The Government’s communications network, GovNet, which is expected to result in greater public-sector interconnectivity and efficiency, was officially launched today (June 6).
GovNet is a secure, wide area network infrastructure that will link government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to facilitate shared services.
These include data centre computing services (Gov-Cloud); a consolidated voice communication system (Gov-Talk), a consolidated email system (Gov-Email); and Gov-Internet.
It is envisioned that GovNet will facilitate the seamless transfer of information between State agencies and other stakeholders as well as provide online services to the public at minimal cost.
Speaking at the launch at Jamaica House, Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said GovNet’s phased implementation will be undertaken over a three- to five-year period at a cost of about US$43 million.
He said an initial US$5 million has been secured through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the first phase, with additional funding for this segment expected from provisions for the National Identification System (NIDS) project.
The Minister informed that the first phase will be implemented in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine, incorporating approximately 80 per cent of government corporate offices.
Phase two will see the network being extended along the north coast, to include State entities in St. Ann, Trelawny and St. James.
The third will involve the network’s extension along the coast from Montego Bay into Hanover, Savanna-la-Mar, Black River and Mandeville, while the fourth phase will incorporate Port Antonio, Port Maria and Harbour View.
Dr. Wheatley said GovNet can revolutionise the manner in which business is done with the Government and will also significantly aid the Administration’s thrust to fully transform Jamaica to a digital knowledge-based society.
He added that significant cost reductions are expected to accrue from the interconnectivity of MDAs and consolidation of investments.
“GovNet will improve service delivery by increasing productivity and efficiency and, most importantly, it will allow for easier sharing of data, information, resources and services. With streamlined service delivery, the elimination of duplication, and ease of access to government services and information, GovNet, once implemented, will make Government more accessible, less distant and more business-friendly,” the Minister stated.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wheatley lauded the key partners on the project, including eGov Jamaica Limited, the National Works Agency and telecommunication companies, Flow and Digicel.
“The NWA is working closely with eGov to complete the build-out of the islandwide fibre backbone on which the GovNet foundation is based, and Flow and Digicel will provide Internet connectivity to the various MDAs, especially those in remote areas,” he said
The objectives of GovNet are reducing Government’s overall telecommunications costs, and transaction costs associated with the provision of public services and information; and improving communications across MDAs.
GovNet’s implementation was approved by Cabinet in December 2017.
Source: Government of Jamaica