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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - E-government guidelines released

E-government guidelines released

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Deputy Prime Minister Sok An addresses a forum on e-government this month in Phnom Penh.

Directions instruct state departments in gathering and distributing information, maintaining security and expanding services throughout the country via a single $35m computer network

THE agency behind the nationwide e-government rollout released long awaited guidelines at the end of last week detailing what ministries and other government departments needed to do to take their services online.

The National Information Communications Technology Development Agency (NIDA) also released Thursday information security to ensure government information was kept secure and protected from system intruders.

NIDA Secretary General Phu Leewood said Monday that the e-Government Service Deployment Plan was important for building information communication technology (ICT) capacity in government and also for tracking progress and what remained to be done.

"This is a master map for us to walk together in the right direction for all [government and private] institutions to get up to speed with the global ICT sector," he said.

The e-government network will be key to building public confidence in the government, particularly rural areas, Phu Leewood added.

Thirty government ministries and institutions received the two sets of guidelines at a seminar at the Hotel InterContinental in Phnom Penh last week.

The guidelines were based on a needs analysis conducted at all relevant ministries in 2007 with technical assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

They identify areas in which e-government can be used to build the public service competency of government institutions, provide guidelines for collecting data and help establish a blueprint for expanding government services.

Van Khema, a deputy director at NIDA in charge of networks, said the key obstacle in the path of the e-government rollout is the connection of all 24 provinces to the central government's information-sharing system via a fibre-optic backbone. He declined to give a timeline, saying only the infrastructure would be in place "soon".

"Now, the problem we are facing is the lack of infrastructure," he said.

Called the Provincial Administration Information System Project, the e-government project has a budget of US$15 million to connect offices within each province to one another, and another $20 million to connect each province to the government in Phnom Penh. Three data centres - in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville - will act as hubs for surrounding provinces. Additional reporting Ith Sothoeuth

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