the rare opportunity to share their views with some of the best practitioners in public service and industry experts in the world”. Accordingly the summit will be an ideal opportunity for all interested in improvements in the Government service provided to the public; particularly Government officers will greatly benefit from the summit”, the ICTA CEO affirmed.
Moving on to provide an apt background to the focus of the conference Dewapura gave a brief overview of ICTA’s contribution to make people’s lives more comfortable through eGovernance:
Governance is probably the most important or key sector that needs to be addressed from a Government point of view. Governance comes from providing a good Government to the people, which in turn comes from providing decent and efficient Government services or public services to its citizens.
The Re-Engineering Government Programme of ICTA has looked to spearhead this effort for providing efficient Government service, by using ICT. Many initiatives have been embarked upon and successfully completed in this area. The Government Information Centre (GIC – 1919), The Lanka Government Network (LGN), The Lanka Gate, The Lanka Government Cloud (LGC), the e-Population Register, together with the ICT Policy for Government, has built the foundations, and created the enabling environment, for all Government organisations to move forward easily, in their efforts to re-engineer and automate the processes and systems within their entities.
GIC 1919 serving people 12 h/d, 365/year in English, Sinhala and Tamil
The award winning GIC, Government Information Centre or 1919 as it is known, provides information on any Government institution or any Government service, 12 hrs a day, 365 days of the year in all three languages. Further, it functions as grievance handling centre. Plans are now being put in place to elevate the GIC to a Government service centre, where through digital intermediaries, citizens can obtain Government services in addition to information.
LGN connecting all Government institutions
The LGN, the Lanka Government Network, connects up all Government institutions - Ministries, Departments, Provincial Councils, District secretariats and Divisional secretariats in one cohesive network, providing the connectivity for easy communication and for data transfer within Government.
This is also the bed-rock foundation, on which all other e-Gov initiatives are expected to run. It is envisaged that in the future, Local Government Authorities, Grama Niladhari Offices and even state owned enterprises, will also be linked to this, spreading the breadth of connectivity, and expanding the portfolio of services.
The Lanka Gate, which was implemented almost two years ago, is really a state of the art middleware infrastructure and a flagship project of ICTA. The Lanka Gate functions as the service delivery platform for any Government e-service. In addition, its front end is also the country portal, and has many delivery channels including the mobile phone, which is now, an ever growing phenomenon in our entire country.
Any Government organisation can now re-engineer their processes, automate them and develop a system, which can be easily hosted on Lanka Gate, as long as it adheres to the simple rules of open standards, and the agreed inter-operability framework.
LGC providing hosting environment for any Govt. application
The latest of our creations, which has just been launched, is the LGC, or the Lanka Government Cloud – which itself is an extension of Lanka Gate, which now provides a hosting environment for any Government application, content or service, without the Government organisation having to spend on the infrastructure, themselves.
This will go a long way to reduce duplication, bring in economies of scale, and lower the ICT cost of Government.
ePopulation Register, mother database
On the enabling side, the e-Population Register has also been completed and launched, creating a single system to store all people related data, which is relevant to Government. This will ensure easier access to information from this ‘mother database’ to all other Government organisations, allowing them to provide their services in a much faster and efficient manner.
The e-Sri Lanka initiative has also successfully completed a critical number of re-engineering and automating activities, on behalf of the Government. e-Pensions, e-Samurdhi, e-Revenue License are foremost among them. Projects such as e-Local Government, e-Land Register, e-Registrar of Companies, e-Import/Export, are being worked on currently, and will add to the growing list of high-impact, efficiency-boosting services, that would benefit many a citizen.
So, the stage is set for Government Organisations and Entities, to push forward with their re-engineering and automating activities, making full use of the eco-system of information infrastructure, which as mentioned, has already been set-up.
Re-Engineering and Automating processes and systems, can be a time consuming endeavour for some organisations, an interim solution has also been implemented, to provide e-services right now, while these bigger, more complex activities are taking place simultaneously.
The existing infrastructure environment mentioned earlier, is also capable of providing – what we call – VBT (Virtual Business Process Transformation) e-Services, where any existing automated or semi-automated system, of any Government organisation, can be pulled in and delivered to the citizen as a VBT e-Service.
This is an excellent methodology, to provide service efficiency to citizens, and at the same time ensuring, that money already invested, does not go to waste.
