Tammur harnesses potential of digital revolution

THE government has jumped on the digital revolution bandwagon yesterday when it signed an agreement with a Chinese firm to provide electronic government services.

At the penning instruments for a service agreement with representatives of Huawei Technologies Ltd at the Government House in Port Moresby, Communication and Information Minister Patrick Tammur said the e-government initiative would effectively create an alternative new channel for citizens and businesses to engage with government administrations transparently “at a faster pace, more conveniently and at a lower cost”.

Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane signed the integrated government information system (IGIS) service agreement on behalf of the state while senior vice-president Qu Wenchu signed for Huawei Technologies Ltd.
Services to be covered under the agreement included work permits, e-learning, e-health, online visa processing, e-passport, e-tax and e-commerce among others.

The Department of Information and Communication will be the implementing agency.

Tammur said there was still work to be done to complete the initiative, such as “negotiating the terms and conditions of the US$53 million loan agreement with the EXIM Bank of China”.

“NEC has approved for a state team to negotiate the terms and conditions of the loan, beginning 60 days from the date of the signing (yesterday),” he added.

The team would include officers from treasury, planning and monitoring, communication and information, Telikom PNG and the state solicitor’s office.

Tammur said the government’s key focus had been on physical infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals.

“The emergence of e-government initiative is based largely on the key strategy of improving service delivery for better quality of life and to create new opportunities outside the spectrum of a traditional development process.”
IGIS will link all government agencies to a central database.(8/9/10)



16 thoughts on “Tammur harnesses potential of digital revolution

  1. I am not against Government of the day doing what it is suppose to do.But already I can smell something horrible and fishy in this deal with the “CHINA TOWN.Bloggers,as you are all well aware ,where there is a deal that goes into the millions of Dollars,someone/somebody will have their hand in the pie and they will also eat it too.This time it is under the guise of another worth while development ,which will no doubt be good for PNG in the long run;but that we will have to wait and see.
    Why Are They Borrowing all that money from China Town for a,dont we already have money sitting in the Government Coffers from the mineral/minnning and oil/gas boom??Where is all the monies gone too?I am not a student of Economics, so please exlain to me!

  2. well, i guess in the meantime, i just have to WAIT for the day when the cost of accessing the internet in PNG will significantly decrease. is that possible?

  3. When I read this article I had mixed feelings.

    Firstly, its good that the Government is trying to modernize. We do need information in digital format, so that it is more readily accessible.

    Problems I see are (1) human resource capacity – will those bureaucrats know what to do – some of them probably have never heard of email (2) access infrastructure, Internet in PNG is ridiculously expensive even with the best efforts of telikom, it is still not a utility, it is a luxury.

    My concern is with the involvement of the Chinese. If they set up our Government Information system, then they will have access to all our information and will be able to keep a tighter tab on our country. China needs PNG for its natural resources, let’s not be naive about it. They are doing what they are doing because they need to fuel their growth.

    The tighter their control on their resource outpost (PNG), the easier and cheaper it is for them to access and retrieve the resources. Huawei is not a Microsoft or an Intel – their government’s tentacles are in every business in China.

    1. Mangi,

      That was one of the points I overlooked to point out.The Hardware and all that goes into the setting up of the digitial revoultion that will help the Government bureaucracy from the Parliament down to the various Statutory Organization and Departments will be infested with the “BUG” from ‘China Town”.The bug will outsource information,be they sensitive to the Government or not,this china bug will be listening in on everything /everybody and on the various forms of information going back and fort through the system they will install.
      I am not a expert on the Computer Technology but this should be widely debated.The Sovereignty of Papua New Guinea will be greatly jeopardised.Whoever is hellbend on the CHINA LAND to come and do this installing from their Hardwares they themselves are bringing from there must have their brains looked at.
      They have some of the best brains of the computer revolution.There is “computer war” going between the U.S and them.The PNG Government should not go inviting potention threats to the Sovereignty of PNG and it’s greatest asset, Papua New Guineans; not to mention all is in the ground(gas/oil,minerals) are ours.I guess what I saying here is that they will spy on us whether we like it or not.I hope Australia who the present Government of the grand thief has very little do with ,will help us when these Chinese comes into PNG with the computer hardware and install them.Hope Australia will install their counter measures to ensure we do not get gobbled up by the China tentacles.The grand thief is taking us all with him to China,whether we Papua New Guineans like it or not!

