Mauritius e-Government Strategy 2013 - 2017
Central Informatics Bureau, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Republic of Maur

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The Government of Mauritius started its computerisation journey in the 1990s. The main focus of computerization has remained steady over the years with the need to use ICTs for managing revenue collection, maintaining Government’s accounts, ensuring that payment of pensions and other benefits are made to the right beneficiaries, securing the identity of citizens and borders. Lately, e-services have been added to the e-Government agenda. However, the uptake and usage of e-services are low. This Ministry/Department centric approach to e-Government has served the country well over these past decades. However, in today’s world where citizens are given pride of place at the centre of development, there is an urgent need to adopt a more citizen and business centric approach to e-Government as also advocated by the National Information and Communication Technology Strategic Plan 2011 – 2014 (NICTSP 2011). This realignment to citizen and business needs will ensure that the beneficiaries obtain maximum convenience and facilitation in their dealings with Government.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The National ICT Strategic Plan 2011 – 2014: “Towards i-Mauritius” has called for a paradigm shift in our e-Government Strategy/Agendaadvocatingthe positioning of citizens at the centre of public service delivery. Purpose The purpose is to carry out an assessment of e-Government needs and adequacy of existing infrastructures, and prepare an e-Government strategy. Thus by taking stock of gaps between needs and availability of services, the Strategy makes appropriate recommendations for a more effective, efficient and secured delivery of Government services to citizens and businesses. Objectives The prime objective of the e-Government strategy is to identify required policies for supporting the implementation of e-Government whilst cataloguing the citizens preferred e-services, and coming up with the appropriate e-Government solutions for the convenience of citizens and businesses. The other objectives are to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Ministries and Departments, with particular emphasis on improving productivity, quality and service delivery. Mauritius e-Government Strategy 2013 - 2017 Policy directions incorporating issues of transparency, accountability and efficiency have been worked out. The cornerstones of these policy initiatives include inter-alia: “Open Government Data” to empower citizens and businesses with data building blocks for data analysis and development of mobile apps, the “Data Sharing Policy” which makes it possible for Government agencies to capture data once and share among themselves for ensuring optimal efficiency in delivery of public services and the “Open Source Software Policy” which outlines the country’s willingness to develop an open source software industry to support ICTs in Government and in the nation. Moreover, ICT will be introduced in priority areas like the health and agriculture sectors. The e-Government Strategy 2013 – 2017 also recommends that recent breakthroughs made through the introduction of ICT tools in specific sectors like education with interactive projectors at primary school level be reinforced and extended to other sectors. As at August 2014, some 49% of the actions recommended under the e-Government Strategy 2013-2017 have either been initiated or completed. The strategy is available at the following links: http://mict.gov.mu/English/Documents/eGovStrategyfinalv201393.pdf http://cib.telecomit.gov.mu/English/Documents/eGov%20Strategy%20final%20ver%202013-9-3.pdf

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
In order to re-engineer the e-Government agenda, a methodology based on: • a needs surveys of citizens, businesses and Government - The needs survey of citizens has been carried out through questionnaires with the assistance of Statistics Mauritius and targeted 880 households spread out across the island. Citizens were also surveyed online though appropriate questionnaires. Similarly, businesses and Government officials were surveyed using online questionnaires. • environmental scanning (research) of trends in e-Government around the world • current state of e-Government in Mauritius - an e-readiness assessment of e-Government in Mauritius using the template of the Commonwealth Secretariat (version June 2013) has been carried out • inputs received from various stakeholders (including Microsoft, Oracle, Samsung, Commonwealth Secretariat and World Bank) through consultations and workshops • and application of a framework for e-Government in Mauritius has been used.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
In order to re-engineer the e-Government agenda, a methodology based on needs surveys of citizens, businesses and Government, research in trends in e-Government around the world and application of a framework for e-Government in Mauritius has been used. e-Government framework for Mauritius Based on the research and worldwide trends on e-Government, an e-Government framework for Mauritius was proposed. The framework highlights the importance of going across the three identified dimensions of e-Government, i.e. G2C, G2B and G2G. The framework also takes intoconsideration internal and external elements that constitute buildingblocks for a successful e-Government Strategy. This framework serves as a lens throughwhich results of e-Government Needs Survey, existing gaps and issues pertaining to e-Government have been analysed and recommendations charted out. Questionnaires An e-Government Needs Survey was carried out with the citizens, Government agencies and businesses. Questionnaires, workshop and interviews were used for data collection and elicitation of stakeholders’ needs. Three types of questionnaires were prepared for G2C, G2G and G2B. The questions were adapted from, inter alia: (i) The Measurement and Evaluation Tool for E-Government Readiness developed by United Nations Public Administration Network; (ii) Web Based Survey on Electronic Public Services whereby 20 basic e-Services (G2C and G2B) had been identified for implementation by the European Commission (2006); and (iii) E-Government Survey 2012 by the United Nations. A pilot study was carried out to ensure that respondents had no problems in understanding or answering questions. For G2C, the e-Government Needs Survey was carried out in collaboration with Statistics Mauritius with a population of 880 households spread around the island. Online Survey Moreover, an online survey was conducted for G2C, G2G, and G2B respectively. To encourage people to respond to the