By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
EMBRACING information and communications technology (ICT) will serve as the “catalyst” for the Bahamas’ economic resurgence and social development, the Deputy Prime Minister said yesterday.
K Peter Turnquest told the 20th meeting of the General Conference of Ministers of the Caribbean Telecommunication Union (CTU) that the Government is strengthening the public service’s ICT structure and capacity.
“As a relatively new administration in the Bahamas, we came to government on the commitment to develop a culture of transparency and accountability in governance,” he said. “We came to office understanding the need to take a different approach to economic expansion and diversification.
“We understood the rapidly evolving global environment, influenced and driven in large measure by the technological revolution that is impacting every aspect of national, regional and global development. We knew that the different approach to national development, and a more significant regional and global participation, required a commitment to embrace technology as fundamental to this new approach.”
Mr Turnquest added: “The Government of the Bahamas is convinced that embracing ICTs, and making them the foundation of every project and initiative we undertake as a nation, will serve as the catalyst for our economic resurgence and social development, creating a self-sustaining machine for future growth.
“This commitment to embracing ICTs is evident in the ongoing transformation of the public service. We are strengthening the ICT structure and capacity within the public service to further expand the use of technology to provide improved levels of customer service efficiency, transparency and accountability.”
Mr Turnquest, said the Government was employing technology to redefine the way the Government does business with the public. “We are undergoing major technological advancements in the Ministry of Finance and its agencies, including Bahamas Customs and the Department of Inland Revenue,” he added. “We are currently rolling out a new electronic vehicle and driver’s licensing process. We are working to ensure that, despite the challenges and obstacles, we can systematically employ technology throughout the public service and, through policy, inspire and encourage the private sector to continue its evolution as well.”