  4. Like the others have said..I have mixed feelings here. I would rather do the following;
    1 – Ensure ALL Government employees should be equpied with the basic skills and knowledge on e-Govenance and that includes the use of computers and MS applications
    2 – Engage local knowledge to build up the e-Governence. When wil we start believing in ourselves. We have enough knowldge base and also have people like Datec, Daltron, to name a few that we can draw from.
    If its about money, then you got to be kidding giving me.

    Lastly why the Chinese again! Can we just look elsewhere, if there is a need in future. I am not sure they are the right kind of people to do business with.

  5. Interesting term that: ‘Middle Kingdom’.

    China is called Zhōngguó (also Romanized as Chung-kuo or Jhongguo; in Mandarin Chinese. The first character zhōng (中) means “central” or “middle,” while guó (國/国) means “kingdom” or “nation”. The term can be literally translated into English as “Middle Kingdom” or “Central Kingdom.” ..(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia)

    Clearly the term refers to the traditional Chinese view that China is the centre of the world. Nations outside of China are either vassal states (i.e. those close by) or ‘beyond civilization’. I wonder where we fit in?

    Software purchases are a real nightmare these days when so much relies on them. Salaries and allowances, leave arrangements, higher duties, spouses and dependents, loan repayments, bank accounts, … the list goes on. All these aspects of personal life are available to anyone who has access to the system.

    Then there’s the maintenance, back up copies, archiving, upgrades and ongoing expenses. Once you have a system installed its very difficult to change it over for something else or another software and any hardware is probably only compatible with the maker’s software.

    Gosh! It begins to sound like a monopoly doesn’t it?

  6. This deal is fishy to say the least. To start with the PNG Government is borrowing the money to pay for this by a loan from a Chinese bank! Second Huawei are known to be corrupt and have close links to the Chinese military. Do you really want them running all the PNG Government IT networks?.

    Some more information about this company.

    Huawei has been accused of dubious research and development practices. In February 2003 Cisco Systems filed motion for preliminary injunction against Huawei, saying it was “engaged in blatant and systematic copying of Cisco’s router technology”.

    The US government’s Strategic Studies Institute report on Argentina published in September 2007 describes Huawei as “known to bribe and trap clients”. The report further details unfair business practices, such customers framed by “full-paid trips” to China and monetary “presents” to be offered and later used by Huawei as “a form of extortion”.

    In its 2008 Military Report to the Congress, the Pentagon stated that Huawei “maintains close ties” to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

    In the same year, the proposed merger of US-based 3COM Corp and Huawei met with a US Congress investigation and subsequent determination by the Director of National Intelligence that a “3Com-Huawei merger would undermine US national security”.

    In October 2007, 7,000 Huawei employees resigned and then were rehired on new contracts that they would not be bound by the unlimited contract provisions of a new Labour Contract Law.

    Huawei also triggered a media outcry after 25 year-old software engineer, Hu Xinyu, who worked for Huawei Technologies in Guangdong Province, Southern China, died in May 2006 from what was believed to have been “extreme fatigue caused by overwork”.

  7. It is becoming a very real problem.
    China will suck the life out of PNG, with no respect for PNG people or PNG enviroment.
    China is gaining to control PNG, the PNG polititaions do not know what they are doing regarding negotiations with China.
    I did mention prior of the Wewak Grandstand and the Chinese symbol of dominace on its roof, this symbol has been used by China for thousands of years, to advertise its progression, dominace, security of and invading country.
    The ‘triads have always’ sent Chinese family’s around the world to gather and invade , they even came to Australia and PNG from the Ming Dynasty along time before the Dutch or Captain Cook, luckily in those days the Australian Aborigines and Coastal PNG’s found them palatable ,which Australian Aboringines called them ‘long pig’ and plenty. This action keep the Chinese under control now they are out of control.

