The Executive Director of the Agency of the Information and Communication Technology (TIC) TIMOR I.P, Roberto Caitano de Sousa Vicente, was interviewed by the journalist of the TATOLI I.P Agency, to address the issue of “Electronic Government”. The Journalist :. To what extent are the services developed by TIC related to e-Government? What are the progress and challenges encountered? The Executive Director: TIC TIMOR was created based on Decree-Law number 29/2017 with the main objective of implementing the policies that are consigned in the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy through Government Resolution number 8/2017. TIC TIMOR as an Agency of a public institute character that is directly supervised by the Prime Minister with jurisdiction throughout the national territory. The main objective of establishing this Agency is to implement important policies in the field of Information Technology, prepare and approve TIC strategies to implement vital technologies, make responsible e-government network applications and infrastructure, including Fiber optic cables a national priority. This agency is responsible for implementing e-Government initiatives, seeking to promote them in a way that is integrated, operable, accessible, and simplifies bureaucracy. TIC TIMOR is in charge of implementing e-Government initiatives that have been regulated in the VIII Government Administration Reform Agenda. There is a requirement in the Administrative Reform Program (ARP) that e-Government is the primary outcome for providing electronic services available to the private sector and including the general public. This effort will contribute to the implementation of a more effective, transparent public administration and improve services and simplify the bureaucracy. The main components to the implementation of e-Government, are divided into four categories, namely: 1) Program management; 2) Technologies; 3) Processes and; 4) Strategies. TIC TIMOR is focused on specific services related to infrastructure; trust, security and privacy; education and other services. TIC has been determined to implement the modules at the same time. • Services achieved: TIC TIMOR had completed the connection of the local network to the 12 municipalities. The respective local network, the Government becomes the owner and base of the crucial infrastructures in the future, as the submarine cable project completes the distribution of internet connectivity throughout the territory, which may be extended to the facility of this local network. Currently, the local network has facilitated access to information between one municipality and another, both in terms of access to the “free balance” system. In the future, data access is centered on the e-Government data center at the Government Palace, including the use of the Timor Leste Government video conference application, which is adopted by the Open System (Open source) platform, and time to increase productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. TIC TIMOR also already has a focal point in the 12 municipalities to support IT technical services at municipal level. TIC TIMOR also developed the PORTAL principal to 12 municipalities, including a single portal called Dashboard from the Government to the Government, the Human Resources portal and the Government services portal; TIC TIMOR has also developed and provided Official Websites and Emails to the ministry, as well as maintenance and technical support in the field of Technology, Information and Communication. TIC TIMOR has also already established cooperation with State institutions in order to centralize its data to the data center of TIC TIMOR. TIC TIMOR has contributed to the Government to update valid information to its citizens regarding Covid-19 in Timor-Leste through the creation of the website. This service is also a means of combating Hoax. • In the training areas: TIC TIMOR has also already provided basic training on the internet and intranet network, or the IT system, to State Institutions that need it and also to other public entities. Including, non-technical personnel who are interested; TIC TIMOR has been actively involved in related discussions on how to include ICT in the secondary school curriculum; TIC TIMOR has focused on valuing Timorese experts. For these reasons, it recruits Timorese integrated into all essential services. If it requires an international expert, as there are no national resources available in a specific service of a technical and specific nature within the country. TIC also promotes the training and empowerment of its employees. TIC TIMOR giving priority specifically to “internships” in order to enable intern students to learn; • Security and privacy area: To guarantee the security of Government data, TIC TIMOR centralizes all data in the respective Government data center; TIC TIMOR has already established a system to guarantee data security within 24 hours for 7 days; State institutions that have used the TIC TIMOR facility are comprised of more than 40 institutions and continue to increase their number. This shows that there is confidence in TIC; TIC TIMOR currently cooperates with the Ministry of Justice and other Ministries, for which they are part of the Special Technical Committee of the Unique Identity, which has drafted the Privacy and Data Protection Law in order to guarantee more security and privacy of citizen data that the Government