Implementation of ICT infrastructure and secured Wi-Fi network connectivity solution at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka missions in overseas.

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) recognized the critical role that ICT can play in fostering social integration, peace, growth, and poverty reduction. The Government intends to use ICT to improve the reach and responsiveness of public services, reduce transaction costs to business, make government more transparent and accountable, and address the urgent needs of poor communities and isolated regions.

The key elements and objectives of the ICT program articulated by the government are to (i) develop the necessary capacity to lead and implement an ambitious ICT program; (ii) rapidly develop the required digital infrastructure across the country to effectively serve all citizens; (iii) create an enabling environment for the knowledge economy; (iv) develop specialized ICT skills and broad ICT literacy at all levels of education; (v) deliver faster, more efficient, and more transparent government services to all citizens and businesses; (vi) use ICT as a lever for social development; and (vii) create jobs through a dynamic and competitive ICT sector and through diffusion of ICT across the nation.

Under this program, ICTA will implement a project to enhance functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sri Lankan Missions abroad by improving the ICT infrastructure, systems and resources to expand the Government services and integrate with Lanka Government Network 2.0 and Lanka Government Cloud service platform for better and enhanced service delivery to its stakeholders.

The project objective

To implementation a secure, efficient and reliable Wi-Fi network and ICT infrastructure solutions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sri Lankan missions abroad for an efficient use of ICTs for improved, reliable and cost effective communication, document collaboration, and management by the officials and staff.

Specific problem to be addressed by the project

It is proposed that present ICT infrastructure facilities at the Ministry of Foreign affairs and the missions to be upgraded with necessary Hardware, Wireless Network and Software resources to improve the efficiency, cyber security, and reduce the cost. The present ICT facilities at the Ministry and the missions are inadequate to support the day to day activities of the Ministry. The Ministry network will be provided with wireless network with Wi-Fi in all the divisions to access network resources faster and securely. By enabling the wireless facility at the Ministry, the executives and the staff would be able to access the network system anywhere within the Ministry complex and the missions.

In Essence

Establishment of reliable, efficient, secure and cost effective ICT infrastructure solution at the Ministry and the Sri Lankan Missions overseas for a better communication, information sharing, document management and email collaboration to deliver high quality services.

Implementation of ICT infrastructure and secured Wi-Fi network connectivity solution at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka missions in overseas

ICTA has re-engineered 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 web 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 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.

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Views of the Public on Consular Division e-DAS & service delivery

Brief Intro to the MFA Consular e-DAS process