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Virus exposes gaps in Thailand’s clunky operating system:TDRI


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Virus exposes gaps in Thailand’s clunky operating system:TDRI

By The Nation

 

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Itsakul Unahakate, a lecturer from Thammasat University’s Economics Faculty

 

Using digital data technologies to become a “smart government” is crucial if Thailand wants to restore national competency and keep up with the world.

 

 

“It’s not enough for state agencies to have their digital data systems and applications,” said Itsakul Unahakate, a lecturer from Thammasat University’s Economics Faculty.

 

“They must give up the silo mentality and operations to improve public services and transparency by making their digital databases interconnected and transparent,” he stressed.

 

The ultimate goal is to enable Thai citizens to access all public services with one ID card, he said during his talk on “State Data Systems towards a Smart Government” as part of the 2020 TDRI Annual Conference on October 5-7.

 

Entitled “Hacking the Operating System of the Thai State: Learning from the Handling of the Covid-19 Crisis to Prepare for New Challenges”, the conference focused on bureaucratic reform to improve national competency.

 

According to Itsakul, the government’s Covid-19 cash handout programmes underscore the fact that the country's fragmented database systems are inefficient and user-unfriendly. Subsequently, a large number of people in need are not receiving state assistance during the pandemic.

 

Due to the fragmented database systems, people need to fill in different forms for every service they seek because there are no central digital databases and those under different state programmes are not connected, he said.

 

As reported by the World Bank, he said, the government has so far spent 13 per cent of the GDP to cope with the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, much of this amount misses the target groups.”

 

He expressed concern that the government is still pressing ahead with more handout policies when its database systems are still ridden with flaws and leaving many people in need behind.

 

To become a smart government, the state database systems need to be overhauled in four ways, he said.

 

1. The systems must be designed to serve people’s needs, not the state agencies’ convenience. To do so, the government must first understand the people’s “pain points” before designing a system to tackle the problems effectively, he said.

2. The data compilation systems must not be redundant, asking for only necessary standard information from the citizens. They must avoid imposing administrative burdens on the citizens, costing them time and money to access public services. The system must aim for the once-only principle with privacy protection to ensure public trust, he added.

 

3. The databases must be consolidated into integrated data systems and communications networks accessible to state agencies involved. “The aim is to include all necessary information in one ID card so they can use it to access public services with ease,” he said.

 

The consolidated data systems will also enable the government to use readily available information for better planning and decision-making, he explained.

 

4. The systems must be open for public input so they can be constantly updated to meet people’s needs. This open system also fosters transparency and democratic processes, he added.

 

Towards being a digital government, the digital database and communications networks must be citizen-centric, data-driven, and performance-focused, he stressed.

 

Many countries already have digital governments – Chile, for example. Its social data system already covers 72 per cent of the population. Estonia, meanwhile, is now using the once-only principle for administrative procedures. OECD countries’ once-only principle has also significantly reduced their administrative costs.

 

Thailand could do it too, he said. “But it must start with state agencies opening their minds and foregoing organisational interests to make smart government possible.”

 

The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) is a non-profit, non-government think tank focused on social and economic development issues.

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-10-31
 
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2 hours ago, rooster59 said:

restore national competency

Restore?

You mean... there ever has been something like... uhm... "national competency"????

I'm flabbergasted.

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Taking direction from China in having every bodies info in one place. Next step will be the rolling out of facial recognition cameras to trace peoples movements. Big Brother is watching you... 🧐

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And I thought I was a dreamer.

If they upgraded systems etc, wouldn't they need real Microsoft software, not the pirated product? Cost as much as one of those submarines if they went legit perhaps

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11 hours ago, gunderhill said:

Its the way he  tells  em!

However the A4 paper  sellers  will not  be amused as  will the huge storage facilities where they keep their  paper  mountains of 3  copies signed only in blue  ink.

3 years ago I had to renew my passport, I traveled from home 2 hours away to the Bangkok office to submit the application. They checked everything took the payment and off home I went.

Just stepped into the door at home and got a call from them, "sir your application was completed in blue ink, it should have been black" ohhh sorry I said I didn't realise.

You will have to complete another form and come back... I asked if they could just photo copy it and then it would all be black?

No was the answer you have to do it yourself !!! 

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7 hours ago, Forza2002 said:

Taking direction from China in having every bodies info in one place. Next step will be the rolling out of facial recognition cameras to trace peoples movements. Big Brother is watching you... 🧐

Won't work with us farangs (facial recognition cameras), we all look the same!

Edited by herfiehandbag
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On 10/31/2020 at 6:12 AM, rooster59 said:

As reported by the World Bank, he said, the government has so far spent 13 per cent of the GDP to cope with the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, much of this amount misses the target groups.”

 

Fortunately, however...most...of this amount successfully reaches the 'correct' target group.

 

uncle 2.JPG

 

 

Edited by Hayduke
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I think my computer has caught the Chinese virus - it's churning out lots of nonsense about Thailand becoming a smart country when they can't even handle the wild dogs problem that was eliminated sixty years ago in Europe.

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