Proper policies lacking to drive digitalisation: Sholgol


THERE are no proper policies to drive digitalisation forward, says outgoing acting secretary for Communication and Information Technology (DCI) Flierl Sholgol.
He said this during a handover ceremony yesterday to newly-appointed Secretary John Avira.
Sholgol said the focus of information and communication technology (ICT) in Papua New Guinea in future was on digitalisation. There are no proper policy guidelines to provide the enabling environment.
Sholgol was acting in the position for four months before the appointment of Avira.
“Although four months is short, I like to mention that we have moved this department strategically,” he said.
“We have moved to forge partnerships with our strategic partners, both internationally and nationally, because of lack of capacity and resources within the department year-in year-out.” Sholgol said the only way to move forward was to forge partnership with strategic partners in the ICT sector.
That was exactly what they did within the four months: develop an ICT sector roadmap.
“Since 2005 up until now, we have focused on competition,” Sholgol said.
“After the Apec, this is the time now when we will have to look into digitalisation.
“Industry is leading the way.
“There’s a lot of things happening. The market is progressing but we have a huge policy gap.
“This ICT sector roadmap will help us to identify the gaps within those areas.
“We have to look beyond competition to digitalisation.
“Digital government, e-commerce, e-learning, e-agriculture are all happening without a proper policy guideline.”
Minister for Communications Sam Basil commended Sholgol for his leadership and welcomed Avira, who will serve as secretary for the next four years.