By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, April 16, GNA - The Government will soon deploy a new network back-bone, known as the “Gov Net and Last Mile Connectivity”, to connect government offices at the local assemblies and their counterparts in the national headquarters.
This is aimed at ensuring that government offices at all levels have access to cross-government information and systems for efficient public service delivery.
The project is funded through the World Bank’s e-Transform and Public Financial Management programme, intended to ensure the assemblies secure access to the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System, Public Service Commission’s Human Resource Management Information System and the Ghana Audit Service Annual Audit reports on a secured network.
The first phase would involve the connection of 69 assemblies in four regions, with the second phase expected to connect all the remaining metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) once funding is secured.
The third phase would witness the connection of other government entities, including police stations, hospitals, schools and post offices across the country.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Communications Minister, announced this at the launch of the stakeholders’ forum for the ICT industry, organised by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) in Accra, on Monday.
The meeting brought together heads of the various government institutions, academia, the private sector, development partners and civil society organisations, to deliberate on matters of common interest that related to the electronic industry.
The Minister said government had negotiated software and hardware enterprise agreements with Microsoft for standardised desktops and reduction of fake and pirated software in the system.
She announced that the system would ensure all students and teachers have access to the Microsoft’s office suite, which is the most widely used software and aid in reducing the overall ICT budget of government and improve network security in the country.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful stated that Cabinet had approved the agreement, while the Finance Ministry was working on the funding of the project and assured that government would do same for Oracle and other software for regular usage across all MDAs.
“Technology is the growth pole in our economic transformation and it’s totally indispensable now.
“Let’s make a useful effort in our quest to improve our output and deliver better services to all we interact with while enhancing our efficiency and reducing corruption, duplication and waste.
“Ghana deserves much better and we are poised to deliver, for it is indeed digitime,” the Minister emphasised.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful charged all public servants to use the software tools for official purposes only and not for downloading movies, private enterprise and visit to social media platforms.
She said government would deploy a common messaging and collaboration system known as the “Smart Workplace” for all government agencies to help in improving staff productivity.
Consequently, she said government would introduce paperless operations at the MDAs to enable government officials to use official and secured emails for government business.
So far, she said NITA has been working with E-Solutions, a service provider, to ensure effective knowledge transfer and building of the capacity of staff of NITA, to increase their competencies.
The Ministry, she said, was working closely with the Ghana Health Service to pilot e-health platform to facilitate delivery of health services from some health facilities, National Health Insurance Scheme and pharmacies.