Implementation of Electronic Document Attestation System at the Consular Affairs Division of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan missions in overseas
ICTA has facilitated to re-engineer the whole work process of the Document Attestation of the Consular Affairs Division of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) by implementing the Electronic Document Attestation System (e-DAS). eDAS is a Cloud based service platform that has granted MFA to provide efficient and effective document attestation service where the general public spend less than fifteen minutes though a single service desk.
eDAS Connect the Document Issuing Authorities (DIA) via Lanka Government Network (LGN) and collect the signature information on more dynamic basis. DIAs submits a scanned original document and the identity of the applicant is confirmed by biometric. The applicants will be accepted based on an appointment system which could be done online or by walk-in. Those who are entering the service areas will be controlled based on the Service Number allocated to each applicant based on their appointment sequence. All the documents being authenticated will be scanned and uploaded to Lanka Government Cloud (LGC). Immediate authentication will be undertaken at the front desk counter and the authentication confirmation printed and handed over to the applicant while charging fees at the same time – same counter. Applicants are allowed to use Credit/ Debit cards for payments. When authentication is differed, applicants could check the status online and attested document is delivered to the applicant by email. The authorized users such as foreign diplomatic missions are able to view and download the authenticated documents from e-DAS immediately after attestation. The MFA will provide remote authentication; where the authentication confirmation is printed at the DIA and public need not to visit Colombo to get their attestation. The authentication is done by the authentication assistants at the front counter under the supervision of the Assistant Directors.
The digital platform of the Consular division is capable of interacting with relevant stakeholders in real-time, thereby drastically reducing the waiting time in the document attestation process. Due to the electronic attestation process, the credibility of attested documents has also increased significantly.
With the newly introduced digital service platform: eDAS, MFA has created number of benefits for overall productivity of the services to the citizens. One of the major benefits included the increased efficiency and lower operational cost and time. With this eDAS, the Consular Division serve around 550 – 600 clients on a daily basis and has the capability of examining and verifying more than 1200-1500 documents per day. With the Online – centralized system, consular division of MFA now has the capacity to faster and anytime-anywhere information access across departments and government organizations. Also, MFA now able to faster information retrieval by scanning and digitization of certificates and records. It leads to secured record archival and management securely manage and archive records by ensuring information security. It also facilitates a self-service portal where citizens can obtain prior appointments in obtaining services from MFA.
As a result of the newly implemented technological infrastructure the issuing of certificates can now be done within 15 minutes. The state of the art infrastructure includes high speed scanners and biometric authentication for ensuring document safety, traceability, good governance and transparency. With the use of digital infrastructure, now the consular division can maintain a record keeping history which enable review of past history of a citizen who has obtained consular services.
eDAS has re-engineered the entire organization and improved the service delivery to the citizens. This is a remarkable achievement that the government is committed to guarantee that the future of Sri Lanka, while the government will work towards digitizing the national economy and achieve sustainable development of the country through the constructive engagement of all government services. Efficiency of the government service ultimately results in development of the national economy. Therefore, re-engineering the government services by implementing mechanisms such as eDAS can create drastic impact on the national economy.
The project implemented by ICTA comprise of complete technology solution for the fully automated document attestation and certification system including state of the art infrastructure with high speed document scanners, biometric authentication and secure network infrastructure for ensuring document safety and transparency. It also includes an electronic queue management system and an online appointment scheduling system. The solution is deployed on the Lanka Government Cloud (LGC) and connected using the Lanka Government Network (LGN). The system is also accessible to foreign missions in Sri Lanka and Missions abroad, where the system interacts with several government institutions in real time reducing the waiting time of the General public for the attestation of documents.
ICTA engineered the technical aspect with the state of art technology and managed the whole project. Accordingly, ICTA contracted the implementation of the systems and equipment to 1) EPIC Lanka Pvt Ltd, 2) Sri Lanka Telecom Services (Pvt) Ltd, 3) Abans PLC, 4) Ninehearts Imagine (Pvt) Ltd, 5)Softlogic Computers (Pvt) Ltd and 6) Business Machines Company (Pvt) Ltd to implement an 1)Electronic Document Attestation System(eDAS) & Electronic Queue Management System, 2) Secure Network Infrastructure, 3)Desktop Computers, 4)Document Scanners & Laser Printers, 5) Centralized Uninterruptable Power System and 6) Fingerprint scanners respectively. The contractors were selected through a competitive bidding process.
The project was launched on 06th February 2017 by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Mangala Samaraweera.
Due to the system’s capability, the Consular division has been able to set-up a remote front desk to accept documents from the General public, in the region, for attestation of the documents. It is also envisioned to expand the system in 300 more locations across the country, including key Document Issuing Authorities (DIAs).
Project was implemented through the source of funding from GoSL
1) “Winner” of the Government and Citizen Engagement category at eSwabhimani Awards 2017
2) “Public Sector Most Outstanding ICT Award” at NBQSA 2017
3) “National Best Quality ICT Awards 2017” at NBQSA 2017
4) “ASOCIO Digital Government Award” at ASOCIO ICT Excellence Awards 2017
5) Operated a Mobile Consular stall offering Consular Services related to attestation of documents through the system at INFOTEL 2017 Exhibition.