The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) took another step towards creating a digitally empowered nation by implementing an electronic Document Attesting System (eDAS) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on last week. Using this electronic system, citizens can now get their certificates attested and certified within five to fifteen minutes, by merely accessing one single counter at the Consular division of MFA.
This service at the consular division of the MFA was inaugurated by his President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinge and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, while Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Esala Weerakoon, Secretary to the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, Wasantha Deshapriya, Chairperson of ICTA Chitranganie Mubarak and MD/CEO of ICTA Muhunthan Canagey also participated at this event.
Till the launch of this electronic system, the MFA followed a manual process of document attestation and certification and citizens had to spend two days to obtain this service. However, as a result of the newly implemented technological infrastructure the issuing of certificates can now be done within 15 minutes. The state-of-the-art infrastructure includes high speed scanners and biometric authentication for ensuring document safety, traceability, good governance and transparency.
The center has been implemented with the modern queue management system which enables citizens to book appointments using their mobile phones and provides notifications on their mobiles as well.
The solution was deployed on the Government Cloud infrastructure and connected using the government network. The system will also be extended to all foreign embassies.
“ICTA’s vision is to have a digitally inclusive society, and one of its objectives is to ensure an efficient and seamless, citizen friendly experience in government” said MD/CEO of ICTA Muhunthan Canagey.
The Consular Division of the MFA serves around 500 citizens to attest and certifying their documents on a daily basis and they have to examine and verify more than 1200-1500 documents per day. With the implementation of this electronic system, the MFA can now provide this service in an efficient and effective manner where the general public spend less than fifteen minutes at just one single service desk. With the implementation of eDAS, citizens can also get prior appointments if they are intending to visit the Consular Division to obtain their services. It is also important to note that the MFA has managed to relocate the consular division at a new location with improved and developed ICT Infrastructure and interiors. It is a commendable fact that the service cost remains the same while the service mechanism and delivery is greatly enhanced and upgraded.
Addressing the launching ceremony held at the new premises of the Consular Division, Hon. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva stated that it was a great honour for himself to be a part of this initiative which has great significance as it showcases the fact that the government of Sri Lanka has commenced their journey into the digital era.“ With the newly introduced digital technology, the Ministry is ready to deliver an enhanced service to the public. We have re-engineered the entire organization and brought down the time taken to deliver services to the people from 5 to 6 hours or even days, to just 5 to 15 minutes. This is a remarkable achievement”.
He further stated that the government is committed to their election manifesto and it is guaranteed that the future of Sri Lanka and its people is secured, while the government will work towards digitizing the national economy.
He extended his sincere appreciation to the ICTA for the support extended by them as the service implementation organization. The Deputy Minister reiterated the Sri Lanka Government’s commitment to achieving a sustainable development of the country through the constructive engagement of all government services.