Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera has launched the process for the preparation of a Digital Strategy for Local Government whereby stakeholders will be consulted within the coming weeks. This strategy will adopt digital solutions in order to primarily achieve three fundamental objectives: a local government that is closer to the community; more informed decisions within the community; and more transparency and accountability.
Minister Herrera stated that globally we are living in a more digital society and thus it is necessary that local councils are also equipped with infrastructure and related solutions. He said that nowadays people are turning to and using a digital service, including those offered through mobile applications. This strategy is also intended to achieve and implement various objectives as indicated in the reform of local governments as well as the report prepared by the Auditor General in 2020 on the situation of ICT in local councils whereby he listed a number of concerns and considerations. Therefore, this strategy is aimed at reaching these objectives.
“My vision is to provide the necessary tools for local councils and regions in order for them to take informed economical, administrative and logistical decisions. Thus, we need to look at artificial intelligence and other digital media to use the information that is sporadically stored today and turn it into intelligence that leads to decisions that are taken in a more informed context”, stated Minister Herrera.
He explained that through this strategy local councils will be equipped with the necessary digital tools and solutions for more effective communication and thus reduce bureaucracy and increase accountability. Minister Herrera reiterated that we are also looking to introduce systems and solutions whereby the citizen has access and visibility to follow the holistic and ongoing work. This will include access to submitted complaints and actions taken as well as information on larger projects being carried out in the same community.
“Our vision as a government is to have communities that are living a better quality of life and therefore we truly believe that through this holistic strategy we will offer the much needed digital tools and solutions for the good of our communities”, concluded Minister Herrera.