Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 23, 2016 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis launched the Government’s new E-Portal on Thursday, February 18, which Attorney General and Minister of Communications, the Honourable Vincent Byron, described as a magnificent advancement in the lives of citizens within 12 months of the Government assuming office.
Speaking in Parliament on Friday, February 19, the minister stated that the Government was proud to launch a “signature and major e-government portal”, which is now the official website of St. Kitts and Nevis. He further explained to the Honourable House that the portal was built on three pillars.
“It has been built on the premise that it will rebrand St. Kitts and Nevis in the international community. It is picturesque, it involves more than 140 videos encompassed in this portal and still shots that depict the prime sites in both Nevis and St. Kitts,” said the Attorney General. “The second pillar on which this portal is built, Mr. Speaker, is to provide government-wide information and content. All aspects of Government will be encompassed in this portal. The Parliament, Mr. Speaker, all the ministries, departments of government, the judiciary, who we are as a people and as a government will be at a fingertip for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and the global community.”
The minister made mention of the third pillar, stating that the portal establishes a platform for applications to be downloaded in order to deliver Government services to and for the people. Some of the applications (apps) include bill payments, renewal of drivers’ license, applying for a passport, access of the directory to government offices, the voters list and Acts of Parliament.
Minister Byron explained that e-government was vital to a developing country.
“E-government comes down to how Government delivers public services to our people in a more cost effective and convenient manner,” he said. “This is made possible through electronic media instead of manual process that relies solely on the use of paper and people. E-government harnesses information and communication technologies such as broadband and mobile computing to transform service delivery and convenience to our citizens, our businesses and other arms of government.”
The Minister of Communications stated that the Government will focus on e-government for two key reasons as it is centered on building a strong and enduring foundation upon which to deliver services to the people and because it is built to deliver a foundation upon which the Government delivers the promises that was made to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Upon taking office, we realized that there existed numerous websites critical to convening government information and services and there were some serious issues Mr. Speaker, some related to national security,” he said. “First there were multiple points of administration posted on different services of unknown security, each convening and collecting vital data and information. This of course was contrary to best practices and demanded our immediate attention.”
He stated that e-government is of great importance as international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, as well as foreign financial entities look to e-government as a measure, progressive and modern, of a truly democratic government.
The minister noted that the portal has been impactful in less than 24 hours since its launch and pointed out that there has been a total of 6, 203 views, 3, 841 unique page views across 10 different countries, 1, 307 users and 1, 478 sessions, with the average sessions of people visiting the webpage being 10 minutes. Among the countries that viewed the page were St. Kitts and Nevis, the United States, Antigua and Barbuda, the United Kingdom, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Anguilla, the United States Virgin Islands and Jamaica. The top three countries to look at the page in less than 24 hours of its launch were St. Kitts and Nevis, the United States and Antigua and Barbuda.