Encouraging their use

The Minister of State in the Office of the President, George Simbachawene, has urged civil servants to use the government’s information and communication technology (ICT) systems, which are designed to improve the efficiency of wananchi service, TPJ reported. The call comes as some civil servants are still reluctant to comply with the directive.

The Minister of State in the President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance), George Simbachawene, has called on civil servants to refrain from using government information and communication technology (ICT) systems that are designed to improve the efficiency of wananchi service, TPJ reported.

The minister’s call was contained in remarks he made today in Arusha at the opening of the 4th Annual e-Government Meeting Conference organized by the e-Government Authority (eGA). Mr. Simbachawene expressed concern that some government officials seem determined to resist the government’s desire to use ICT systems to improve accountability and transparency in the delivery of public services by dubiously invoking network or system malfunctions that can easily be corrected.

Minister Simbachawene acknowledged that there were instances where civil servants, particularly those stationed in remote areas, occasionally experienced Internet outages, but directed his frustration at those who seemed to revel in the slightest failure, as if they were downplaying the significant investment the government has made in technology.

“Some civil servants simply refuse to use these systems. So even if there is a minor Internet failure, they happily proclaim that the system is not working,” said Simbachawene.

The Minister said that the government had done much in building infrastructure such as the national ICT broadband network, which is operated by Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd, to ensure that ICT systems could be used throughout the country, it was necessary to take legal action against those who deliberately avoid using the established systems.

In addition, he emphasized President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s commitment to ensuring the effective use of information and communication technologies in line with the 2016 National ICT Policy, asserting that public institutions should take advantage of the opportunities offered by ICT to improve performance in service delivery.

“Dear colleagues, we have no choice but to embrace technology in public institutions and collaborate effectively in the implementation of relevant laws, including the e-Government Act, to make this possible,” said Mr. Simbachawene.

He also urged leaders of government institutions to actively support President Samia’s directives to ensure the integration of government systems, and warned against those who impede the integration of their systems with others. Simbachawene’s guidelines echo the instructions for using NeST, where government institutions are responsible for ensuring that every public tender is processed through the system, with fines and imprisonment awaiting those who fail to comply.

The four-day meeting was attended by staff from various government institutions, including the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority, which also provided customer service on NeST.

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