Gov’t to bring end to MITHI e-gov’t harmonization initiative

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The government – through the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) – said it will be winding up the Medium-Term Information and Communications Technology Harmonization Initiative (MITHI).

The initiative was convened in 2012 to increase efficiency in the acquisition of ICT resources of government agencies.

The MITHI Steering Committee, comprised of DICT undersecretary Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic as chairperson, with DBM OIC-undersecretary Kim Robert C. de Leon as vice-chairperson, along with a representative from each agency, recommended the move to terminate the project.

“With this development, we hope to enable and empower more agencies by giving them more freedom and responsibility over their proposed ICT plans. It will also fast-track the process for the deployment of ICT-related resources in government,” DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II said, who approved the committee’s recommendation.

The MITHI framework sought to harmonize ICT-related resources, programs, and projects in all agencies and levels of government through tri-partite evaluation of the agency Information Systems Strategic Plans (ISSPs) and annual ICT budget proposals.

It required government agencies to prepare and submit their ISSPs to the DICT for evaluation. ISSPs set out the ICT resource requirements of an agency on a three-year basis. The DICT then reviews the ISSP and, if found sufficient, endorses it to the MITHI Steering Committee for approval. Upon DICT endorsement, the agency will then submit its ISSP to DBM for approval or allocation of appropriate funds.

While the process increased visibility in terms of ICT expenditures, the MITHI framework unintentionally led to delays in acquisition of ICT resources by agencies as layers of review multiplied, the DICT said.

“The restrictive ISSP review could also no longer keep pace with the increasing complexity and quickly evolving character of information system and other ICT resource needs of agencies,” the agency said.

As a twin measure, the ISSP will be rationalized and streamlined, the DICT said. Honasan noted it’s about time the primary responsibility of the agency or business judgment prerogatives of the corporate management body be given full recognition.

He further pushed for the ISSP submission through an online portal, and directed that the DICT ISSP team focus on audit performance, coming up with business analytics of ISSP data, and supporting inter-agency/sectoral ICT projects.

Honasan remarked that the winding up of MITHI and streamlining of ISSP review process are in keeping with the mandates of RA 11032, or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.”

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