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$600k System Puts Cabinet Meetings Into Digital Era

MINISTER of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson.

MINISTER of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

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.

Comments

TalRussell 1 year ago

It's just a limp excuse to not have to justify a six hundred thousand ruse which Papa Hubert hadn't deemed a necessary expense to occur in order maintain intelligence surveillance on House-elected Redcoatys' MPs'. Just cannot make UP this very expensive intelligence surveillance.
The OPM is as intelligence surveillance freaky as the US government is on all incoming and outgoing telephone calls we realm's 1200 out islands, cays, and rocks, yes?

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tribanon 1 year ago

WHAT A COMPLETE AND UTTER COLOSSAL WASTE OF SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS PLUS ($600,000+) OF THE TAXPAYERS' MONEY ASSUMING THIS WAS THE SOFTWARE SYSTEM COST ALONE. WHAT WILL BE THE ADDITIONAL COST OF THE HARWARE AND THE TRAINING, ETC.?

Apparently Boogie-Eyed Kwasi doesn't know that all of the features of this very costly new system that he's raving about can be found in many of the highly secure video conferencing, collaborative work sharing and records processing/retention systems made available as relatively low cost packaged solutions by the likes of Google and Microsoft. And the flexibility of these packaged solutions is such that they can be used for a wide variety of enterprises/entities, including governments for parliamentary meetings, working sessions and administrative procedures involving records preparation, processing and secure retention/archival processes.

Probably the only feature unique to the government's costly parliamentary system is the combination video-off and voice-mute button available to each cabinet minister in respect of the House Speaker's Chair. lol

Given that most of our elected officials and other parliamentary officials are luddites who don't even know how to use most of the settings and features available to them on their smart phones, I suspect there will soon be cries for all parliamentary proceedings and administrative functions to be conducted 'the old school way'.

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tribanon 1 year ago

P.S. I take it this new system will be for cabinet purposes only and will be run out of the Office of the PM. lol

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ohdrap4 1 year ago

For those who cannot print pdfs this software is a big improvement.

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WETHEPEOPLE 1 year ago

Did they just spend 600, 000 for a platform to send emails and pdf documents. What a complete waste.of.money. i wonder who got.paid.for.this crap.

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DDK 1 year ago

THIS IS JUST BLATANTLY HOPELESS!! They are just urinating away money off the backs of the tax payers as soon as they see it. Two to one they won't even know how to handle the system, assuming it exists.

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