Transforming how governance is done
An open digital governance system, one of the main initiatives in Thailand's digital transformation, entails three core concepts -- paperless, cashless and e-payment -- that are scheduled to begin implementation by the end of this year.
The platform is expected to be viewed as a concrete development by private enterprises, improving Thailand's ease of doing business, said Pichet Durongkaveroj, the digital economy and society (DE) minister.
The three services should benefit all people, he said. A data governance development framework, which comprises the government's data analytics, data centres and cloud services, has also been implemented in line with Thailand's digital transformation initiative.
"To ensure efficiency of data governance development in the country, the DE Ministry recently set quality standards for data analytics, data centres and cloud services in more than 100 state agencies and public services," Mr Pichet said.
He said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered all 20 ministries and related agencies to develop their data management systems last year to prepare for the government's data management system.
The government early this year set up the committee for big data, data centre and cloud computing to steer all 20 ministries and develop the digital government ecosystem in the country.
The committee is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong, with Mr Pichet the vice-chairman.
"The government has been working on the centralisation and connectivity of data from state agencies," he said. "When full centralisation and connectivity is implemented, the operating costs of agencies will automatically be reduced and diminish instances of corruption, as the public can monitor information of any project with more transparency."
As a first priority, all 20 ministries have been assigned the task of checking their data sets, identifying data sets and determining focal points of data usage for the public's benefit.
Mr Pichet said transformation into a paperless as well as a cashless society with an improved ease of doing business has been the target of policies initiated by the government since last year.
Cashless payment and e-payment are being propelled by both government and financial sectors to capitalise on mobile banking systems, especially with PromptPay, a service through which users can make or receive payments via online transfers at different banks, or even the same banks in cross-clearing zones, free of charge, once they sign up with their ID card or mobile phone number linked with their account at a participating bank.
Mr Pichet said the cabinet last week approved in principle a draft digital ID bill, an endorsement that will facilitate online transactions and ensure security for users. The move is expected to help banks expand their account base through digital lending at a rapid pace.
To further entrench the effort to go paperless, Gen Prayut ordered that all public services provided by state agencies must not require copies of ID cards or house registration documents by the end of this year.
"All activities can be paperless and cashless, as all public information is updated onto the government's big data and cloud data centre under the data governance ecosystem," Mr Pichet said.
Earlier, the government through the Digital Government Agency set a roadmap for several categories of development that would ensure full transformation of the digital government ecosystem. The development includes government data exchange, one-stop service, government data centre, open government data, data governance framework and unified government communication.
According to the World Bank, Thailand ranked 26th for ease of doing business in 2018, up from 46th in 2017.