Monday, June 25, 2007

Good Governance and Computerization Go Together

n October 2006, I visited Korea to attend "e-Covernment Experience & G2G Collaborative Program" forum sponsored by the Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency (KIPA).

Aside from technical presentations, we also visited the City of Gangnam where its e-government solutions were shown to the participants. Seeing almost a paperless transaction processing of city services through information kiosks, I was awed by the city government's commitment to serve its constituencies.

Looking back in January 2001, I talk about "Transforming LGU to eLGU" in a conference on Best Practices on Local Governance at the University of Asia and the Pacific at Pasig City. Six years has passed and the transformation has barely moved forward. Citing the e-government brochure of Gangnam, "A Progressive City Making the Dream Come True", our eLGU roadmap needs to be revisited to come up with an architecture and deployment strategy based on best practices from our ASEAN neighbors.

Moving on and working with new partners from USA, Japan and Korea, GSI aims to pursue the development of eLGU solutions immediately after the May 14 election.

Thus, we are looking forward to write a sequel to an article published in the The Nation Today about a conference on "Best Practices On Local Governance" :

“Good Governance and Computerization Go Together

In this computer age, many offices, even in the local government units (LGU’s), are trying to have their operations computerized not only to speed up their operations, but also to organize and to bring in more revenues.

However, bringing in technology to the LGUs in the “new economy” is not enough. The LGUs must have a “solutions framework” to be successful e-LGU ( electronic LGU), said Efren Ricalde, chief operating officer of GeoSpatial Solutions, in his speech” Transforming LGU to e-LGU” in the forum on “ Best Practices on local Governance” held recently at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) in Pasig city. The forum was sponsored by Geospatial, a geographic information system, and the UA&P.

He stressed that among the most important aspects of computerization is educating the employees. ‘If the people concerned, or the LGU employees, are not given education on the merits of computerization, they will not see the need in implementing the project, and render it a failure,” he told TODAY.

He said that an employee can just pull the plug of a computer being used for the issuance of licenses and continue with graft practices if the employee is not enlightened on the need for computerization.
At the same time, Ricalde said that computerization aids in good governance because the LGU can efficiently deliver its services to the people.

He stressed that the benefits the LGUs can derive from computerization are endless, among which are increased operation efficiency, higher customer service level, and the capability to rapidly, deploy new technologies, services and business.

The LGU functions from the regional to provincial down to the barangay level can be accessed electronically by the residents. These include the revenue generating functions such as the treasury, business permit and licensing, real property and tax administration, public transport and public market administration.

The regulatory systems can also be linked electronically, such as the tax mapping and zoning , police and crime information, and engineering operations. The same with the administrative support, such as the health services and civil registry, and resource management. (The Nation Today, March 21, 2001, L.Resureccion)