Public ICT strategy must include NDP: SITA

State Information Technology Agency (SITA) chairperson Jerry Vilakazi says the Public sector ICT strategy must be put in place with the National Development Plan (NDP) in mind.

Giving his speech at the 2013 GITO Council Summit in Cape Town Vilakazi says the readiness of public sector ICT is important for the NDP.

“The previous Summits had addressed issues of lack of a comprehensive public sector ICT Strategy and public performance index respectively. With the advent of the National Development Plan (NDP), it is suitable that this Summit focus on alignment of current strategies to the NDP.” He said.

Vilakazi say as the public sector is gearing itself towards the implementation of the NDP, readiness of the public sector is one of the critical success factors.  “As such, critical issues that this Summit will focus on are: alignment of the Public Sector ICT Strategy, identification of the requirements of the Public Sector ICT Skills, impact of Governance of ICT, e-Government and Free and Open Source Software for improved service delivery.” He points.

Furthermore Vilakazi says that the National Planning Commission (NPC) also acknowledges that the vision 2030 will be realized only if it is supported by a coordinated and enabling ICT strategy and plan.  “Government as a whole is therefore squarely reliant on ICT’s contribution to enhancing service delivery and improving the overall business of the public sector.” Adds  Vilakazi.

Vilakazi admits that the sector has not been doing very well with IT costs soaring. “Disappointingly, ICT has been underperforming for years yet the cost has been escalating. Accounting Officers have been experiencing torrid times before SCOPA on ICT related matters. I am convinced that it is time to get our house in order.”  Notes Vilakazi

According to him a single cohesive ICT strategy for the Public Sector is essential to ensure the diffusion of ICTs in all areas of society and the economy. “I am duly informed that the 2011 Summit produced a Framework for the Public Sector ICT Strategy. This framework informed the work that followed to develop the current draft Strategy.” Argues Vilakazi. 

Skills development

The delivery of public services requires appropriate infrastructure, skilled personnel, functioning institutional structures and competent leadership says Vilakazi. “The issue of ICT skills development in particular is therefore a key area of focus in our work. We need enterprise architects, business process engineers, security experts, software developers, middleware and database administrators.”

Vilakazi says as government, they have a number of tertiary and research institutions that are carrying out ICT research that must be implemented to improve service delivery. He further says government must also encourage the production of knowledge on the indigenous topics affecting the South African government in the field of ICT.

below is the link to the speech
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