Sarawak Learns From The Canadian IM Experience

November 13, 2006 13:16 PM

KUCHING, Nov 13 (Bernama) – Sarawak wants to gain from the Canadian experience by adopting innovative information management (IM) approaches as part of its public agencies’ delivery system.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said Monday the state government would adopt the concept of community development, which was a major strategy in Canada’s IM initiatives, to review its current approach to information communication technology (ICT) projects.

“There is a need to come up with a workable proposal for improved access and unlock the value of the state government information assets and make them accessible to the public,” he said when witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the governments of Sarawak and Canada to share IM experiences and resources with specific Canadian federal agencies.

The state government was represented by State Secretary Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain while Canadian High Commission Senior Trade Commissioner and Counsellor (Commercial) Rene-Francois Desamore represented his country.

Canada, which has been rated top in electronic government practices for five consecutive years, has adopted a unique model in which agencies are assigned specific responsibilities in spheres of IM.

Dr Chan, who is also Sarawak Information Technology and Resource Council chairman, also opened the five-day national IM workshop attended by delegates from Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

On the impact of IM on the state, he said there had been much discussion on policies, delivery model and privacy but the fact remained that most of the information, such as on land matters, continued to be digitally inaccessible to other state agencies and the general public.

“Our efforts in digitising maps, capturing land titles and development of information systems for management of land information for over 10 years have resulted in a huge storehouse of information that has incredible value to Sarawak’s economy if it can be unlocked,” he said.

Under the circumstances, he said, the public still needed to physically go to the Land and Survey office to get a title search in contrast to developed countries, which could access such information through the Internet.

As such, Sarawak needed to leverage whatever resources it had to face the challenges of a competitive world environment, he said.