Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 21, 2016 (SKNIS): The Information Technology (IT) Department is currently holding a workshop which seeks to ensure that its technical personnel are competent in PC computing and networking management.

Pierre Bowrin, ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Policy Advisor, stated that during 2015 the IT department reviewed various areas of improvement in the department and one was persons’ competencies.

“We reflected and we were able to determine that, in house, the required competencies were not there,” said Mr. Bowrin. “So, we made a concerted effort in the following year, which is 2016, to try and have programmes that would build our technical staff competencies.”

Mr. Bowrin said that in addition to strengthening skills and competencies within the unit, in February of this year the two new government ICT governance organs were launched, namely, the ICT Governance Board and the ICT Technical Group.

“The ICT Technical Group in particular comprises of systems admins throughout the public service,” he said. “So, we have invited those persons. We have 10 persons selected throughout the various ministries and departments whose responsibility it is to manage their respective network. They are taking part and their skills and competencies are being built so that, as a whole of government approach, we are all able to ensure that the enterprise, Government Area Network for the Federation, is as secure as possible and is managed to the highest level as possible.”

There are plans going forward to strengthen the network and as time goes on more IT services will be brought on board. Much of the manual processes and services that are in existence will also be modernized.

“It’s going to demand that we have competent persons who are on the ground who are able to manage and secure these processes,” said Mr. Bowrin.

One of the participants, David Saunders of the IT Department, stated that the training is helpful for him and his colleagues as they can implement different platforms they have learnt in terms of security and will be able to help build the network infrastructure for the department and also different departments within the government.

Mr. Bowrin expressed his gratitude to Shokaz, which is an Information Technology and Systems Integration Company that provides sales, consultant services and technical support to individuals and businesses, for spearheading the training.

The first phase of the training started on November 14 and will end on November 25.

Participating departments include Customs, Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), Citizen by Investment Unit (CIU), IT and Police.