Prayut vows digital transformation by 2021

Prayut vows digital transformation by 2021

Mr Prayut says state officials will be key to the success of the government's digital evolution move. THANARAK KHUNTON
Mr Prayut says state officials will be key to the success of the government's digital evolution move. THANARAK KHUNTON

The government has pledged to complete its digital transformation journey by 2021 as part of the state's efforts to reform Thailand's economy and society into Thailand 4.0.

To achieve the goal, the state will begin implementing a digital transformation programme by June, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said.

The programme is aimed at boosting digital literacy and ICT skills among government officials and ensuring state agencies provide more effective services and improve user-friendliness to provide access across different digital platforms.

"State officials with digital skills will be the key factor to help the government achieve success in its digital transformation," Gen Prayut said yesterday at a forum entitled "Digital Government: The key success to Thailand 4.0".

Gen Prayut admitted that digital literacy has never been part of the common core skills standard for state officials under previous governments.

"State officials are struggling with basic digital skills," he said.

There are around 3 million state officials across the country.

Gen Prayut said the government also wants paperless systems to be put in place in public services agencies by 2021.

Up to 90% of all existing 5,000 state services still require a copy of ID card or household registration from citizens upon contact.

Yesterday, three state agencies, the Electronic Government Agency (EGA), the Office of the Civil Service Commission, and the Thailand Professional Qualification Institute signed a cooperative agreement to implement a programme for the development of digital skills among state officials.

EGA president Sak Segkhoonthod said the development programme is part of the government's digital transformation programme.

Under the collaboration, the Office of the Civil Service Commission will determine a training course for digital skill development, while the Thailand Professional Qualification Institute will set standards for digital skills for various state job descriptions.

The EGA, meanwhile, will help implement a skills-development strategy.

Mr Sak said the EGA expects at least 100,000 officials to participate with the training course by year-end, and increasing to 3 million over the next four years.

He also said a success of the government digital transformation requires four strategic developments: integration in government; effective operations; digitally-driven transformation; and creating citizen-centric public services.

The government integration is characterised by public services provided via integrated digital platforms, the availability of one-stop services and the digitisation of documents and content collection among agencies.

The effective operations include the adoption of new technologies such as the Internet of Things and big data analytics to enhance the efficiency of state operations.

The digitally-driven transformation is characterised by the implementation of fully digitally-driven processes through public services and state officials.

Creating citizen-centric services includes implementing state services with high security systems to protect user privacy.

A survey conducted by the EGA during October 2015 to April 2016 among 234 of the 272 total state agencies and enterprises (or 86% of the total), found that officials in most state agencies still lack digital literacy skills, while public services remain non-user friendly.

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