Call for more rapid and efficient implementation of ICT projects

National 1 minute, 48 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

AN APPOINTED member of the State Legislative Council has raised the issue of the slow implementation of projects in Brunei's information communications (ICT) industry, with regards to its expenditure.

"From 2001 to March 2007, the expenditure for the ICT sector stood at only $171 million, but the budget allocation for ICT industry is over $1 billion," said Hj Sulaiman Hj Ahai.

He stressed the importance of completing development planning projects on time, as implementation of projects cannot be delayed, saying that Brunei will not achieve the Vision 2035 if development projects are not carried out in the specified period of time.

He also noted that the Second Minister of Finance has already stated that the growth of the oil and gas industry in Brunei's economy was less than one per cent last year.

"Population growth is about 2.5 per cent. This is not a good sign. This means we must do something," Hj Sulaiman said. "As an effort to improve our national income, I propose that the government invest heavily overseas, and companies be provided shares in international companies."

He added: "We must be brave in this matter, we cannot practice the approach of wait and see, as other countries are seen as proactive in investing overseas."

The government has reviewed the implementation of e-government plans in 2006, and there was duplication among ministries and lack of human resources to carry out the e-government projects, said Minister of Communications Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong.

The objective of this reassessment is not to delay the implementation of e-government, but to conduct it in a more efficient manner, as well as save government expenditure and avoid duplication, he continued.

He said that some changes have been made after the reassessment, including the establishment of the E-government Leaders Forum, which is led and chaired by the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office responsible for implementing e-government projects.

Another change was the establishment of the E-government Technical Authority Body in October 2007, a technical body to help all ministries in identifying the problems of implementing e-government in the earlier stages.

The Brunei Times