MINISTER of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
MINISTER of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson announced yesterday the launch of the Bahamas Electronic Cabinet Management Information System, also referred to as E-Cabinet.
The platform cost approximately $600,000.
Yesterday marked the first Cabinet meeting fully on the digital platform.
While speaking at a virtual press conference, Mr Thompson noted the system was designed and implemented to improve business processes and operating procedures in the Cabinet Office. He noted that E-Cabinet is a “collaborative tool for communication between our key stakeholders”.
He explained: “E-Cabinet boasts a myriad of important features inclusive of the ability to automate Cabinet proceedings for The Bahamas, Cabinet memorandum, immigration papers, papers for the National Economic Council, conclusions, and extracts will now be digital and automated. It will save time increasing efficiency with Cabinet approval processes, reduce our carbon footprint, eliminating the use of paper by allowing for online approvals and e-distribution of Cabinet documents.
“It will also enable tracking and increase of transparency. The system tracks Cabinet memorandum and provides live updates about access to the system and who and when information was received and distributed.”
E-Cabinet is an innovative system that streamlined the managerial operations of the Cabinet Office and simplified internal procedures required for approval decisions, he said.
“Permanent secretaries will be able to submit online. Ministries will be able to sign online and the memorandum will be disseminated digitally making the delivery of (a) bundle of papers now unnecessary,” he added.
Mr Thompson also noted the efficiency of the system and how it will help to save time.
“One of the goals of the platform was to allow ministries to be able to not just access the papers before the Cabinet meeting but for them to be able to make comments and in some instances provide their support for those papers in advance,” he said.
“There are a number of papers that are simple. There are some that are far more challenging and require more discussion but the idea behind the system was to allow you to be able to – even before you arrive at the meeting – be able to deal with a lot of the simpler papers which again will save time in terms of being able to arrive at these kinds of decisions from the Cabinet.
“Secondly one of the other points that we want you to note is the conclusions. Once Cabinet makes a decision, a written conclusion would have to come out and that is what is acted upon. What this process will allow us to do is to get those conclusions out a lot quicker and if we are able to get the conclusion out quicker then those decisions can be implemented in a much more speedier time.”
He added this system is “sort of coming in at mid-stream,” so there is going to be a migration of the old papers and conclusions into this new system which will take place over time.