World Bank provides grant for Tonga Digital Government Support Project
Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 13/05/2019
Tongans will soon benefit from improved digital access to key public services, including significant upgrades to Tonga’s civil registration and national ID systems, following the approval of a US$4.65 million grant by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.
The Tonga Digital Government Support Project will strengthen digital access, efficiency and security in Tonga’s public service, by supporting a number of whole-of-government digital initiatives, including a new National Government Portal that will improve Tongans’ access to services and information across all Government ministries and agencies, as well as improvements to Tonga’s regulations for digital economy and digital government, data protection and privacy, and cyber security.
In addition, the project will improve Tonga’s civil registration and national ID systems, ensuring that each Tongan citizen and resident is assigned a unique ID number at birth, that their legal identity can be authenticated for accessing services in-person and online, and that birth, death and marriage records are linked. For Tongan families, this will mean that newborns can be registered more quickly, and that all Tongans will have better access to education, health, employment, elections, immigration, property ownership and banking.
At present, the civil registration and national ID systems are not effectively linked, and Tonga has limited data protection standards.
In a press release from the World Bank, Finance Minister Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa said “Delivering effective online public services to our people is essential to the development of Tonga.”
The US$4.65 million grant comes from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries and will be implemented by Tonga’s Ministry of Finance.
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