OECS Media Release – THE OECS is forging new cooperation with the nation of Georgia, an important geo-political partner at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe.
On January 16, an informal bilateral meeting was held in Antigua with OECS Heads of Government, Ministers and other senior officials of technology and the Georgian Minister of Justice, Thea Tsulukiani, to examine, among other areas, good governance via the Georgia Public Service Hall initiative.
This bilateral meeting was held during the recently-concluded 21st-Century Government Summit convened by the Caribbean Telecommunications Unit (CTU).
The Georgia Public Service Hall Initiative provides over 300 types of services to citizens under the one roof at the same time using the latest information and communication technology (ICT) to deliver faster and more efficient government services.
Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules, said the Public Service Hall Initiative was a Georgian innovation designed around the needs of citizens to access vital Government services and to obtain the vast majority of official documents they need in the one place such as a passport, construction permit, marriage certificate and property registrations.
“This initiative by our distinguished friends in Georgia is a good governance model that redefines and enhances the relationship between State and citizen by cutting red tape and improving innovation and productivity through efficient centralized Government service delivery,” said Dr. Jules.
“The application of the model, albeit on a smaller scale, has potential significance for the OECS as we seek to improve Government service delivery through ICT and by utilizing as many inter-island synergies and partnerships as possible.
“We aim to learn from the Georgian experience to develop a comparable regional e- governance programme for OECS countries whereby common and specific requirements of our Member States will be taken into consideration.
“The OECS Commission will seek to secure the services of a technical expert from Georgia who would work with the OECS Commission to help design and develop the regional project in conjunction with regional Caribbean experts.
“As part of the collaboration, we will also seek to explore the feasibility of an OECS delegation attending the World Summit of Open Government Partnership (OPG) to be held in Tbilisi, Georgia during July 17-19, 2018 which is aimed at making Governments more open, accountable, and responsive to the needs of citizens.”
Dr. Jules concluded by thanking Minster Tsulukiani for her visit to the region, saying Georgia was not only globally recognized as a significant contributor to important Euro-Atlantic security, but reiterated the EU’s Global Strategy Assessment of the nation as a stable, prosperous democracy with lessons in governance with which the OECS was keen to partake.