collects; TIC TIMOR has already produced a draft law regarding the issue of e-commerce, Intellectual Property/copyright or copyright, reviewing the national ICT policy and designing the cyber strategy. •The challenges: TIC TIMOR has faced an issue of lack of technical staff that has not yet reached 100%. It is common knowledge that in the Annual TIC Plan, Training of Trainers (ToT), it is even necessary to reach a certain number of trainers in response to existing technical needs. Next, some Ministries still do not have a direct connection to TIC TIMOR and also have not yet centralized Government data to TIC, although TIC is a State Institution that has the role of centralizing Government data in one certain place; Finally, some state institutions are reliant on resources from abroad. In related to this, there is an increase in annual expenses, although attributing TIC is to reduce costs in the information and communication areas in all Government institutions. The Journalist: Government has already created TIC TIMOR with its objectives of implementing e-Government as an important piece and a key to good governance. In this way, it makes services available quickly and making it known to all citizens. TIC TIMOR has already performed its services for three years, in which the ministerial and municipal lines execute their services online in a faster and better way, but taking into account the telecommunications networks of Timor-Leste, they become an operating barrier for the best service. How is it possible to improve on this part? The Executive Director : TIC TIMOR was created based on Decree-Law no. 29/2017 to implement e-Government. Its existence for more than three years to improve the respective part so that all institutions can be connected to the Government networks that are provided by TIC TIMOR because often some State institutions still use a foreign operator. In this way, they affect IT services, in this case, in particular, with respect to costs, security and efficiency. With direct connections to Government infrastructure, we can guarantee and assured for connectivity instructions that can protect attempts to read sensitive information, eliminate total dependence on private supply companies and, finally, contributing to the reduction of unnecessary expenses on the internet and promoting connection and service coordination in State institutions throughout the national territory, even in our embassies abroad. Over three years, TIC TIMOR has managed to set up three Divisions namely: (1. Application Division; 2. Infrastructure Division; 3. Administration and Finance Division.) At the moment all services are in operation. In the future, they will create two more Divisions to complement the three existing ones and in total there are five Divisions to support the dissemination of services in Government institutions and also in public institutions through the Divisions that were created and the development of "HOSTING SYSTEM" for Government institutions namely the following: Design WEBSITES that were developed by the Application System Division; Develop the PORTAL, main Portal such as the 12 municipalities, Single portal “Dashboard” to the Government and Government services; Design and configure the e-Government network, including in the 12 municipalities and also in the State institutions, which is carried out by the Infrastructure Division, including maintenance management and user support; Design, install and configure computer equipment in the e-Government data center in order to centralize and wait for information from the Government; PENETRATION TEST AND MANUAL DESIGN To improve the supply network, TIC provides the supply network that can support the Government's electronic communication needs. Next, the Government already has the plan for the internet network, which is faster through the submarine cable or supply line that has a very large capacity to respond to the Government's communication requests so that there is modernization of the Communication System. The undersea cable project is such an important requirement to ensure access to the outside world that is faster and also paving the way for creative business creation through online application so that our entire population has more advantage. The Journalist: State institutions, such as: have administrators and the Government already used the Electronic Government service provided by TIC? The Executive Director : For the time being, 12 municipalities are accessing the “Free Balance” financial management system. In the future, within the country, access will be via the Terrestrial Fiber Optic line through the local network called (intranet) that is, internet is not used. In the past, when municipalities wanted to access the Free Balance System by using the internet line, and they had to access the Ministry of Finance through local connectivity, or Intranet which was provided by TIC TIMOR faster and was only accessed by the municipality. In the future, the Government also intends to develop and secure the e-Government data center and it is available in 12 municipalities and there will be no need to use the internet. At the moment, many of the institution's websites that are hosted or secured in the e-Government data center and in 12 municipalities can have access to these websites without to use the internet. From the year 2022, TIC TIMOR will focus on the partnership with the significant Ministries to develop