Gov’t announces digital strategies to expand agency interconnectivity

By John McPhaul

Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service (PRITS) Director Enrique Völckers Nin announced Thursday technological strategies to connect the systems of each agency so that they can communicate with each other.

The interconnection will allow greater agility and efficiency by the government for the benefit of the citizen, Völckers Nin said in a written statement.

Interoperability between the systems of each government agency, and the creation of an Online Access Electronic Identity System (IDEAL by its Spanish acronym) and the Citizen Information Portal (PIC by its Spanish initials) result from the initiatives established in Executive Orders (OE) 2021-007 and 008 announced Tuesday by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia.

“It is necessary to adopt innovation and achieve a digital transformation that allows us to have an efficient, modern and transparent government,” Völckers Nin. “Despite the fact that there are certain technological advances, each agency operates independently, which has led to the lack of communication between them, creating the problem that we have today. There are different systems between agencies but many of those do not communicate with each other and this is precisely what we want to change.”

The PRITS director said the IDEAL system will allow the interconnectivity of all government agencies that offer certifications, and will make it so that the government no longer has to ask the citizen to look for documents that the government itself already has.

The PIC, meanwhile, will allow citizens to stay informed, in real time and in detail, about the services that the government offers, Völckers Nin said. The PIC will have a section where the citizen can report details to the different agencies that offer services. The aim is that citizens can report leaks, holes in roads, failures in the electricity and water service, problems with power lines, landslides and accidents, among other things.

“The plan is ambitious, but necessary,” Völckers Nin said. “Citizens want an efficient and transparent government. The way to achieve this is to have technological strategies available that work. It is a priority for us that we can achieve the automation and digitization of processes, procedures and services in key areas of the government.”

OE 2021-007 also orders all government agencies to provide the necessary information to PRITS so that it obtains all the information it needs to guide the digital transformation. All information technology (IT) staff within a given agency should also be consulted.

PRITS is the agency that leads efforts to solve the problem of integration between information and communication technologies of government agencies, facilitate the exchange of information, and promote public and private initiatives that tend to eliminate the digital divide in society.

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