One initiative in government’s Project Future portfolio aims to put the Cayman Islands on the knife’s edge of technology.
The e-government project promises to alleviate headaches for customers sick of standing in queues, and provide inter-connectivity for civil servants across different departments.
“Every morning, is as I drive in, there’s normally always a line outside the Immigration department waiting to get in,” said e-Government Director Ian Tibbetts.
He told Cayman 27 those queues are a daily reminder of why he’s working to implement a new e-government platform.
“It’s largely about making services available to the customer, and giving the customer greater control and efficiency, both from the customer’s perspective, and from the government perspective…
He said the e-government project aims to create a digital ‘one stop shop’ for a variety of services across a wide spectrum of government entities.
A far cry from today’s e-government, with roughly a hundred separate websites offering different services.
“You may have to go to the Immigration website to get a certain service for trade and business for example, so one of the first things is a service portal where you can get access to a catalog of services from government,” he explained.
Critical to the plan, modeled after an approach pioneered by the Estonian government, is an electronic ID card system.
“We only rely on things you know,” explained Mr. Tibbetts. “Passwords, user names, pin codes, etcetera. There’s no second factor to that authentication with something you have or something you are. That’s where the ID card comes in.”
But unlike the Estonian system, the e-ID card won’t be mandatory.
“We want to make sure people don’t, certainly at this stage, have the impression that this is something we are going to force on them,” said Mr. Tibbetts.
He predicts even those who prefer face-to-face interaction will see tangible benefits from e-government.
“Even the persons that do want to come face to face, it’s going to be a shorter line and there’s going to be less people,” he said.
Mr. Tibbetts told Cayman 27 e-government will actually reduce the amount of information government has about an individual, because it will only have to be put in the system once.