platforms for electronic services, thus, the customer service will be faster. The Journalist: Have the Ministries really cooperated with TIC to develop the integrated service of this e-Government? The Executive Director: At present, there are more than 40 and such State Institutions that have cooperated with TIC TIMOR and using the facilities that are made available by TIC. We hope that in the future, all Ministries will have a direct connection to TIC TIMOR and centralize their data in the TIC TIMOR data center to secure the Government data, preserving them securely in the respective Government data centers. The Journalist: With regard to investment, how does the Government help TIC to improve its services related to e-Government? The Executive Director: With respect to e-Government investment, it needs greater investment, especially with regard to the issue of human resources and facilities that support capacity building and increase technical knowledge. In this way, TIC TIMOR can have human resources and infrastructure to provide a service platform that is centralized and guaranteed 100% online. As an example in Estonia, which is considered a developed country in the areas of online electronic platform. Each year, the Government continues to allocate sufficient budget to TIC to continue its functions in search of the best. For this, the political decision that imposes the standardization of the System and centralizing the IT resource in TIC TIMOR is lacking. Thus, TIC can conform to its objectives actually specified in the e-Government policy. State institutions can concentrate exercised their functions and give all technical issues to the responsibility of TIC TIMOR. The centralization of IT resources will also ensure that it preserves the institutional memory in the long term, ensuring sensitive information of citizens, protecting data and privacy of the person and, finally, it is to consolidate trust in citizens to use an online platform in carrying out their transaction. To improve e-Government policies, TIC TIMOR focuses on 4 components namely: Program Management, Technology, Process and Strategy. Thus, TIC TIMOR comes with a conceptual thought called “Framework”. The e-government is like a base to create the programs between 5 to 20 years. 1. Human Resource; 2. Electronic Government Program; 3. TIC TIMOR Agency with its strategies in the implementation of Electronic Government; 4. TIC architecture; 5. Electronic Government Infrastructure; 6. Business process and information system; 7. User access (Internet and Intranet depends on precondition). The Journalist: What is the strategy for the implementation of the unique identification system that will start between 2021 and 2025? The Executive Director: The Unique Identification (UI) initiative is as a component of the Administrative Reform agency. In 2019 Eventual Technical Commission (ETC), together with TIC TIMOR including UNDP established the coordination in carrying out the assessment, determining that Timor Leste (TL) with all promptness in the implementation of the Unique Identification (UID), the study was carried out by Estonian experts. In March 2020, the Government, through Resolution number 19/2020 of March, established the Eventual Technical Commission (ETC) whose functions are to produce strategy documents in the integration of the Unique Identifier programs. ETC is composed of ten (10) entities including eight (8) Ministries and TIC TIMOR Agency and Civil Service Commission. ETC concluded the preparation of the strategies and presented it to the Council of Ministers for its consideration and approval dated May 26, 2021. Unique Identification (UID) will establish a digital identity consisting of a minimal conjunction of the data including the unique random number, biographical data, (name, date of birth etc.) and biometric information. Biometric data will stop or prevent duplication of service registration. The System will allow citizens and residents to access with more confidence the public service or different private service. This will also help the private sector and government to reduce fraud and false identity and lower transaction costs and identity verification. The Unique Identification (UID) will contribute to the development of: • Identification (“Who are you?”); • Authentication (“are you really? or not?”) • Authorization (“Are you authorizing or eligible for something or not?”); This service allows the E-Government to promote in Timor-Leste and allowing the citizen and residents to be able to access Government services with the best ease and confidence. In 2025, we intend to register 1 million people. In relation to digital identity in the banking and telecom sector, civil and electoral registration, health and education registration, business registration and other functional data base that are considered as vital. Unique ID will support the improvement of access to coverage, convenience, quality, reliability and speed of services that all citizens will access. With the creation of the Unique Digital Identity, citizens' data and privacy will become more protected, consistent with Article 38 of the RDTL Constitution. If the Government approves the respective strategies, they will be implemented between 2021 to 2025 and it is expected that the first registration will be carried out in the fourth quarter of 2022 and by 2025 it could already reach the registration of 1 million people. #TIC MEDIA#