BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Barbados will invest in the modernization of the public sector by increasing the effectiveness of the government to improve the competitiveness of the country’s economy with a loan of US$40 million approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
This project aims to achieve greater use of digital channels by individuals and companies to access public services; greater efficiency in public sector administration; and the strengthening of public sector skills to operate in a digital economy.
The project is expected to reduce the transactional costs related to the provision of services in the public and private sectors by enabling online public sector transactions, reducing the number of hours that companies and individuals spend to access those services, eliminating trips to do each transaction and speeding up processing times by public officers.
Barbados is committed to the digital transformation of public sector administration and to improve the quality of its services with the formulation and implementation of an updated e-government strategy, including training of public sector employees. These objectives are aligned with the first pillar of the IDB Group’s Country Strategy with Barbados (2019-2023), which proposes promoting fiscal sustainability and greater efficiency in the public sector.
The program will also strengthen the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology and the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment to lead this transformation, including a cybersecurity strategy supported by the establishment of a Security Operations Center (SOC).
The project will improve the management of human resources in the public sector, including public employees’ skills and training in disruptive technologies, using a strategy with a gender and diversity approach.
The main beneficiaries of this project will be the citizens of Barbados, the people who carry out transactions with the public sector in the country and the private sector, particularly those who face high costs to access public services. In addition, public sector employees will benefit through training and fair access to employment opportunities or promotion in the public service for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex or disability. The Government of Barbados will also benefit from being able to better manage its human resources and provide services more efficiently.
The IDB loan has a repayment term of 25 years, a grace period of 5.5 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR.