By Delly Bagu – EM TV, Port Moresby
Former journalist and lawyer, Koreken Levi is the new Deputy Secretary for the Department of Communication and Information, responsible for the Policy Division.
Levi, from Enga province, was appointed the new Deputy Secretary for the Department of Communication and Information earlier this month. His experience with policy spans over 10 years; he was a policy advisor on infrastructure, land and resources, social welfare and law and order.
Prior to his appointment, Mr Levi was the acting senior legal officer and advisor to the National Security Policy Technical Working Committee within the Department of the Prime Minister and the National Executive Council (NEC).
Two weeks into his job, Mr Levi said his immediate challenges include logistics and understanding his staff. He plans to build up on the capacity of the policy division for a more effective team.
He wants to ensure that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is responsive to the government’s development aspirations and to use ICT as a tool for development, as reflected in the Vision 2050 goals.
“My priority now will be to work closely with the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) board to effectively deliver the Rural Communication Project, as well as the IGIS [Integrated Government Information System] and review the Information Technology Board (ITB), and possibly streamline the ICT sector players into a more effective and manageable for purposes of policy oversight to give value to government business,” Mr Levi said.
The Rural Communications Project (RCP) is an on-going government project funded by a credit facility from the World Bank aimed at increasing access to ICT and government services in areas with no telecommunications services. This will be done by providing voice telephony services in remote and unserviceable areas of the country through the construction of communication towers in 59 selected sites.
IGIS has already been launched with the creation of the National Data Centre and setting up of video conferencing facilities. IGIS’ main objective is to connect all government agencies with Internet connectivity at a reduced cost, as well as voice telephone and video conferencing facilities, to make government business easier and cost-effective.
The ITB is a government authority set up to develop policy and legal frameworks to drive and regulate the ICT sector but has been left dormant; the ICT sector has overtaken it.
The Department of Communication and Information is the implementing agency with technical support from other key partners.