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15 June, 2024
 
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Piki shares the government's tech-powered 6-year plan

Government's digital transformation journey

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The government is ramping up the execution of a series of projects, bolstering resources and expertise in collaboration with the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy, according to Irene Piki, Deputy Minister to the president.

She emphasized how technology aligns with the government's strategic planning during her speech at the "Digital Agenda Cyprus Summit" on "shaping tomorrow: the contribution of government priorities and technology."

Piki highlighted that the first budget of the current government, submitted to Parliament in early October, sets the stage for discussions in the relevant parliamentary committee next week. This budget underscores the government's priorities and outlines six key areas that will guide its actions until 2028.

"A budget boasting a healthy surplus, reflecting our commitment to fiscal discipline and sound public finances, including reforms aligned with our governance program," Piki stated.

Key points from the 2024 budget include:
1. A projected GDP growth of 2.9% in 2024.
2. Prioritizing increased social spending and the implementation of development projects and reforms from the recovery and Resilience Plan, all while maintaining fiscal discipline.
3. An expected 12% increase in development spending in 2024 compared to 2023.
4. A projected 15% boost in spending on social benefits in 2024.
5. A fiscal surplus estimated at 2.2% of GDP for 2024, with a medium-term goal of reducing public debt to below 60% by the end of 2026.

Regarding the government's six priorities until 2028, Piki stressed their focus on resolving long-standing issues that impact the daily lives of citizens and future generations. These priorities encompass addressing migration-related challenges, affordable housing, traffic congestion, a resilient economy, state modernization through digitization, combating corruption, promoting meritocracy, and pursuing a green transition. Piki also underlined the government's continuous efforts for a united and prosperous Cyprus through a comprehensive resolution of the Cyprus problem.

When asked about the role of technology and digital transition in the government's strategic planning, Piki revealed that the government is actively working to accelerate various projects and enhance resources in collaboration with the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy.

"Recently, we've expanded the responsibilities of our new chief scientist to serve as the Chief Technology Officer, with a focus on expediting the adoption of digitization and digital transformation while implementing essential reforms and investments in e-government. We also have plans to enhance the Digital Services Factory by establishing development standards and a bidding model for service development. Our primary objective is to provide services to the citizens swiftly and efficiently, with a focus on digitization initiatives that can significantly enhance public service efficiency and engagement with citizens and businesses. Notable projects include the Integrated Tax Management System, digital transformation of the courts, Integrated Information System for the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver, Integrated Land Information System (ILIS), solutions for the Civil Registry and Migration Department and Social Security Services, a new e-procurement system, and the e-wallet. We are also initiating a platform for non-binding referendums to promote participatory governance," explained Ms. Piki.

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Cyprus  |  AI  |  technology  |  government

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