E-Government is the right module for Sri Lanka
E-government is the modern method of serving the public through
Internet by improving the quality of public services provided by the
Governments all over the world have successfully replaced customary
methods of serving its people with the integration of Internet based
e-government mechanism in respective countries.
This Internet based electronic-government system is many times
superior to conventional systems which were used in the past. With the
onset of e-government public services such as education, health,
security and public welfare could be delivered to the public more
efficiently and cost effectively than ever before.
The Government departments and institutes are using numerous methods
for transferring of its services. In many instances to obtain such
services one has to be present at these Government offices in person.
For example, patients must visit hospitals to obtain consultations for
Similarly people who are obtaining services through the Government
offices must travel to the respective office despite its location. For
instance, a senior citizen from Kataragama has to travel all the way to
Colombo to finalise the administration work of his pension scheme.
Just imagine how it would be if this person could get this work done
without travelling all the way to Colombo? Remember that wonder would
only be possible with the transformation of e-government.
The present economic situation in the country inevitably requires a
speedy recovery mechanism. Decline in exports and increase in imports
could create an unbalanced economic situation which would lead to
inflation. Therefore, it is very important to control this situation
until we have come up with lasting solutions in the future.
This could be done effectively by the process of streamlining the
country's administration system with conservation of resources and
managing sparingly to reduce the burden on the Government. e-government
could play a big role in this regard by reducing the Government
expenditure on public services.
Further the conservation of resources would enable the Government to
distribute what is being saved, evenly among other public services by
further enhancing the living standards of its citizens.
e-government could bridge people and services by reducing the gap
High speed broadband Internet (HSBB) could be used as a medium in
transfer of services.
Cost effectiveness and superiority are the two major reasons to
nominate HSBB or high speed broadband as a connecting medium in this
process. Most importantly the medium or the data transport link we
intended to use must be a common, affordable technology which could be
accessed by everybody.
The initial rollout of the e-government process is initially started
by converting all Government offices and institutes in to an on-line
administrative hub where public would have online remote access. To
achieve the best out of this, the initial network must split into two
segments; public and internal.
While public network serves the general public, internal network
could be used to interconnect all Government offices to quarry data base
and to exchange data it store. As more and more people would use these
on-line services, the growth of the data base would also increase.
Eventually this would provide an extensive automated statistic report
to the central government. These statistics obtained through data base,
would be a priceless asset to the Government in improving its services
to its citizens in the future.
By electronically interconnecting Government offices through high
speed Internet, Government could increase the efficiency of its existing
services which are being provided to its citizen. For example, before
issuing an identity card, the department could verify applicant's
details which could be obtained from the department of Police.
Similarly, the Motor Traffic Department would have the opportunity to
check the genuineness of the ID card of an applicant who has applied for
a driving license.
This saves millions of State funds while serving the public in a
better way. In turn the public confidence in the Government would
increase, which is vital for the development of the country.
The Government is spending a considerable amount of State funds on
printing materials such as forms and applications annually. This could
be minimised effectively by making these forms and applications
This method allows the public to download forms and get it printed
locally at his or her home by not visiting the offices. This would save
considerable amount of State funds and it is convenient to the public as
well. Public commuting could be reduced and this would ease the road
congestion and save fuel too.
Providing information to public is another vital service of
Developed version of this service would bring unprecedented level of
services to the public with interactive features. For example, by typing
an address of an unknown place, one could find the location of the
address on a displayed map on his computer screen even with the route
numbers of buses which travels to that particular location.
Healthy nation is an asset that is required for the development of
any society. Every year, Government spends millions of rupees on health
service in the country. In this regard through the initiative of
e-medicine government could provide extensive medical services to its
citizen over the Internet.
Some of the hospitals in rural areas with limited medical facilities
would have the opportunity of obtaining cutting edge latest medical
facilities simply by linking with other base hospitals by the use of
As a result the Government would have the opportunity to use its
scares resources sparingly and cost effectively by sharing them with
other hospitals identified as minimum facility hospitals.
Undoubtedly e-government is the right move for tomorrow's Sri Lanka.
However, to make this become a reality, the country's information
communication infrastructure should be capable of handling growing
demands in the future.
The reason being e-government module is entirely dependent upon the
information technology that works over the Internet platform. High speed
broadband (HSBB) Internet is the cheapest and fastest data communication
system which could be used to deliver e-government services to citizens.
Since government is committed to minimise the costs of services which
were provided through the e-government process, broadband is a handy
tool in all aspects.
The success of the e-government depends on the ability to access
public services remotely. To encourage more citizens to use e-government
services we must provide a cost effective medium to the public.
But in Sri Lanka, the deprived quality and highly priced Internet
services have actually prevented people from accessing the Internet for
These situations have badly affected the e-Sri Lanka initiative and
have slowed down the growth of Internet usage in the country.
To counteract this, every household in Sri Lanka should be provided
with an affordable high speed Internet service without further delay.
The slow Internet service such as dialup is incompatible with
e-government process and also similar types of broadband services below
1Mbps should not be brought or introduced as it may jeopardise the
concept of e-government process in its cradle.
If public could not afford Internet, the e-government concept would
never become successful.
Therefore it is vital to identify the importance of broadband
Internet and the role it could play, for us to achieve the targets of
e-government in future.