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EDITORIAL: Government’s Seriousness About Engaging With Fijians Is Evident With New App

EDITORIAL: Government’s Seriousness About Engaging With Fijians Is Evident With New App
June 15
12:38 2018

Imagine sitting in the comfort of your home and with the use of your smartphone, you’re able to communicate your grievances or appreciation directly with Government officials, including relevant Ministers.

Over 10 years ago, the idea may have seemed far-fetched and close to impossible. But Government is serious about engaging every Fijian in its national development.

Through the DigitalFiji programme launched yesterday, the Government has started to roll out new cutting edge technology and development.

The programme has been made possible with the partnership of the Singapore Co-operation Enterprise (or “SCE”) an arm of Enterprise Singapore that responds to the many foreign requests to tap on Singapore’s development experience.

The main aim of the 4-year DigitalFiji programme is to strengthen the delivery of public services. It’s a holistic approach to realising Government’s goal towards a digital transformation journey.

Attorney-General and Minister of Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum described the programme as one that will become a bridge for Fijians and Government. It’s all about allowing Fijians access to information and services that can affect real and positive changes in their lives.

The digitisation of Government services is also part of Government’s commitment to be more transparent and accountable.

The decision to develop a mobile app rather than the desktop version is a no brainer. At least 95 percent of Fiji is covered by the two mobile companies. In fact there are more SIM cards in operation in Fiji than the population. The DigitalFiji app will give Fijians an easy tool to engage with Government and vice versa.

As part of the DigitalFiji programme there will be a Chief Information Officer in every ministry.

They will be tasked to ensure that all the information regarding that ministry and all departments within that ministry are up to date.

Also soon to benefit from this roll-out are Fijians living in areas which do not have access to mobile connectivity. Towers will soon be set up to ensure connectivity.

The DigitalFiji App can be downloaded on Android phones but will soon be available for iPhone users.

The onus now rests on the soon to be appointed CIO’s of each Ministry. How fast will they respond to user queries and requests? For many Fijians, the effectiveness of this digital transformation can only be quantified when Government cuts out red tape and makes things happen in a timely manner.



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