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Apr 25, 2017

How Gov’t Will Manage its Systems Under CITO

Michael Singh

One other matter touched on at the Senate inquiry is the use of technology. Central Information Technology Office employee Francisco Rodriguez and Immigration Department IT chief Rodolfo Bol testified at the Senate Special Select Committee about breaches in the Immigration programs. These breaches allowed employees multiple access points to perform jobs from data entry to quality assurance. Unscrupulous persons took advantage of these gaps, it is alleged in the Auditor General’s Report, to facilitate the processing of hundreds of undeserved passports, nationality certificates and permanent residencies, including and most infamously, Won Hong Kim. According to Michael Singh, the man now in charge of CITO as Chief Technology Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Government has taken steps to eliminate those gaps.


Michael Singh, Chief Technology Officer

“The Immigration system is not managed by us, it’s managed by the Immigration Department; so that’s one of the things we are working to change – is to wire the Immigration system and to bring them under our network and host their servers in our data center. What that does, it removes the connection and the conflict of interest where an employee of a Department has access to the information system, so we are removing those throughout Government. I mentioned in my speech, we are already working at bringing the Customs systems under our management – and when I say management I don’t mean we will be doing Customs work; it means that we will be managing the system, from a system administrator standpoint, to ensure that there is security and there is not access for people who shouldn’t access it. We are also working with the Lands Department to move the land folio system over; that’s a big job – because of course all the CADASTRAL maps, and everything, it’s a lot of data – so we’re moving those over, so our plan is to bring all these Government systems under one network. We are sixty-five percent there, and every day our guys are out, running the wires and putting in the fibre-optic network to be able to bring those systems online, so that we can be behind one secure network. To answer your question, our plan is to not have specific departments manage their own systems in the future.”


Michael Singh has been in his new post since April of 2016, a few months after stepping down as C.E.O. in the Ministry of Trade and Investment in the wake of the 2015 general election. According to Singh, the Government is more than halfway through building a ‘Citizen Registry’ combining the records of the Vital Statistics, Immigration and other agencies and encrypted with biometric indicators as the basis for providing Government services. Singh told us that his office is working with no less than U.S. tech giant Microsoft on building this network.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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