    1. Haha Greenie that is hilarious. Eating the “long pigs” kept them under control.

      Huawei is a private chinese company with known corrupt practices. Dealing with the Chinese government is one thing, but Huawei is completely different. I would advise anyone who knows a PNG official to talk with them about re-considering this deal. Huawei will have a firm grasp on PNG infrastructure if this goes through and cannot be controlled by diplomatic means like Governments can.

  8. Dare I say the obvious. Australia may have made mistakes in the past but successive governments on both sides of the Torress Strait have not paid enough attention to bilateral relations with each other. This recent extention of Somare’s ‘look north’ policy kinda makes the old Oz now seem rather benign doesn’t it?

    There is an old saying that ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune.’ Unfortuantely the grand thief will not have to play whatever tune he is told to play. The PNG people will. What will the real price of this IT purchase be I wonder? Will the public ever know?

    BTW – Can someone explain exactly what Tony Voutas was doing in Beijing recently?

  9. From a 2009 report in The Australian – relevant to PNG.

    “ASIO is investigating claims that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is employing technicians in Australia with direct links to the People’s Liberation Army.

    The claims have been made by Huawei employees in Sydney and Melbourne, who are understood to have approached ASIO with their concerns.

    Huawei has been the subject of critical scrutiny by intelligence agencies in the US and Britain about its alleged links with the Chinese military and intelligence apparatus…

    The federal government, which has warned about the growing threat of cyber-espionage, has not made any public allegations against Huawei, which has been operating in Australia for four years.

    But The Weekend Australian understands that ASIO officers have interviewed current and former Huawei employees – all Australian nationals – several times this year in Melbourne and Sydney.

    The claims made to ASIO include:

    * That Huawei employs Chinese nationals in Australia who have direct links with the PLA and with the Chinese government;

    * That senior Huawei officials are summoned to frequent meetings with Chinese government officials at Chinese embassies and consulates in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne;

    * That Huawei has recently sacked several dozen of its Australian-born workforce, replacing them with Chinese nationals brought in from China;

    * That Huawei employs a security controller whose full-time job is to monitor the emails and other communications of the company. “

    1. Peter,

      If news about Huawei’s connections with PLA is true, then we should be very concerned about our engagement with them.

      Where are people like Luther Wenge, the self proclaimed full back of the government and wannabe protector of national security? This guy jumps up and down and makes a lot of noise on issues of national security and we are expecting nothing less from him on this one too.

  10. Sorry, this is off the topic, but is worth noting.

    Russia is apparently trying to close down blogs and confiscate computers from NGO’s critical of the Government by claiming their software is illegal. Microsoft will issue new free and legal licences to NGO’s to get around this.

    Interesting move by Microsoft –

    Following a recent report that Russian police have used software copyright raids to seize computers of activist groups, Microsoft announced it will issue a blanket software license to nonprofit groups and journalist groups outside the US. The new blanket license should remove software piracy as an excuse for ‘nefarious actions’ by enforcement authorities, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith wrote. The new license ‘cuts in one swoop the Gordian knot that otherwise is getting in the way of our desired handling of these legal issues,’ he said. ‘The law in Russia (and many other countries) requires that one must provide truthful information about the facts in response to a subpoena or other judicial process. With this new software license, we effectively change the factual situation at hand. Now our information will fully exonerate any qualifying [nonprofit], by showing that it has a valid license to our software.


  11. Back on topic.

    It is alleged that Huawei illegally clones Cisco routers and then installs backdoors that allow covert interception of traffic.

  12. So the PNG Egovernment project is:

    – Funded by a loan from a Chinese bank.

    – Then the outsourcing contract awarded to a Huawei, a Chinese company.

    – Who have subcontracted the Chinese Railway Company to build it all for them.

    – And China gets all the gvoernment information

    WOW, that’s crazy! I guess we’ll all be speaking Chinese instead of pidgin soon……


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