Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs (fourth right), Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion (fourth left), and NRPB Director Claret Connor (third right) with World Bank, Trust Fund, and Government of St. Maarten representatives at eSXM’s launch on Thursday.
PHILIPSBURG--In continuing digitisation efforts started during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of St. Maarten launched its Digital Transformation Strategy, eSXM, in a small ceremony on Thursday, September 29.
The Digital Transformation Strategy will act as a seven-year roadmap to guide government’s activities into a digital future of providing faster and more efficient online services. Making it easier for citizens and businesses to access government services and interact with ministries and government departments lies at the heart of eSXM.
The strategy lays out the framework in which a greater number of services will be placed in an online “one-stop-shop” platform that will be designed in an accessible and understandable manner for everyone, even those who are less technologically savvy. This aims to reduce the need for persons to make multiple visits to government offices and to supply the same documentation at different sites.
Additionally, the strategy will assist in making the work of civil servants easier by creating a framework for more efficient data exchange between departments, ministries and government entities. This seeks to allow civil servants to work together in a well-coordinated manner among different arms of government to deliver high quality services to the people of St. Maarten.
The digital transformation strategy is spearheaded by government’s Digital Leadership Team (DLT), a recently appointed task force in the Ministry of General Affairs. The DLT will coordinate and manage the process of digital transformation, facilitating inter-ministerial coordination and implementing digital initiatives across the seven government ministries.
The initiatives that will be undertaken by DLT are supported through the St. Maarten Trust Fund’s Digital Government Transformation Project (DGTP), which is implemented with the assistance of the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB).
“The strategy of this government, with regard to digital transformation, is to move away from a system that is heavily paper-based and transition to a more digital and user-focused process,” said Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs at eSXM’s soft launch. “This transition will better connect ministries and, in turn, will lead to government services more efficient and effective and make it easier for residents, businesses, and civil servants alike to make better use of digital government services.”
Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion noted that in in the past two years, the government has taken several key steps to digitise the government’s services, in particular in the Ministry of General Affairs and Ministry of Finance. “This strategy will guide and give direction to the decision-making processes in bringing the entire government apparatus into these efforts, and I look forward to the ease of service that be realised in the coming seven years,” he said.
NRPB Director Claret Connor said one of the St. Maarten Trust Fund’s goals is to increase the country’s resilience to future natural disasters.
“A crucial aspect in bouncing back quickly is the ability of government to access and share information so as to be able to coordinate and carry out relief initiatives in the chaotic moments immediately after a disaster. I’m happy that our government’s ability to do exactly this is being strengthened through the Digital Government Transformation Project,” he said.
The St. Maarten Trust Fund is financed by the Government of the Netherlands, managed by the World Bank and implemented by NRPB on behalf of the Government of St. Maarten.