CABINET has approved the formation of a central office to handle all Government information communication and technology (ICT) projects in the island.
The office, which will go by the name E-Gov, will be merged with the Fiscal Services Limited, which operates out of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
The announcement was made yesterday by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell at the official opening of the 100th Community Access Point at the Spanish Town Information Technology Centre in the old capital.
"I am very pleased to announce that the Cabinet of Jamaica has decided to establish an Office of Chief Information and establish it in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining," Paulwell said.
According to Paulwell, all Government projects involving ICT will be implemented through the new office.
The centralisation of the two offices will allow for a reduction in the costs for projects and make it easier for members of the public to do business with the government, Paulwell said.
"It takes too long to pay out taxes. It takes too much time to do business with Government. When you make it easier to pay taxes, people will gladly pay to avoid joining long lines," he said.
Also, yesterday the Social Development Technology Centre was officially opened at Port Henderson Road in Spanish Town.
The centre was constructed at a cost of $4 million and will house 28 computers, powered by a main server.
It was built by the Social development Commission in collaboration with the Universal Service Fund (Formerly the Universal Access Fund).
According to Mayor of Spanish Town Norman Scott, the people of Spanish Town welcomed the move and he urged persons who use the complex to take care of the equipment.
"It is hoped that these computers and equipment will be used with the utmost care," Scott said.