NITA to enforce compulsory usage of e-systems

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The National Information Technology Agency (NITA), a state agency, is to review its regulations next year to compel government institutions to use digital solutions developed for their operations.

Veronica Boateng, ICT Applications Specialist at NITA said: “Strong and stringent policies will have to be adopted to ensure that the users will not have any option but be pushed to be using these digital systems.

NITA is looking at establishing regulations even though there is the Electronic Transactions Act, the NITA Act, to enable the institutions to also comply with some of these bigger laws that have been established.

We have received some funding to develop the regulation, and so we are expecting that within the year 2018, we’ll have it established to support and to define the operations of NITA much more clearly so that compliance, monitoring and sanctioning activities can effectively be implemented.”

Mr. Boateng, who was speaking at a roundtable discussion on cloud computing in Accra, said government spends huge sums of money setting up these digital systems, which are left unused by majority of Ghanaians because they are accustomed to the manual ways.

“The challenge we have had is also to implement electronic or digital options and to demand that everybody moves towards it.

For instance, if you talk about the company registrations system, it has been implemented and it is running. So, as at now, company registration is supposed to be done online. What we see is that, though some of these systems are made available, the people are still very much adopted and used to the manual ways of doing some of these programmes,” she said

The event, held under the theme: “Infrastructure and policy environment for the uptake of Cloud Computing”, was organised by a research team from the University of Ghana, led by Professor Richard Boateng, Head of Department of Management Information Systems at the University of Ghana Business School.

The event sought to examine the assimilation of cloud computing in Ghana’s public sector, and the experiences so far.

In an interview with the B&FT, Professor Boateng indicated that while there exist some literature on cloud computing in Ghana, majority of these literature have had their focus on technical issues that affect the adoption process of these technologies, at the expense of other institutional and policy factors.

“Since 2003 when government deployed the ICT for Accelerated Development Policy, there have been a number of attempts and effort in making government services available for public and also developing platforms and infrastructure to support the internal operations of government agencies.

Whiles these things have been there, we have not had a good review of them. Hence, this stakeholder meeting to engage government agencies like NITA, NCA and others, to deliberate on what challenges there are in deploying and implementing these services, for a more comprehensive understanding which goes beyond technological factors,” Prof. Boateng said.

By Rashidatu Ibrahim l thebftonline.com l Ghana