Archive for October, 2009

Good luck with launching of Maldives e-government portal

An email shared by a friend in response to a query of e-government network of Maldives and its status!

You’re gonna be left with egg on you face in 3 weeks time, mark my words! 😉

Speaking as someone who actually works at NCIT, I can confidently tell you that you got a lot of things wrong there. First of all, the portal is not just what you clam; just one of those travel agency-type websites which gives you a list of how-tos. No, it contains much more. You’ll get to see it when its launched in a few weeks.

And you’re right, we did moan a lot about other government agencies not co-operating with us. But we seem to have gained some momentum since the new government came to power. It’s just the fact that none of them believed that such a project could be completed (come off it, even I did at times!) but all the hard work is slowly, but surely reaping its results. I get to correspond with several ppl from many different agencies on a daily basis (they attend for several training sessions that are currently being held here) and the feedback is very positive now, stark contrast of what we’ve been hearing for the past few years.

Also, its not just a simple website we’re gonna be providing you all with. The Government Network of Maldives has already enabled some organizations to share services with each other. There’s the Department of National Registration for instance, who, with the help of NCIT, can now enable some other organisations to access their database. A very small example.

Although of course, you’re right about our humble beginnings. I’m glad I was still in school back then!

A few weeks back our new minister visited and told us the wise words, “Darn the the general public. Forget them. You’re the only ones who really know what you’re doing. Someday, when they begin to understand the conveniences, they’ll thank you.”
Come to think of it. What do the general public know about networking, portals etc?? Nothing. Although we Maldivians are slowly coming around after being simpletons for so long.

Whatever it is, I personally would love to see this so called e-government portal launched. Although I am pretty sure it will not be up to my par, the fact that they call it a portal is good enough for me to say so. Portals are old fashioned and it craze has already died in 2001!

However I guess something is better than having nothing. My main concerns are that the portal is Microsoft Sharepoint based, it is a close source software, meaning nobody but Microsoft knows what happens inside! Is this important? Dude, we are talking about our Government, I guess we need to know! On the other hand what when we need a feature that is not in Sharepoint? Pay Microsoft a healthy chunk of another loan to develop it? As if they will listen!

Next the security of Microsoft Sharepoint! More importantly how would it and the current setup stand up for a DDOS attack or what about the fact that it is not patched with known security holes wide open! As far as I can think of the only people who will benefit of the launch of this portal is Microsoft and Dhiraagu! I mean financially!

Anyways, good luck with launching of Maldives e-government portal.


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