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Nov 2, 2017

E-government Charge Moves to Licenses and Permits for Imports/Exports

Belize and Taiwan have partnered to create a new online licensing system that will make the process of importation and exportation of goods much simpler, called the Belize Electronic License and Permit System. The ICT project will be facilitating government departments to provide what is called a one stop digitalized and integrated online service, which will allow the public twenty-four hours access to electronic permits. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today at the Radisson, the governments of Belize and Taiwan officially inaugurated the Belize Electronic License and Permit System. The handing over follows the completion of a five-year bilateral Information and Communication Technology project funded by Taiwan that aims to boost the efficiency of existing import and export licensing and permit issuing processes. The project was valued at one point eight million U.S. dollars.

 

Charles Liu

Charles Liu, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize

“BELAPS system is yet another significant milestone to the already impressive record of successful bilateral projects between Belize and Taiwan. The electronically system that public users can now apply for twenty-five different import and export licensing permits through a one-step online service and thereby significantly reduce the time and cost involved in processing the relevant licenses and permits.”

 

Two hundred and fifty persons from a total of ten public and private sector agencies participated in the project. Some include James Brodie and Company, the Bureau of Standards and the Customs and Forest Departments; the goal is to expand to include all government departments so consumers can access twenty-four-hour online service.

 

Francisco Gonzalez

Francisco Gonzalez, Director, CITO

“The Central Information Technology Office and Hiweb proceeded in a collaborative effort to develop a web application to allow importers and exporters to apply for their licenses and permits online and allow departments to approve or decline via the same medium. Hiweb took the lead role in the development with CITO, shadowing and guiding them in making sure we stuck to the analysis that was signed off on.”

 

The project is a part of the G.O.B.’s move to e-government where data is secured and integrated across departments. Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber who has been active in this initiative says that this direction ensures accountability.

 

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“It’s not a matter of whether or not we want to go this way, we have to go this way because that is the way of the world and in fact, here in Belize this is now the way we are doing things as well. This will certain make the system more efficient and more accountable so that those who believe that for whatever reason their applications for these services are being held up…that they can now see that it is open, transparent. They can now track their applications along the way so that you don’t have to be relying on who you know, and knowing the right people and of course, as I said in my remarks, even greasing the paws of not only the ministers, but of other people in the system.”

 

Interestingly, in those five years, the Immigration Department, on which there is an ongoing senate inquiry into the corruption, was not involved in this initial group.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber

“We are going to put in place measures for other areas of the government. I believe Mike said that there are about twenty-five areas and this only covers about ten of those areas. So there is a move to include immigration and other areas of the government service as well.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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