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Government launches Intranet for civil service

Government launches Intranet for civil service

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines created telecommunications history last Friday when it became the first country in the Eastern Caribbean to launch a Government Intranet (GNET) service. {{more}}

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Telecommunications, Science and Technology, Lynford James, said it was an historic occasion, not only for his ministry, but also for the Government of this country.

“We see the Intranet as a tool developed by the staff in the Ministry to increase efficiency,” he stated.

Telecommunications Minister Jerrol Thompson said that by the next hurricane season, the GNET will immensely improve communication and co-ordination of information on hurricanes. He also said a media server has been set up to facilitate video streaming and the Ministry would be working with the Agency for Public Information (API) so persons in various ministries would be able to view live Budget debates from Parliament.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said his administration was “paying the money to increase productivity”. He warned public servants not to abuse the facility to gossip and waste time, but to use it in a meaningful and positive manner. He said the facility has an operational cost of approximately $8,000 monthly.

The technology is designed to enhance efficient and effective management of government projects, information and documents, and to foster greater interaction among public servants.

GNET is a private, secured network developed internally by the Ministry of Technology and operates on the government’s fibre-optic communication backbone which connects the various ministries and departments. It is for the exclusive use of the public service and is not accessible to the general public.

GNET was designed mainly by Jarvis Alexis, a senior programmer in the newly constituted Information Techno-logy Services Division (ITSD), which manages the telecommunications, servicing, programming, web, Intranet and training divisions of the Ministry of Telecommunications, Science and Technology.

The Government Intranet offers services that include an online discussion forum, courier service, Web and audio conference, E-mail services and video streaming.

GNET, through wireless technology, will be expanded to other government enterprises outside capital, Kingstown.

Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves said that in 2005 the facility will be utilised at the Postal Corporation for speedy delivery of mail.

The launch of GNET took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference Room.

GNET was the third of information technology innovations launched in recent months. On September 4, the Government’s E-mail service was launched, followed by the Government Website, gov.vc, on October 5.

The launch of those innovations is said to be part of a process toward E-Government.

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