An EPPS stakeholder sensitization meeting, one of the EGRIP success stories, which is the movement towards e-procurement and e-tendering
CASTRIES, St Lucia -- The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) electronic government for regional integration project (EGRIP) was officially launched in Saint Lucia in 2009. Since then World Bank loans have been accessed by Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines to support various elements of the project, which include the implementation of major e-government solutions, the tax electronic filing system, the first regional pharmaceutical e-procurement system and the first regional multi-purpose identification system.
The EGRIP project comprised two phases: (1) focus on cross-sectoral e-government issues as well as specific applications in the public finance area, and an e-government in-health pilot project; (2) To deepen the assistance provided under Phase 1, while expanding the programmes to cover other sectors such as, tourism, agriculture, health and education.
The project, which closes in February 2014, offers countries e-government as an enabler to transform the public sector, significantly changing the relationship with citizens and businesses. This demonstrates the value of the investment in technology to address short term economic and budgetary challenges, while supporting the OECS Economic Union in delivering on longer term public service improvement and democratic goals.
The project is expected to enhance transparency, and reduce opportunities for corruption and fraud and lessen the cost of public service delivery. While reducing government spending, the EGRIP project facilitates an increase in opportunities for financing social and economic development programmes to improve the quality of life for the people of the OECS.
Ultimately, EGRIP will provide significant human capital development training which will help to enhance the quality of service by government offices to “the man on the street”. The e-government applications will help the public sector to reduce cost in their provision of services as well as help to increase the business rankings of the participating OECS member states.
Due to the success of some aspects of the project, World Bank officials are on a scheduled progress assessment.
Doyle Gallegos of the World Bank highlighted that during this project evaluation the World Bank will interview key stakeholders and beneficiaries of the e-government interventions.
“The assessment basically takes stock of the current status, impact of the project and the outcomes which are measured by the indicators. The assessment will be primarily focused on the results of the project,” he said.
Karlene Francis manages the Regional E-government Unit which is responsible for implementing EGRIP. According to her, the project has made inroads in developing cost effective ways of promoting efficiency, quality, and transparency in the public service of participating member states through regionally integrated e-government applications.
“The OECS EGRIP project team worked closely with our stakeholders to implement all the activities. We have met most, of the indicators and most importantly we have achieved all our objectives,” she said.