NITA to gazette 5 ICT standards by Q1 2021

Head of Legal and Regulatory at NITA, Kwame Baah Acheamfuor

… plans to register qualified professional 

The National Information Technology Agency (NITA) says it plans to gazette five Information and Communication Technology (ICT) standards, introduce a database of qualified ICT professional in order to properly guide and regulate the operations of all players in the space.

The standards include Data Centre Standards, Guideline/Standards for Local Area Network (LAN)/ Wide Area Network (WAN), Management of IT Infrastructure for Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), Electronic Records and Data Management Standards and Systems and Applications Standards.

The database of professionals, according to Kwame Baah Acheamfuor, Head of Legal and Regulatory at NITA would require people to provide verifiable information such as employment records, criminal records (if any) and referees to enable NITA do thorough background checks on them before getting them on the register.

Speaking to the paper after NITA’s maiden virtual stakeholder conference to seek the input of industry players on the ICT Standards and Guidelines, Mr. Baah Acheamfuor said the move is to sanitise the sector and ensure that it weeds out charlatans. Already, the standards to be gazetted have been given to players in the sector to scrutinise and raise concerns as to aspects that need to be enhanced or amended.

“NITA is going back to the law as it was 12 years ago which says to regulate Information and Communication Technology in the country. This country has lifted itself beyond using voice communications to talk, now systems are talking.

There are application developers and all kinds of services, how do we ensure that the right people are engaged in ICT implementation contracts with government agencies? What are their credibility levels? What are their competencies? What shows that if they show documents it is actually what it is?” he asked.

He noted that government agencies which, hitherto, gave jobs to people and organizations without verifying their claims, would then be required to go to NITA and select from the list of qualified and credible professionals and organizations for government ICT jobs. He added that there have been occasions where ICT systems built for government institutions either collapsed in a short time or are not scalable because they did not meet standards.

He also asked industry players to familiarize themselves with the standards and guideline published on the agency’s website. “In times past, regulators focused on money and later they focus on developing the telecoms market, but now there is the need to ensure effective collaboration between the ICT sector and all other sectors so regulation is moving that direction with the necessary standards.”

Director General of NITA, Richard Okyere-Fosu, also told the paper that all the standards and guidelines are going to enhance the regulator mandate of NITA and help it to enforce the laws to the letter.

“NITA is actually going to play its regulatory role as per our mandate and that means we would enforce the standards and if you do not do the right thing we will walk in and address issues.”

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