By Stanley Iwuoha
The Federal Executive Council yesterday gave its approval to the Virtual Engagements Policy for the Public Service.
The decision was taken at its weekly meeting held in Abuja.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan had presented the draft policy to the FEC following the migration of official meetings from the conventional physical meetings format ovcassioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Much as these changes were welcome, the provision was not made for such meetings in the Public Service Rules.
The Minister explained that the Policy for the Public Service was developed to legalize as well as provide the framework and standards within which Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), Parastatals, and Government-owned companies can use virtual engagements as an administrative procedure in the Public Service.
He listed some of the goals of the Policy to include: institutionalize the use of virtual platforms for effective and efficient service delivery; encourage remote collaboration among stakeholders, including the private/public sector, individuals and International Organizations; effectively adopt and deploy digital technology for virtual engagements in order to improve service delivery in the Public Sector; to enhance learning and manpower development across the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to create a smart workforce; and to improve transparency in government and fight corruption.
He urged all MDAs, Parastatals and Government-owned companies to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Policy and ensure full compliance.
He also urged Government institutions at the State and Local Government Levels are also encouraged to adopt the Policy to ensure the inter-operability of technologies adopted for inter-governmental meetings,.
The implementation of the Policy according to him, will improve service delivery in the country and will support in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.
‘‘The Policy can also be supported by subsidiary legislation from our regulatory parastatals supervised by the Ministry.
‘‘The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to supporting all government institutions towards the successful implementation of the Policy,’’ said Pantami.