In what is identified to be the culmination of a long-tailed digitisation process involving local government bodies, the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka together with the Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry ceremoniously unveiled the eLocal.
The system is expected to onboard 30 local authorities at the time of unveiling and will progress towards including all 341 local authorities in the near future.
Heralded as a progressive move towards the promotion of digital nativity in the government through facilitation of digital access to public services, the solution aims to assist the public in setting their assessment taxes obtaining Certificates (business and trade related) and permits (construction and other) as a first step. The highly scalable solution is further expected to introduce other avenues of public service access to citizens introducing unmatched convenience and efficiency to the largely archaic present mechanisms.
The launch ceremony of the eLocal Government Solution was held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) with the participation of Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faizer Mustapha, Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando, ICTA Chairperson Chithranganie Mubarak and other officials representing those institutions.
“We have always shown great interest in the development of this solution to establish an environment that is more citizen-friendly, hassle-free and transparent for citizens when dealing with Pradeshiya Sabhas, Urban and Municipal Councils. Naturally, these benefits must be achieved by enhancing the processes in place and introducing aspects such as cashless transactions. The eLG solution and the intervention of ICTA and the Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Ministry are both timely and opportune in this regard,” stated Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Faizer Mustapha.
“The Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure takes it upon itself to be vigilant with regards to opportunities that present itself for the creation of a fully-fledged digital economy in line with the government’s initiative in this direction. The partnership with the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government is a prime example of this digital readiness of our Ministry. We are optimistic regarding the ability of this project and other similar projects to overcome technological barriers and transform the citizen experience for all Sri Lankans,” commented Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando.
Similar deployments of digital platforms are common in the commercial landscape of the modern world and as of recent years has been ubiquitous in the region and in Sri Lanka with many industries yielding to the enhanced user convenience and experience of digitisation. Governments of the developed world too have long since recognised the importance of leveraging digital technologies to ease the experience of their citizens. It is in this context that ICTA and the local authorities are pursuing solutions such as the eLG solution to keep pace with the global progression towards a digitised reality dubbed the ‘new normal’.
“The initiative is a timely one at a time when the country’s digital adoption is growing rapidly. Our responsibility as the premier institution for Information and Communication Technology in the country has been to ensure that access to digital services and infrastructure is made available to the masses and not just restricted to the urban areas and demographics. We remain committed to our vision of bringing solutions like this to the grassroot levels of society and the local governments is the best place to start in our view. We are confident the new solution will not only enhance the user experience but also spearhead the digital revolution taking place in Sri Lanka currently,” commented ICTA Chairperson Chithranganie Mubarak.
ICTA is the apex ICT institution of the Government of Sri Lanka and has been mandated to take all necessary measures to implement the government’s policy and action plan in relation to ICT by the Information and Communication Technology Act No.27 of 2003. ICTA, is a wholly owned institution by the Government of Sri Lanka overseen by Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure.