By Chandeepa Wettasinghe All government departments and agencies will be fully digitalized and connected into a network by the start of the next financial year, Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister said at the recent CMA Founders Day Oration. “Hitherto all government institutions that were not consolidated or integrated would be done so, and I believe that with the digitalization process, there’ll be a formal economy that can be further controlled and be able to bring certain things that are completely outside,” Ravi Karunanayake said.
He said that digitalization was an aspiration of the people, and that the late development in Sri Lanka could be boosted through technology. Karunanayake noted that the Asian Development Bank had earlier given enough funding to finish the digitalization process by 2018/19. “But no sooner we took office; it was our considered opinion that we have got to fast track this. So we put in more money to ensure that by April 2017, when we start the new financial year for accounting purposes, that we’ll be fully computerized,” he added. The previous government had started the digitalization process by setting up a government portal where citizens could access some services such as paying vehicle revenue licenses. However, it had failed to fully integrate all government institutions. Many had their own solo websites, which did not provide sufficient information. The new government came into power claiming to promote fair and transparent governance.