Somaliland: Legal Standing Impinge ICT Commission Activities

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Eng Ali Abdilahi ICT CommissionerBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The National Information and Communication Technology-ICT Commission is currently unable to fulfil its mandate accordingly.

This revelation was made by the Chairman of the national ICT Commission Eng. Ali Abdilahi Dahir during a media briefing in his Hargeisa office where he termed the impediments to proper activities undertakings by his body as being those related to funds and legal standings.

“Though we at the commission are doing our level best to fulfil our mandate which pertains to the development of ICT in the country financial and legislation impediments have overwhelmed us” said Eng. Dahir

the Engineer who attributed insufficient funding to the legal Inhibitions said that the central coffers annual budget does not allocate the ICT Commission funds since there are no legal parameters since the council of ministers is yet to approve the national ICT draft laws.

Said he, “The draft laws that we presented to the cabinet in 2011 is yet to be either rejected and returned to us for amendments or approved and forwarded to parliament for related action”

According to the constitution any parastatals established by the government must be approved by both houses of parliament thus acquire legal statures which subsequently give the ministry of finance the authority to allocate the agency funds in the annual national budget.

The National ICT Commission is among the parastatals established by president Silanyo when he assumed office two years ago replacing its predecessor, the ICT advisory under ex-president Dahir Rayale.

Despite the non-allocation of operational funds in the annual national budget other obstacles attributed to lack of legal statures include the non-appointment of commissioners.

Engineer Ali Abdilahi Dahir who says his commission is mandated with the development of Information and Communication Technologies for all government agencies wants his body’s legalities put in-place the soonest

“Apart from ICT making the world a global village, the lagging behind in adapting allied technologies involved impinges negatively on performance by the central, regional and local governments nationwide.” Cautions Eng. Dahir

Some of the activities on hand at the ICT commission include preparation and institutionalization of websites for each individual ministry and parastatals which will not only avail updated information and archives but official email addresses to employees.

Although a number of ministries currently maintain updated websites the novel plan by the ICT commission to allocate civil servants official email address is welcome as it shall eliminate the current and embarrassing scenario where most official electronic communication is undertaken through personal email accounts.

Worthy of mention is that this anomaly is prevalently engulfing civil servants from the rank of director generals, parastatals chiefs and below following the activation of the government website www.somalilandgov.com  where ministers have personalised email accounts.

Thanks to the government website diversified information on the country is now available at a single site.

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