‘Govt. recognises legal environment’s importance for data usage’ | Daily News

‘Govt. recognises legal environment’s importance for data usage’

Speaking of the importance of digital reforms, newly appointed ICTA Chairman Prof. Lalith Gamage said that the Sri Lanka Government recognized how vital it was to provide a necessary legal environment for using data and digital documents for both; official and personal reasons.

“That is why we are working closely with digital law and reform initiatives in the country. One of the most admissible pieces of legislation used in ICT and digital governance is the Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) No. 19 of 2006. ICTA worked with the Legal Draftsman’s Department in drafting the ETA and it was brought into operation effective October 1, 2007,” he explained to Daily News Business.

The ICT agency has also supported the formulation of the Payment and Settlements Legislation and Cybercrime Legislation. The establishment of Sri Lanka CERT was a step towards ICTA providing institutional support in mitigating Cyber threats to the country. It was ICTA who led Sri Lanka’s entry into the Budapest Cybercrime Convention and the UN Electronic Communications Convention, affording Sri Lanka the opportunity of adopting international best practices.

Creating a society with a progressive integration of technology is listed as ‘top priority’ in President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’ policy statement. As the chief ICT institute of the government, the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), has been mandated with assisting the government with implementing a detailed roadmap in line with the president’s vision to establish a digitally inclusive Sri Lanka, with a citizen-centric digital government for the convenience of every Sri Lankan.

In getting closer to the goal of achieving this vision the government has formed a Technology Ministry that comes directly under the president. The new Ministry is headed by Jayantha De Silva, former chairman of ICTA while Professor Lalith Gamage, CEO of SLIIT was appointed as Chairman of the Agency. He is also the founder CEO of SLIIT and Chairman of the Technical Committee for the Sri Lanka Unique Digital Identity project.

The agency has already accomplished a great deal in boosting the country’s digital economy and are developing plans that will best achieve future goals listed in their vision statement. The newly appointed board of ICTA, comprising experienced capable individuals, is a right step in carrying out the nation’s digital transformation, which is expected to become operational within the next 5 years. While the five-year strategy is multi-faceted, the ICT Agency is working on key areas that are vital in achieving the government’s goal.