CommTech Minister: Council of ICT Heads in MDAs opens new vista for public sector tech governance
The CommTech Minister says the Council of ICT Heads is an advisory body with no decision making authority but can deploy influence, peer pressure and moral suasion to enable change within MDAs.
The Council Heads will also drive internal efficiency in MDAs, ensure improved IT service delivery, coordinate Federal Government IT Strategy and Implementation, Effective IT Project Management and Integrated IT Budgeting within Federal MDAs, the Minister adds.
Under the plan, the Secretariat of the Council will meet at least six times annually and will be established in the e-Government Department of the Ministry of Communication Technology.
The Council may establish other Governance bodies including Architecture & Innovation Committee, Assurance, Compliance & Security Committee, Portfolio, Programme & Service Management Committee and IT Utilisation, Skills and Capacity Development Committee, she adds.
According to its terms of reference, the Council ICT Heads will promote understanding of National Goals and Aspirations e.g. Vision 20:2020, promote collaboration and sharing of IT assets infrastructure and applications among MDAs and cross –Ministries, provide advice and act as sounding board for the Ministry of Communication Technology in ICT policy formulation and execution, Johnson says.
Other terms are to encourage peer review of IT Architecture, IT Operations, IT Budget and IT Projects of Ministries to identify opportunities for improvement and sharing/re-use of IT assets to optimize usage; act as change agents for the diffusion and adoption of leading IT Practices across MDAs, promote professionalism amongst the IT Cadre and grow future leaders in the IT industry.
Also speaking at the event, Henry Akpan, the Permanent Secretary of CommTech Ministry adds that the Council will play a significant role in achieving the mandate of the Ministry centered on deploying ICT to drive transparency in governance and improve the quality and cost effectiveness of public service delivery in the country.
The Ministry was created to facilitate ICT as a key tool in the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the areas of youth employment, wealth creation, economic growth, efficiency and transparency of government.
The CommTech Minister had last year made a presentation to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the need to establish an ICT Cadre (i.e. Chief Technology Officers at directorate cadre) in each Federal Ministries to drive internal efficiency in MDAs and ensure improved service delivery.
FEC approved the request and the Minister thereafter commenced the process of having the Chief Technology Officer cadre established. The cadre was created early 2013 by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation leading to the establishment and inauguration of the Council of ICT Heads of Federal Ministries.
Members of the inaugurated council include the Minister of Communication Technology who is Chairman, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone-Vice Chairman, all Heads of ICT of Federal Ministries, National Information Technology Development Agency, Head of ICT, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and Head of ICT, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.