DBM exec tells agencies: Create IT plan first before asking for funds

By Tom Noda

The IT chief of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has urged government agencies to start planning on IT projects based on the 2014-2016 E-Government Master Plan (EGMP), which was introduced last year.

egmp

Speaking to directors and members of various government agencies during the recent National Science and Technology Week (NSTW), DBM chief information officer Richard Moya said concrete plans should come first in order for the agencies to get budget for IT projects.

He said the time has come for government offices to change the way they execute projects, which is to ask for a budget first and then plan later.

“Plans should be ready to be implemented and getting funds should be the last stage,” Moya said, noting that the main problem in government is changing the culture or mindset of the people.

“Our problem is that we behave as if we are multiple tribes. We’re such a tribal nation that we refuse to change it for the common good,” he said. “All our societal problems are really inter-agency in nature but the approach is on an agency basis.”

Moya pointed out at the lack of interoperability, redundant systems, duplicative efforts and expenses, different systems and restricted-access databases, and the little regard for existing national ICT plans in most government agencies.

“In the registry of individuals for example, at the Comelec, NSO, SSS, NBI, PNP, none of which refers to each other in a very efficient way. They get your first name, middle name, username, parent’s name, birthday. We operate on a 1970s approach to all these problems. Our system is not interoperable because our mindset is not interoperable,” he said.

Moya said a centralized procurement of PCs will result in at least 30-percent savings or P1.3 billion in three years. This will also pave way for about P540 million in savings annually on the maintenance of multiple data centers.

Likewise, the government can reduce around P72.5 billion in some maintenance and other operating expenditure that are spent on travel, supplies, advertising, printing and binding and survey expenses. Lastly, a significant reduction in paper procurement and other related goods at approximately P3.1 billion per year can also be accomplished.

In sharing updates of the government’s Medium-Term Information and Communications Technology Harmonization Initiative (Mithi), Moya noted that only 66 percent of government agencies in the country have submitted their Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP) for year 2015.

“[Government agencies] should be able to catch up with the demand rather than to beg [them] to use the system that is beneficial for all of us,” Moya said during the event held at the SMX in Pasay City

Mithi is one of the ongoing projects under the EGMP which identifies key priority areas of e-government for 2014-2016. Other projects include the Integrated Government Philippines Project (iGovPhil), the National ICT Advisory Council, and the TV White Space Initiative.

Moya appealed to agencies to determine consistent items with the EGMP, which is mostly about achieving information systems that provide efficiency and transparency in government.

“Those who now have funds for 2015, start your procurements already,” Moya said, as he invited agency directors to attend DBM workshops to know more on what to do.

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