ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua & Barbuda has received a grant in the amount of US $364,765 from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for implementation of the OECS Electronic Government for Regional Integration Project (EGRIP).
The objective of EGRIP is to promote the efficiency, quality and transparency of public services through the delivery of regionally integrated e-government applications that take advantage of economies of scale.
Karlene Francis, Project Manager for E-GRIP said the Regional E-Government Unit (REGU) of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat will be working with the Ministry of Information to improve quality services so that ultimately the government services will be available to persons 24 hours, 7 days a week.
“We are setting the framework under this grant,” Francis said.
“And we are hoping that the government will be able to implement the specific activities so that when the public utilises the government services it will be more efficient.”
Antigua & Barbuda has an E-Grip Committee which operates out of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Science and Technology.
Desiree Zachariah has been appointed Country Based Specialist for Antigua & Barbuda.
“We want to ensure that E-Government is readily available and the Minister of Information has a lot of excellent ideas, Antigua and Barbuda has done quite a bit already and we want to maximise on that,” Zachariah said.
Minister of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Science and Technology Dr Edmond Mansoor said the government will be working with the OECS region to improve the delivery of services to its citizens using ICT’s generally.
Dr Mansoor said, “The country based specialist will work with the Government to identify those key sectors that we think in the short term, we can improve the delivery platform, so that the result to John Public will be a more efficient service.
“We will be looking at certain areas where the public interacts with Government in terms of accessing services. We want to modernise them so it is more efficient for government to administer, and in the case of the citizenry it is easier for them to access those services and hopefully more cost effective.”
The E-Grip Project became effective on 18th June 2009 and is being implemented by the Regional E-Government Unit (REGU) of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat. The project seeks to address some of the huge challenges of size and isolation faced by small island developing states.