A number of these types of services, are already being provided through the Lanka Gate Country portal. The Train Time Tables off the database at the Department of Railways, Exam Results off the database at the Department of Examinations, Weather Information off the database at Department of Meteorology, ID Card application status from the Department of Registration of Persons, Status of Police clearance reports from the Police, are some of these. Many other such e-Services from the Water Board, Department of Immigration, Foreign Employment Bureau, the Tea Board and many others, are also planned to be launched in the near future.
Sri Lankan partners with ICTA in hosting the summit
Leading technology-related institutions operating in Sri Lanka too contributed to making the summit a success. Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), Intel, Microsoft and Just in Time Group are partnering ICTA in hosting FutureGov SAARC Summit respectively as strategic partner, knowledge partner, event partner and technology partner. ICTA is grateful to these institutions for their contribution to the success of the Summit and their role in ensuring better public service delivery.
Sri Lanka Telecom
The SLT, the strategic partner in hosting the summit, continues to work towards increasing ICT access in Sri Lanka bridging the digital divide and enabling the Government sector with ICT capability crucial to the economic development of the country. The SLT has provided the necessary network infrastructure and platforms to facilitate e-government services across the country and is working to provide the platforms necessary for cloud computing.
Sri Lanka Telecom CEO Greg Young underlines the benefits that will accrue to the region as a result of the two-day event: “Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) is proud and privileged to be the Strategic Partner of an event of this calibre that will bring together a rich combination of individuals from the SAARC region and with it, the opportunity to share valuable knowledge, experience and expertise across the region”.
Pointing out the core roles ICT and the SLT play in improving the lives of people, Young stated: “SLT continues to work towards increasing ICT access in Sri Lanka, bridging the digital divide and enabling the Government sector with ICT capability crucial to the economic development of the country. Through the launch of our e-Sri Lanka project, we have provided the necessary network infrastructure and platforms to facilitate e-government services across the country and are working to provide the platforms necessary for cloud computing. ICT will help the Government sector to provide more effective and efficient services which will help to improve the living standards and lifestyles of the people in the country”.
Intel, the knowledge partner in hosting the summit, with great strides in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live.
Intel plays an important role in hosting FutureGov SAARC Summit 2012 as Knowledge Partner. This will greatly contribute to Sri Lanka turning into a knowledge hub as envisaged in the Mahinda Chintana Vision for the future.
“We see that the Sri Lankan Government is keen on leveraging ICT to provide better citizen-centric services and are glad to partner with them in this endeavour. As the Knowledge Partner for FutureGov SAARC Summit 2012, we look forward to sharing our experiences from working as a trusted ICT advisor for Governments around the world.” said Indika de Zoysa, Intel Country Business Manager for Sri Lanka.
Just In Time Group
Just In Time Group, a fully owned Sri Lankan company and one of the largest systems integrators in Sri Lanka has joined hands once again with ICTA as its Technology Partner for the FutureGov SAARC Summit.
As a company engaged predominantly in the Government Sector and associating itself with large integration projects, Just In Time Group works also with the world’s Top Ten ICT vendors bringing cutting edge technology to the Government, Telecommunications and Finance sectors specifically.
Just In Time Group believes in delivering objectives, it is more than visible in its support of ICTA and the Government in its initiatives.
‘We are very proud to be a contributing force and to be associated with ICTA to implement his Excellency the President’s vision for Sri Lanka and we have no doubt that this event will be a resounding success’ says the dynamic Kavinda Mahawedage – Head of Marketing for the Group.
Microsoft Sri Lanka
Microsoft Sri Lanka, the event partner for FutureGov SAARC Summit 2012, stated as follows with regard to the Summit:
“The summit which is in line with ICTA’s vision of transforming the way governments and citizens interact, will provide essential know how and technology support in bringing Sri Lanka closer towards becoming the ICT hub as outlined in the Mahinda Chinthanaya policy.
As the longest running e-governance conference in the region, it has held sold-out forums in Singapore, India, Hong Kong and Malaysia. FutureGov SAARC Summit 2012 will take a comprehensive look at the issues at the heart of information management for the Sri Lankan public sector.
Microsoft Sri Lanka, which has worked tirelessly in developing ICT education, capacity building in government and connecting communities, while remaining in the forefront of technology, sees this strategic partnership as a significant step forward to support ICTA in their key initiatives.
The Summit is an important link for government ICT users and solution providers and Microsoft considers it a great privilege to partner ICTA in their quest to make Sri Lanka the ICT knowledge hub in Asia”.
This article is carried in the Daily FT and Ceylon Today of 18th July 2012.