survey, the following actions were taken: (i) Online Surveys were advertised in the press; (ii) Government agencies were also informed through mass emailing; (iii) Ministry of ICT also issued a circular to Ministries and Departments about the survey; and (iv) Small and medium enterprises were invited to participate through mass emailing. Analysis and Findings After data collection from the needs survey, quantitative analysis were performed. Recommendations were then drawn based on: • Findings from the needs survey; • Research carried out on e-Government trends worldwide; • Current state of e-Government in Mauritius. An e-readiness assessment of e-Government in Mauritius using the template of the Commonwealth Secretariat (version June 2013) has been carried out; and • Inputs received from various stakeholders through consultations and workshops. A validation workshop was carried out with stakeholders prior to finalising the report. The e-Government Strategy also encompasses an implementation plan and related budgetary requirements.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
An e-Government Needs Survey was carried out with the Citizens, Government agencies and businesses. For G2C, the e-Government Needs Survey was carried out in collaboration with Statistics Mauritius with a population of 880 households spread around the island. An online survey was conducted for G2C, G2G, and G2B respectively. To encourage people to respond to the survey, the following actions were taken: (i) Online Surveys were advertised in the press; (ii) Government agencies were also informed through mass emailing; (iii) Ministry of ICT also issued a circular to Ministries and Departments about the survey; and (iv) Small and medium enterprises were invited to participate through mass emailing. Questionnaires, workshop and interviews were used for data collection and elicitation of stakeholders’ needs. Consultations were held with stakeholders through various workshops namely: (i) Microsoft e-Government Conference (March 2013) (ii) Oracle on e-Government in collaboration with State Informatics Limited (June 2013) (iii) Samsung on Smart Government (June 2013) (iv) Mauritius Export Association (MEXA)on New E-Government Services (June 2013) Moreover, the business community was also consulted through interview sessions with the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) as well as the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA). Comments, which were also received from stakeholders through email (egovstrategy@mail.gov.mu), were considered for the e-Government Strategy. A validation workshop (July 2013) facilitated by the World Bank with representatives of consumer groups, universities, business associations (MEXA, Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Ministries and Departments was carried out prior to finalising the Strategy.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Initially, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology earmarked funds to the tune of Rs 5M for the formulation of the e-Government Strategy. However, due to long delays in the procurement of consultancy services and the short timeframe for formulation of the strategy, the Ministry decided to formulate the strategy internally through the services of the Central Informatics Bureau (CIB), which operates under the aegis of the Ministry. The main function of the CIB is to promote e-Governance through the provision of: consultancy services for the preparation of e- Strategies and e-Business Plans, project management services for the successful implementation of e-government projects, and advisory services on ICT matters to Ministries and Departments. The e-Government Strategy 2013-2017 was therefore formulated by the CIB Team (comprising Project Managers) and reviewed by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology at no cost. The initiative started in March 2013 and the strategy was published in August 2013. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the implementation of the e-Government Strategy 2013-2017 in December 2013.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1) Results from e-Government Needs Survey An e-Government Needs Survey was carried out with the citizens, Government agencies and businesses. This kind of survey on e-Government is the first of its kind in Mauritius. Household surveys, online surveys, questionnaires, workshop and interviews were used for data collection and elicitation of stakeholders’ needs. The results from the survey were used as basis for charting out the recommendations. 2) List of Recommendations After analysis of the needs surveys of citizens, Government Officials and businesses and incorporating the research in e-Government trends, the e-Government Strategy 2013 – 2017 has charted out 44 recommendations (12 for G2C, 18 for G2G and 14 for G2B). Policy directions incorporating issues of transparency, accountability and efficiency have been worked out. The cornerstones of these policy initiatives include inter-alia: “Open Government Data” to empower citizens and businesses with data building blocks for data analysis and development of mobile apps, the “Data Sharing Policy” which makes it possible for Government agencies to capture data once and share among themselves for ensuring optimal efficiency in delivery of public services and the “Open Source Software Policy” which outlines the country’s willingness to develop an open source software industry to support ICTs in Government and in the nation. Moreover, ICT will be introduced in priority areas like the health and agriculture sectors. The e-Government Strategy 2013 – 2017 also recommends that recent breakthroughs made through the introduction of ICT tools in specific sectors like education with interactive projectors at primary school level be reinforced and extended to other sectors. 3) Action Plan In order to facilitate implementation of the recommendations of the Strategy, an implementation plan detailing each recommendation into projects and action items, responsible agency and timeline as well as the intended outcome was also worked out. 4) Budgetary Requirements The budgetary requirements together with funding mechanisms for a successful implementation of the Strategy had been worked out. 5) Implementation Status of the recommendations of the strategy The Government of Mauritius has moved swiftly from strategy formulation to implementation of the various recommendations of the e-Government Strategy so much so that as at date, i.e. less than a year after the approval, 49% of the strategy has been implemented.