Uganda’s e-government scorecard

GOVERNMENT

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Image: Minister Ruhakana Ruganda says the government is moving towards more effective use of ICTs. By BiztechAfrica
Minister Ruhakana Ruganda says the government is moving towards more effective use of ICTs

Uganda’s e-government readiness assessment indicates more needs to be done to meet the e-government needs of the population. The government says it is working towards a cohesive e-government plan.

This emerged in the E-government Survey report prepared for the government by Ernst & Young.

The report assessed the government’s current ICT structure and e-government services, as well as what businesses and citizens wanted in terms of e-government.

Uganda’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Ruhakana Ruganda, said the government would use the survey results as a basis for moving towards “harmonised, coordinated and rationalised IT services in Government for effective and efficient service delivery to the people.”  He said the results of the e-government readiness survey would be input into national processes such as  the E-Government Master plan, e-Government implementation roadmap and the ICT sector strategy, among others.

Among the report’s findings, Ernst & Young noted:

  • In total, there are 15,642 desktops, laptops and tablet computers in use in government, of which 84% are desktops, 15% are laptops and 1% are tablet computers.
  •  With the upsurge of wireless networks (LANs, 3G mobile, etc), cloud computing, and a cultural shift away from nonportable computing devices, the government will need to revisit her policies around the mix of non-portable computing devices in consideration of the emerging culture of a mobile work force in Uganda.
  • 21% of government institutions offer services or information to end users that can be accessed using a mobile phone.  Considering that the mobile phone penetration rate in the country is at 51% according to the Uganda Communications Commission, it is vital for more government institutions to engage in developing e-government initiatives that can be implemented with mobile phone technology accessible platforms.
  •  81% of government institutions have corporate networks. Of the 71 out of 88 institutions that have corporate networks, 94% have a local area network (LAN) and 41% are connected to a wide area network (WAN).  14% of the 71 institutions, or 10 institutions are connected to the National Backbone Network (NBN). In order for the government to achieve the envisioned benefits from setting up the NBN, there is a need for more government institutions to get connected to the network.
  •  51.7% of government respondents are not using cloud computing-based services and have no plans to do so in the next 12 months.
  •  32.1% of staff across 56 government institutions have been trained to use ICTs. From an e-Government promotion perspective this is a low percentage and there is a need for government institutions to engage a higher percentage of their staff in the use of ICTs.
  •  97% of government institutions or 85 of 88 institutions have website. However, only 40% of government institutions have a fully dedicated resource(s) for updating their websites, meaning that there are high chances of 60% of the websites having static data for a period of time.
  •  The results imply that most websites maintained by government institutions are primarily for basic information communication and not for transactions with businesses and citizens.
  •  63% of government institutions indicated that thy provide services online, with 71% of them allowing end users to download and print online forms; 71% allowing end users to view FAQs; 69% allowing submission of online feedback; 67% allowing the viewing, downloading and printing of tender documents.Only 12% or 6 institutions allow for end users to submit online bids; while only 8% or 4 institutions allow for payment of bills online.

The report said e-Government is still at an early stage in Uganda with most institutions providing end users with online information; but do not have the necessary processes in place for an end user to initiate and complete a full transaction without physically interacting with the institution using a manual paper-based process.

On what e-government services citizens would like, the report noted:

  • About half (47%) of the respondents want to have the ability to view tender documents online; download bidding documents; upload bids; track the status of their bids; and find out who the best evaluated bidders are; and who the tender is awarded to online.
  • About half (49%) of the respondents want to have the ability to buy and sell products and services online.
  • 70% of businesses and citizens regard e-Banking as a high priority.
  • Less than half (44%) of the respondents want to have the ability to declare their imports and exports online and make the necessary payments.
  • Less than half (44%) of the respondents want to have the ability to carry around plastic cards as an alternate form of money for low value transactions or in order to accumulate loyalty points for later redemption.
  • Slightly over half (51%) of the respondents want to have the ability to access social services public information online.
  • More than half (62%) of the respondents want to have the ability to access Production (agricultural) and Market Information Services online.
  • Over half (60%) of the respondents want to have the ability to apply for passports and renew them online.
  • One third (33%) of the respondents want to have the ability to file cases with court and obtain updates on the developments in their cases online.
  • About half (49%) of the respondents want to have the ability to apply for land titles, view existing titles and access information regarding available land and land sales online.
  • Slightly less than half (46%) of the respondents want to have the ability to register to vote, confirm polling data and vote online.
  • More than half (53%) of the respondents want to have the ability to register for tax, submit tax returns and pay for tax online.
  • Over half (59%) of the respondents want to have the ability to receive electronic utility bills, make payments and track their status online.
  • Over half (57%) of the respondents want to have the ability to apply for driving permits and renew driving permits online.
  • Less than half (41%) of the respondents want to have the ability to obtain transport information online.
  • Less than one third (29%) of the respondents want to have the ability to obtain Local Government information online.
  • Less than one third (27%) of the respondents want to have the ability to obtain parliamentary information, proceedings and updates on the development, debating and approval of legislation online.
  • Less than one third (28%) of the respondents want to have the ability to obtain weather and climate information online.
  • Less than one third (30%) of the respondents want to have the ability to obtain environmental management information online.


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