Korean Government supports e-governance in Sri Lanka

Thursday, 17 July 2014 01:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lankans’ lifestyles have dramatically changed due to a new e-government system. People no longer need to wait for their birth or marriage certificates for several months. Issuance of those certificates takes now only three minutes as Government servants do not have to waste time finding the files. Obtaining or renewing a driving license is much easier now; all you need to do is a few clicks at the GIC (Government Information Centre) website where you can even make an online payment. One can now call 1919 from a telephone anywhere in Sri Lanka and access all Government-related information in Sinhala, Tamil or English.GIC websites provides all information such as train/flight schedules, job opportunities abroad, exam results, medical services and contact details. This new policy of e-government service delivery helped Sri Lanka’s rank in the United Nations e-Government Development Index (eGDI) jump from 115 (2012) to 74 (2014) in a short time. Accordingly, Sri Lanka ranks first in South Asia followed by the Maldives. The Government of Sri Lanka has made a substantial effort for this progress by developing the Re-Engineering Government program under the e-Sri Lanka initiative. The Re-engineering Government project was carried out by the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA). Korea Exim Bank supported the project through the Economic Cooperation Development Fund (EDCF) with a loan amount of $ 22 million to establish Government intranet, central data and network operations centre and a national communication network connecting 325 Government branches and public organisations across Sri Lanka. EDCF was established by the Korean Government in 1987 to support developing countries in achieving industrialisation and economic stability. Korea Exim Bank as the implementing agency has provided Sri Lanka with $ 550 million worth loans for 25 projects through EDCF since 1990. Some of the recently-completed projects are Galle water supply, Hambantota administrative complex, Padeniya-Anuradhapura road and the e-governance system. With the establishment of an EDCF resident mission in Sri Lanka last year, the Korean Government is expecting to work closely with the Sri Lankan Government to develop a range of infrastructure projects. EDCF is financing Sri Lanka with $ 290 million in the course of 2012-2015. In addition to EDCF support, Korea Exim Bank, being an Export Credit Agency of the Korean Government, plans to combine additional financial instruments to assist Sri Lankan infrastructure projects with its own account.