Using Estonia as an example in Trinidad and Tobago

I read in today's papers that our PM wants a key identity card system like that used in Estonia. Additionally it was stated that we are not using technology like other countries.

We in Trinidad have a national id card. This is a photo id. The key identity card system in Estonia uses chip cards and e-identity. We can easily convert our photo ids to chip cards but that is only the beginning and a small part of what is needed to be done.

What we then need are systems. Up to date systems. Systems that are talking to each other. Paperless and online systems. So for example, if I submit my id card for the relief grant, the information that I would have had to enter in a form would instead be pulled from the available systems and an algorithm would determine if I qualify or not and the money would be wired to the account on my file.

How do we have all these systems? We need leadership that says we want these systems. We want these improvements. We are going to invest in systems and technology. And we do it. Where is our Minister of Technology? Estonia has a Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.

We should definitely be using Estonia as an example. We are similar in size. In a Feb 2019 article it was stated that T&T to collaborate with Estonia on e-Government. I have not heard anything beyond wanting to do this. Time for action. Let's start with an action plan and due dates and responsible persons. Key to following in Estonia's footsteps? Get that Ministry of Technology. I have been saying this since 2013 when I was interviewed for the Trini-Tech Community Project as follows.

13. What do you think is the future of ICT in Trinidad and Tobago and the world at large?

We need to keep abreast with what is current and utilise more ICT in the government and business sector.

14. How can ICT be used to contribute to the development of the nation, individuals and the 
wider society?

ICT is supposed to make our lives more productive and at the same time easier. For starters we need a dedicated Minister and Ministry of ICT.

What are some things you’d like to see accomplished under said Ministry?

Computerisation of government services, incentives for work from home and broadband internet for all citizens.


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