Innovating through E-Government

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Ian Tibbetts, Director E-Government

As the Director for E-Government, Ian Tibbetts is directing the E-Government Project: ABO15. He is an experienced program and project manager, with extensive private sector experience, in the field of communications.

Q1: Why does your project matter?

This is especially important because the E-Government Initiative was a high priority of the Elected Government – appearing in their manifesto and there is tremendous buy in to deliver tangible results to end users.

It delivers things persons interacting with the Cayman Islands Government have said they want to see in terms of new services and how they access them.

Cayman is a leading offshore financial center in the physical realm and this project will position it to be a leader in the digital realm, potentially the first offshore financial center to implement the gold standard in secure e-government services based on the Estonian Model. We are aware that competing jurisdictions and other Caribbean islands are exploring the possibility of implementing the same solution.

It will provide a mechanism to significantly reduce the reputational risk Cayman carries today due to the reliance on single-factor authentication for identity verification for online services for both public and private sector.

It creates a foundation for more efficient provision of services from Government that will reduce the cost to provide services for Government and improve the customer experience with the ability to offer cross departmental services where customers can have a “one stop shop” experience.

Q2: What does your project set out to deliver?

It seeks to create a convenient portal for customers to securely access all government online services which will save time for customers.

It will provide an electronic ID card that will be available to residents and other persons who want to access government services that require the identity of the user to be reliably known.  The eID card will allow strong authentication of the user and in the future can be extended for use within the private sector e.g. banks, utilities and insurance companies if private sector entities are interested.

It will also provide a mechanism for the different government computer systems to securely and confidentially exchange information in a manner that the event can be proven for legal standing and that the user can see if a government entity has accessed their personal data.  This mechanism is called an interoperability system.

In addition, it will introduce new services that transcend government departments without requiring the customer to visit or interact with each department individually.

It will also offer online payment for more services.

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Director of E-Government, Ian Tibbetts, leading a Project Team meeting.

Q3: What benefits can the general public expect?

One location online to access government services instead of different sites for each department’s services.

New services available online which will eliminate or reduce travel time and give them the flexibility to access or request government services 24×7.

The ability to complete services with a single interaction both online and face to face which otherwise would normally require in-person visits to multiple government entities.

The confidence to know that no individual purporting to be someone else can gain access to government services online by using their password.

Reduce and eventually get rid of the plethora of usernames and passwords for accessing different government services online

The ability to see who has accessed their personal data.

Q4: What benefits can the Civil Service as an organization expect?

The ability to provide a one-stop shop experience to customers and faster completion of requests with interoperability between systems will result in happier customers which makes for increased job satisfaction.

The interoperability of systems will reduce the laborious and tedious work allowing our people to focus more on serving customers and capitalizing on new opportunities

The Civil Service will be able to pride itself in having the most advanced e-government offerings in the region

Q5: What are the key areas of progress you have made to date?

We are going through the relevant procurement processes to source expert advice and assistance with the implementation of the elements of the project based on the Estonian Model. We have identified at least one economical source with extensive expertise and experience in assisting governments with this.

We have identified new services to be made available online that are in high demand and currently require considerable completion time for customers.  The business process owners are engaged, excited and pushing forward with us.

The internal resources to complete most tasks have been identified and are being mobilized to do what can be done.

Q6: From your experience, how can using a formal project management methodology benefit projects undertaken in the civil service?  What are the challenges?

The use of an appropriate formal project management methodology significantly increases the likelihood of on time and on budget delivery of projects and program objectives.  This is particularly true for complex projects and programs of projects such as the E-Government Project where the scope and scale would make it overwhelming without a structured approach.

The challenge with following a formal project management methodology is maintaining the integrity of the structured approach while not getting so caught up in the methodology that you lose site of the project objective.  Basically it should always be recognized that a formal project management approach is effectively a tool to be used and its use is not the end in of itself.  Like most tools you need to pick the right one for the job and use it appropriately.