E-governance will soon allow most services to be delivered online: gov’t

In the future, residents will be able to access public services digitally without setting foot in a government office, or collect their registered post without showing up at a post office, Kou Peng Kuan, director of the Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau (SAFP), revealed yesterday, adding that soon most services will be delivered over the internet.
The press conference was held to present the government’s views on e-governance. The Electronic Governance Law and the Administrative Regulations on the Execution Details of the said law was also enacted yesterday.
The first step of e-governance is to integrate all government apps into one. Residents should be able to access most public services through one single app. Kou did not guarantee there would be English on all the pages of the integrated app.
When integration is achieved, most public services should be completed over the Internet. However, this will mean that residents must provide their personal data to facilitate the services. Kou also noted that facial authentication will be introduced in the future for verification.
On data security, Kou assured that there are laws governing the matter. Third-party operators will be instructed to abide with such laws. The government has appointed AliCloud, owned by Chinese IT company Alibaba, to manage the project.
Furthermore, Kou assured that all personal data would be stored on a server controlled by the Identification Bureau (DSI). He implied that this would lower the risk of data breaches through extensive access.
Government bureaus may have the possibility of accessing open data stored by the DSI in order to facilitate swifter administrative procedures for services related to residents. The accessibility will mean less paperwork will be sent back and forth when a resident applies for certain documents or uses services at some public entities.
In the first phase, the SAFP will focus on the most popular types of services.
The SAFP director revealed that in the future, residents might be able to sign up for e-notifications from the government to receive registered post. “They will not even need to make a trip to the post office to get their registered post,” Kou explained.
He was asked by the Times to elaborate on the potential new service. In his first description, it was not very clear how the process would allow a user to avoid physically picking up a letter from the post office.
In response to the question, the SAFP director clarified that when the new service is in place, users will have the option to receive registered post directly from the issuing government bureau. For example, residents will get electronic text notices directly from the Financial Services Bureau.
For now, few banks in Macau facilitate electronic inter-bank fund transfers. However, some public service entities, such as CEM and Macao Water, have been offering the option of e-bills sent directly to the clients’ email addresses.
In addition, the regular social housing application e-platform also commenced operation yesterday. The new platform is fully digital, meaning that from now on applicants will be able to complete the application process electronically.

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