Technology has advanced rapidly over the past years, becoming the focal point in our lives. The Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has been quick to adopt new technologies, boosting the efficiency of its services and processes.
Formed in April 2008 under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the E-Government National Centre (EGNC) plays an integral part in the government’s continuous effort towards achieving the e-Government initiatives with four key drivers.
The first key driver is to modernise the civil service and government machinery while becoming customer-focussed and friendly. The second is to build a more transparent and accountable government, enabling better participation from the community and citizens. The third and fourth are to meet the challenges of globalisation and to better prepare for future crises.
EGNC functions as the centralised organisation that concentrates on information technology (IT) in the civil service. The centre oversees the development of IT personnel and centralises procurement of IT equipment, in addition to providing common government-wide applications and shared IT services among all ministries.
The centre also designs strategic plans for information and communications technology (ICT) across the government and sets up the measurement framework, providing support for various e-Government governance forums such as the E-Government Leadership Forum.
In terms of research and new developments in ICT, the centre looks into the provision of technical advice for the government’s IT projects, feasibility studies and cost benefit analysis.
The Digital Government Strategy 2015-2020 is driven by Brunei Vision 2035 – having welleducated people, a high quality of life and a dynamic, sustainable economy.
Information technology (IT) plays an important role in the country’s bid to achieve this vision. IT enables the seamless flow of information across the government, citizens and businesses, leading to greater transparency and better insights for informed decision making. The digital strategy aims to lead the digital transformation in the country, making the public services simpler, faster and more accessible.
To achieve the vision, six focus areas have been identified: service innovation; security; capability and mindset; enterprise information management; optimisation; and collaboration and integration.
Also identified are the following six programmes: digital services; implementing universal access for government systems; strengthening securities; enhancing stakeholder engagement; optimising digital assets; and developing enterprise information management capability.
The Digital Economy Council was established to replace the functions of the Brunei Darussalam National IT Council and drive the country towards becoming a Smart Nation.
In June 2020, the Digital Economy Council launched the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 for the next five years. Guided by Maqasid Syariah, the objectives of the masterplan are: a vibrant and sustainable economy; a digital and future-ready society; and a digitally conducive ecosystem. The masterplan is aimed at supporting Brunei Vision 2035.
To achieve the masterplan’s goal, four thrusts have been identified: industry digitalisation; government digitalisation; a thriving digital industry; and manpower and talent development.
The strategic thrust of industry digitalisation focusses on the need to evaluate the readiness of stakeholders to adopt Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) technologies and to undertake a comprehensive awareness programme, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Meanwhile, government digitalisation emphasises on the important role of the government in facilitating economic growth, especially in the implementation of a digital identity ecosystem, innovation of public experience and evolvement of cloud usage.
The third thrust of a thriving digital industry shines light on the application of technologies to nurture and sustain growth for the improvement of the local digital sector.
Lastly, the fourth thrust calls for the need to equip local talents with the capabilities required for rapid advancement in technology.
With the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025, the Digital Economy Council focusses on the implementation of key projects under nine priority clusters expected to have significant impacts on
The priority clusters are logistics and transportation, energy, business services, tourism, financial services, health, agri-food, education and Halal industry.
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