- Says bulk of public services are performed in-person
- Stresses need for expanded network coverage, improved computer and digital literacy
Work-from-home (WFH) arrangement implemented in the public sector during the pandemic was not fully successful, the Central Bank (CBSL) said, due to issues related to ICT infrastructure and literacy.
Even though email communication was formalized during the COVID-19 lockdown and the curfew periods, the CBSL in its latest annual report highlighted that the effort did not roll out as expected since most of the jobs in the public sector are less suitable to perform in WFH arrangements.
Reason being, it is expected for the majority of the public services provided to the general public to be performed in-person given the current status of digitalization.
At present, bulk of the paperwork and procedures are still not digitized in the public sector, therefore remote working arrangements could result in omissions and inefficiencies in carrying out relevant tasks off work premises, the CBSL said.
“There should be a clear identification and assessment of the industries, companies, occupation types and job functions that are feasible in WFH arrangements with proper legislations with regard to terms and conditions related to such arrangements,” the CBSL stated in the report that was launched yesterday.
It added that to improve ICT literacy levels, a number of coordinated efforts are imperative.
Such include the assessing on a case-by-case basis the required supervision level, the capacity to perform work outside work premises in terms of the adequate availability, the quality of physical and ICT infrastructure and equipment, and the living arrangements of employees.
According to the Department of Census and Statistics (2020) computer and digital literacy in Sri Lanka stands at 30.8 percent and 46.0 percent.
The CBSL cautioned that when taking this factor into account for WFH arrangement, the increase in threats related to data and security breaches must be acknowledged.
To continue WFH arrangements in the long run, the CBSL stressed the need for expanded network coverage, and improved the computer and digital literacy.
Furthermore, it added that improving required network infrastructure and cyber security to support remote working arrangements and transitioning towards an online working environment through digitising paperwork and approval procedures are also important.