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Thursday, 8.12.2022
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Minister Bacchus: T&T will not achieve goal, but will be well on its way by 2025...

Trinidad and Tobago will not be digitally transformed by 2025, but it would be well on the way to this objective, Minister of Digital Transformation Hassel Bacchus said yesterday.

Speaking at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference, at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s, Bacchus said the proposal to have a digital vaccine card was not a simple matter. He said the technology was there but there were problems with the quality of information contained in the database. He said some of the information was inconsistent and these inconsistencies had to be fixed. He said in the meantime “the Covid thing has waned”. He said however the Ministry can still launch the project with an expanded idea of a vaccination card (covering all vaccines that a person has received).

Bacchus also stressed that the move towards a digital society, economy and government could create thousands of jobs and opportunities and that the increased use of technology need not lead to the loss of jobs. “What (skills) you have is not useless, what you need to do is to find a way to work in this new world,” he said. “In this fourth industrial revolution more jobs have been created than in any one before. If you go on any one of the job search sites such as LinkedIn etc you will see thousands and thousands of jobs (advertised), they just require shifts in what you do,” he said. He said the use of technology can create more fulfilling jobs for the employee while improving the service delivery.

Questioned on the digital card proposal, which the Prime Minister talked about in the 2020 campaign, Bacchus said the personal unique identifier does not have to be card based. He said people had a birth certificate, ID card, drivers licence, passport, which all come from different State agencies. He said the goal is to be able to use sophisticated technology to be able to identify people through digital identification. He said work was being done on this project.

Asked whether the possibility that the work towards digital transformation could stop if there is a change in government, Bacchus said his mandate does not extend beyond the natural life of this Government. “So I will finish what I have to do in that time frame. But that does not mean that Trinidad and Tobago will be digitally transformed come 2025. It means that we will be well on the way there. And the things that we will put in place regardless of which regime takes over or if we continue, would be very difficult to replace because by then it would be integral in how you (the customer) function and interact among yourselves and with the State.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation was created as a separate entity in July 2021 (when it was separated from the Ministry of Public Administration). Bacchus said since then the Ministry’s mandate has been to create a new way to address the end to end delivery and consumption of goods and services for customers, using appropriate digital technology. In this, the Ministry is building new digital processes, he said, adding that the three fundamental pillars are the creation of the digital society, the digital economy and the digital government. He said in doing so the Ministry works with all ministries as well as with civil society groups. Bacchus said the Ministry was trying to increase the contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP. In the area of digital government it was trying to make things easier for customers, including building a robust network for the exchange of information between government ministries and agencies.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Ria Taitt

Quelle/Source: Trinidad Express, 08.09.2022

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