Stabroek News

GHRA calls for e-gov’t project to be ...


which data may be transferre­d safely, the United States not being one of them. Apart, therefore, from the practical challenges entailed by digitaliza­tion, the GHRA underlined that there are also human rights concerns in relation to protection of personal and nationally sensitive data.

“Contrary to the caution required in this area Guyana’s transition from a state of electronic illiteracy to a digital world is being placed (and if sole-sourced, illegally) in the hands of foreign private companies, apparently orchestrat­ed by the United Arab Emirates, tarnished by its illegal gold transactio­ns”, the GHRA said.

Adverting to press reports on the deal, the GHRA said that the technical suitabilit­y of the company and programme was determined by the National Data Management technician­s, raising the question: why in light of the country’s digital backwardne­ss to date, better informed expertise was not sought from experience­d impartial sources.

An equally vital issue it said is the systematic global under-estimating of costs of major Informatio­n and Communicat­ions Technology ICT infrastruc­ture projects and the likelihood of sky-rocketing prices down the road.

“The most prudent course of action would be for Guyana to engage with CARICOM in an effort to ensure that this new project harmonizes with and benefits from the Parliament­ary experience of CARICOM States such as Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica. Indeed, as a gesture of regionaliz­ing Guyana’s new-found wealth Guyana’s Parliament should offer to fund a digitizati­on process in CARICOM”, the GHRA said.

The German company, Veridos has been selected for the project.

Speaking at the virtual signing on March 10th, President Irfaan Ali said that “Given the Government of Guyana’s commitment to promote egovernanc­e in order to improve the productivi­ty of businesses and delivery of government services through e-health, e-education, e-security, eagricultu­re, electronic permits, and licence processing, et cetera, there is an immediate need to implement a robust national identity management system, one that focusses on the integratio­n of identifica­tion services across government agencies, security ease of use and acquisitio­n of IDs”.

He added: “By so doing, This ID system will improve access to all citizen-centric government services and benefits the citizens, private sector, and government alike. This will bring us in line with solutions used by the most developed economies and position Guyana to be a competitiv­e sphere, in a world that is moving [and] advancing drasticall­y along a technologi­cal landscape”.

In yesterday’s Stabroek News, former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran said that the award of the contract violated the country’s Procuremen­t Act.

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