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The e-Government Strategy 2013-2017 recommends the development and establishment of an e-Government measurement framework to monitor the take up of e-services and citizen satisfaction. These measurements will make possible improvements in public delivery of services thus ensuring that citizen expectations are being appropriately addressed. Hence, a measurement framework will have to be developed and operationalised. In the immediate term, a metric has been devised for tracking the implementation of the e-Government Strategy recommendations. For ease of reporting, the implementation status of each recommendation of the e-Government Strategy is being gauged using a metric ranging from 0 to 10 (0 represents Not Started, 1 stands for Initiated, 2 for 20% complete and so on). Moreover, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology through the Central Informatics has had several meetings with stakeholders regarding the implementation of the Action Plan of the e-Government Strategy 2013-2017. In addition, a sub-committee on e-Government has been set up under the Reform Steering Council to accelerate the implementation of the recommendations of the e-Government Strategy 2013-2017.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Consultancy exercise was time consuming The procurement exercise for the consultancy services for the formulation of the strategy was a time consuming one. Given the limited timeframe, the Ministry of ICT took the decision that the strategy be formulated internally by the CIB. Unavailability of data regarding e-Government needs In order to chart out the recommendations of the strategy, data on the needs of citizens, businesses and government agencies was essential. However, such data was not available. To address this difficulty, an e-Government needs survey of citizens was carried out through questionnaires with the assistance of Statistics Mauritius and targeted 880 households spread out across the island. Citizens were also surveyed online though appropriate questionnaires. Similarly, businesses and Government officials were surveyed using online questionnaires, interviews as well as workshops. Buy-in of stakeholders In order to facilitate implementation of the recommendations of the Strategy, the buy-in of stakeholders is essential. To overcome this challenge, the Ministry of ICT Consultations had numerous consultations with stakeholders through various workshops namely: (i) Microsoft e-Government Conference (March 2013) (ii) Oracle on e-Government in collaboration with State Informatics Limited (June 2013) (iii) Samsung on Smart Government (June 2013) (iv) Mauritius Export Association (MEXA)on New E-Government Services (June 2013) Moreover, the business community was also consulted through interview sessions with the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) as well as the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA). Comments, which were also received from stakeholders through email (egovstrategy@mail.gov.mu), were considered for the e-Government Strategy. Moreover, a validation workshop, which was facilitated by a representative from the World Bank,was carried out with stakeholders prior to finalising the report.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The benefits of the implementation of the e-Government initiatives contained in the e-Government Strategy 2013-2017 are numerous, namely: • Improvement in the quality of life of our citizens; • Increased convenience for citizens through 24x7 accessibility to prioritised services; • Reduction in the provision of counter services; • Increased public participation in Government processes and in civic engagements at all levels; • Increased access to public information and Government data; • Embrace technology to strengthen the public services and improve the efficiency of Government; and • Simplified procedures, in line with business facilitation, to reduce the turnaround time and increase the convenience of businesses.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The e-Government Strategy 2013-2017 is a national initiative, which concerns all citizens, businesses and government agencies. The prime objective of the e-Government strategy is to formulate policies, which would aim at improving effectiveness and efficiency of Ministries and Departments, with emphasis on improving productivity, quality and service delivery. The strategy aims at increasing: the participation of citizens in decision making processes, the convenience of citizens and businesses in their interactions with the Authorities and transparency and accountability in Government operations. The e-Government Strategy comes at the right time when Mauritius is getting ready to ride the wave of economic and social transformation that ushers in a Knowledge Society. This economic and social transformation as advocated by the Economic and Social Transformation Plan, currently under preparation, projects to push the country into a High Income Country bracket through the use of appropriate technology. Through optimal employment of ICTs in the machinery of Government, it is expected that public service delivery will be enhanced reaping much warranted efficiency gains for Mauritius and enhancing the convenience of citizens as well as facilitating businesses. Moreover, the concept of e-Government, being more of a “government transformation programme”,has been integrated in the fabric of the e-Government Strategy 2013-2017 to meet some of the national goals and objectives. The experience and know-how gained during formulation and implementation of an e-Government Strategy can be transferred to other countries in the region.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
(i) Since the e-Government Strategy 2013-2017 has been formulated in-house, the Central Informatics Bureau has built capacity for strategy development. (ii) Environmental scanning and research in e-Government trends around the world has been conducted. (iii) Analysis of needs survey and evaluation of e-Government initiatives have been carried out to chart the way forward in terms of recommendations, implementation plan and budgetary requirements. (iv) An e-Government Strategy is a national initiative and requires the collaboration of all stakeholders (citizens, private sector and government agencies) to work together for the social and economic development of the country.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Central Informatics Bureau, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Republic of Maur
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Rajnish Hawabhay
Title:   Mr  
Telephone/ Fax:   (230) 2012445
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   msoobron@govmu.org  
Address:   Level 2 Belmont House, Intendence Street, Port-Louis, Republic of Mauritius
Postal Code:  
City:   Port-Louis
State/Province:  
Country:  

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