Gov’t embraces digital sector

According to one Government official, data is the engine of life, and it is for this reason that the Government of Barbados believes that ensuring this data is protected is paramount.

Word of this came from Sandra Husbands, Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, as she delivered remarks during the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop hosted by the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument (TAIEX) of the European Commission, in co-operation with the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH or GIZ, the CARIFORUM Secretariat, the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries and the Ministry of Foreign Trade.

Husbands believed that the workshop was timely as the Government of Barbados was on the verge of completely embracing the technological sector.

“Our Government has committed to using technology in order to improve the quality and speed of the delivery of high-demand services, which require the submission of personal data. To this end, seven public sector agencies have been identified as first movers for the modernisation and digitisation of the public sector,” she said.

“These are the Immigration, Customs, Police and Registration Departments, Town & Country Development Planning Office, the Barbados Licensing Authority and International Business.

“We already have online filing of income taxes; clearance of goods through Customs using ASYCUDA World and the Electronic Single Window; applying for a passport; and the automated procedures for entry at the airports including the Advanced Passenger Information Systems.”

She assured that in time, other services will come on stream in the short to medium term, and revealed that these projects would be led by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology.

Husbands stated that the success of these projects relied on design of appropriate systems and was quick to highlight that the Government was committed to safely securing the data in their possession.

In fact, she believed that the Barbados Data Protection Act, which was passed July 2019, spoke to the current administration’s commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of data.

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