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Bureau organises capacity workshop to improve ICT services in MDAs



Bureau organises capacity workshop to improve ICT services in MDAs

The Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) organized ICT training for staff members of the Ministry’s Department and Agencies (MDA) on Tuesday as part of efforts to achieve world-class public service.

The Nigerian News Agency reports that the two-day workshop, which focused on website development and hosting management, was organized in collaboration with the Nigerian Internet Registry Association.

Office Director General Mr. Dasuki Arabi said the training workshop was going to spark a post-COVID-19 digital revolution in MDAs.

He thanked the association’s support for the Office to develop the capacity of MDAs and ensure the implementation of the Scorecard to rank their websites.

According to Arabi, the focus of the collaboration was to have a world-class public service committed to providing timely services to the public.

“Over the past three ongoing editions, the Office has made great strides towards improving the standard of Nigerian Government websites.

“This is possible thanks to the instrumentality of the Scorecard, with the majority of MDAs reaching a global level in the quality of goods and services provided to the public.

“While this is an impressive achievement and worth celebrating, our findings have also shown that there are challenges related to the skills gap, which must be adequately overcome for the success of the Scorecard to be adequately consolidated and sustained,” he said.

Arabi further said that the 2021 Scorecard was critical to the new generation of public service that the Federal Government was innovating in this era of post-COVID-19 digital revolution.

He stressed that the challenges of the pandemic have pressed the button for rapid progress in the global shift towards e-government.

The CEO added that, by extension, the pandemic has driven the e-government transition at high speed, moved many workers to work from home, and made the government understand who the essential workers are.

“Institutional websites, which provide the digital space to keep government businesses running in the face of the pandemic, must be kept at an optimal level to facilitate intention and readiness to adapt to the new normal.

“It will also boost investor and citizen confidence in terms of ease of doing business, Open Data and the Freedom of Information Act.

“It will put all federal MDAs on the same playing field.

“The training program needed to equip all relevant desk officers who manage government websites to fully familiarize themselves with the Scorecard criteria and apply them appropriately,” he said.

The CEO further added that the Scorecard was an important index, the national e-government master plan used to determine the status of Nigeria‘s e-government.

He explained that the expectation was that when MDA websites are fully standardized, it would help improve access to government information and online services.

Arabi noted that it would also reduce person-to-person contact and eliminate corruption in public transactions, as well as curb online scams, including identity theft associated with government websites.

“There are fourteen strategic subject areas that the websites must show compliance and are constituted to coordinate the evaluation process.”

He said they included: domain string and local website hosting, appearance, content, relevance to MDA mandate and government policy, structure, device compatibility, security.

He listed others such as: loading time, ease of navigation, availability or uptime, functionality, interactivity, accessibility, and capacity building.

He also said that the consistent application of these criteria to government websites will further the government’s aspiration for MDAs to make information available to citizens and involve them in the government process.

The Director General told participants that the capacity building program will provide them with the opportunity to update their knowledge and learn new techniques in web development and hosting management.

“Learning through a training program like this provides participants with an improvement in their ability to fully get used to and properly apply the Scorecard criteria for greater developmental impact.

“I think this effort will lead to the creation of a group of experts who can sufficiently support the government that volunteered to address various sessions of the training.”

He thanked Mr. Mohammed Rhodman, led by the Nigerian Internet Registry Association, for agreeing to partner with the office in organizing the workshop.

Source: NAN

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