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 is to modernise the civil service and government machinery while becoming customer-focussed and friendly. The second is to build transparent and accountable government, enabling better participation from the community and citizens, whereas 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, where secretariat support is provided 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 project, feasibility study and cost benefit analysis.
In terms of IT human resource management, EGNC is responsible for the planning, recruitment, development and deployment of all IT personnel in the civil service. About 400 IT personnel are in the civil service, of which 75 per cent are deployed to other ministries, departments and higher educational institutions.
With the IT industry constantly evolving, the centre offers training programmes to further develop one’s IT career and hone their skills. The programmes come with internationally recognised Professional IT Certifications such as CompTIA, Cisco Certification, Microsoft Academy and Microsoft Certified Professional.
Developed and maintained by EGNC, data.gov.bn is an online platform for sharing government data and statistics to be used by the government agencies. The data can be accessed and downloaded by the public for free online, raising transparency in the government services.
All the datasets uploaded on data.gov.bn are created and collected by the Brunei government agencies. Government agencies in the country are encouraged to share their data with the public.
To ensure the information on the portal is frequently updated, EGNC as the coordinating agency will continuously hold discussions with data owners. In addition, EGNC will send reminder emails for the data to be updated and for additional data to be uploaded to increase the amount of accessible data on the portal.
As the country looks into building its National Centralised Database (NCDB) for government use, it was revealed during the Legislative Council Meeting in March 2019 that its implementation was scheduled to start in the second quarter of the year.
The announcement was made by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, in response to Legislative Council Member Yang Berhormat Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman’s question with regards to whether relevant authorities have carried out plans to make data.gov.bn more efficient or whether there will be a new database centre serving as a one-stop platform containing all the needed important information.
The minister said the NCDB initiative would be implemented by EGNC, and the project was in the tendering stage. The project scope covers the building of the infrastructure of the database for use by IT projects under the 11th National Development Plan (NDP). This will allow better integration of information among government agencies, as the NCDB will introduce a new service called ‘Database is a service’ aimed at reducing government expenditure in preparing databases for IT projects under the 11th NDP.
The project will provide convenience to all the government agencies by allowing them to keep their data at the centre, said the minister.
In addition, the project has the scope of functioning as a national information hub, storing data such as names, address and phone numbers. An Application Programming Interface (API) system will be used for this database project.
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