Minister: Government Website To Be Upgraded

November 8, 2012

Minister of Government Estates and Information Services Michael Scott highlighted the Throne Speech initiatives for the Ministry including amendments to the Charities Act 1978,  the Asset Management Strategy and the redevelopment of the Government website.

Minister Scott said: “The Government will replace the Government portal with a more modern software platform that will provide improved content management and, most importantly, increase the community’s ability to access Government services on-line.

“The Government portal, www.gov.bm, was implemented in 2003 and provided a common technology and content management platform for developing and hosting over fifty Government websites. During the past nine years, portal and content management solutions have developed significantly in terms of both sophistication and ease of use,” continued the Minister.

“Additionally, the consumers of web content (the public) are increasingly utilizing technology tools such as mobile devices and social media to access web-based information and services. These more modern tools are not supported by the current portal infrastructure currently in place. In addition, the content management process and tools on the portal are not intuitive or easy to use by Government Departments. ”

“The demand for Government information and web-based services has increased significantly over the years. It is therefore critical for the Government to have access to a modern technology solution for publishing web based information as well as ensuring that there is a common set of tools for managing internal “intranet” websites as well as external public facing websites.”

Minister Scott’s full statement follows below:

Good Afternoon ladies and gentlemen:

The following is an extract from the Speech from the Throne read by His Excellency the Governor last Friday: “The economy is at the forefront of every Bermudian’s mind, and rightly so. But it is essential that all build one another together, and build bridges to ensure that those who are capable of working, and who wish to work, are given the opportunity to work.”

I am pleased to share with you this afternoon details of a major Government Estates and Information Services initiative that will lead to job creation and, by extension, to the improvement of the financial circumstances of many in the community. I refer to the Asset Management Strategy for Government’s operational and non-operational lands and buildings that is being unfolded. This strategy will address the utilization of Government-owned lands and buildings in the context of modern Bermuda and its emerging needs. Amongst the benefits of a lands and buildings Asset Management strategy are improved public service provision for all Ministries, improved productivity, improved maintenance of properties through planned maintenance, efficient operational costs and effective use of capital – and the provision of jobs.

Government-owned properties will be evaluated in terms of revenues generated, expenditure required for maintenance and the socio-economic and financial benefit of holding such premises. Revenues will be maximized by effective portfolio management and where premises are vacant or under-utilized, independent appraisals will be carried out and recommendations made about these buildings’ retention in the Government’s portfolio in the long term.

Some Government-owned buildings have already been identified for redevelopment via the Public Private Partnership process. These buildings include the former Hamilton Police Station on Parliament Street, the former site of the Department of Corrections in Happy Valley [that is, the old Cottage Hospital] and the former site of the Ministry of Public Works’ Solid Waste Section on Marsh Folly. Shortly, Requests for Proposals will be issued to attract private sector developers who will be invited to submit ideas and models whereby Government and private sector enterprises will be accommodated at the designated sites.

This Request for Proposal [RFP] process will the necessarily involve the Government setting out its stall and needs requirements, inviting developers to work to meet the Government’s accommodation needs. It goes without saying that the RFP for major construction projects will create much needed jobs in the Bermuda’s construction market place, bringing renewed prosperity in our midst .

The Government’s Assets Management Strategy will be sensitive to current economic conditions in Bermuda. Every measure will be taken to ensure that these development plans have no unintended or unanticipated negative consequences in the local economy.

It is to be noted here that a significant aspect of the redevelopment proposal is the Government’s desire to reduce significantly the amount of money, currently just over $13 million] spent to house Government officers in private sector accommodation.

Importantly, early next year the Government will host a Youth Summit during which it will seek the views of young Bermudians on the subject of the current and future use of Government-owned lands, buildings and marine parks.

Allow me to speak here about the amendments to the Charities Act 1978 that are expected to be enacted during the next Legislative year. The Government of Bermuda’s recognition of the contributions made by the charitable sector to the community remains undiminished.

The amendments to the Charities Act, designed to address the contemporary needs of the community and to meet international regulatory requirements, will be the outcome of extensive consultation between Government and the charitable sector. Further, during the next year the Government and the charitable sector will collaborate on a Declaration of Principles that will enhance the working relationship between the Government and the charitable sector with a view to establishing a common set of goals and objectives that ultimately will reflect the social agenda and be of benefit to the community at large. In this way, the community generally will derive benefit from the proposed amendments.

Finally, I shall speak of a Department of Information Services initiative that will be underway during the next year. The Government will replace the Government portal with a more modern software platform that will provide improved content management and, most importantly, increase the community’s ability to access Government services on-line.

The Government portal, www.gov.bm, was implemented in 2003 and provided a common technology and content management platform for developing and hosting over fifty Government websites. During the past nine years, portal and content management solutions have developed significantly in terms of both sophistication and ease of use.

Additionally, the consumers of web content (the public) are increasingly utilizing technology tools such as mobile devices and social media to access web-based information and services. These more modern tools are not supported by the current portal infrastructure currently in place. In addition, the content management process and tools on the portal are not intuitive or easy to use by Government Departments.

This, in most cases, restricts the role of information publishing to portal administrators located in the Department of E-Government and reduces resources in the Department for more complex tasks such as website development.

The demand for Government information and web-based services has increased significantly over the years. It is therefore critical for the Government to have access to a modern technology solution for publishing web based information as well as ensuring that there is a common set of tools for managing internal “intranet” websites as well as external public facing websites.

Thank you.

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Comments (2)

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  1. so.... says:

    will the new gov website be going out to tender? where's the RFP?

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  2. Y-Gurl says:

    How about upgrading 98% of your civil servants

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