National Assembly Question Time-New law to regulate telecom service providers’ operations


Speaking in his capacity as minister responsible for information technology, Vice-President Faure said this aims at improving the quality of services being offered to the public and also to gradually review the cost of these services.

Vice-President Faure was answering questions on the issue tabled by elected member for Anse Boileau Bernard Arnephy.

Mr Arnephy had asked if with the installation of the fibre optic cable the public would obtain better quality services at more reasonable prices.

Mr Faure noted that while the government believes that the cost of such services would go down, we have to at the same time be realistic and take into account the level of investment in the project by both the government and investors.

He reminded the Assembly that the government invested €4 million, Cable & Wireless $5 million, Airtel US $3.9 million, African Development Bank €8 million, European Investment Bank €8 million to bring the cables to Seychelles.

He said the government is working closely with the operators in view of improving the quality of services and gradually reducing the cost to the public.

The vice-president said investment in the fibre optic cables is very important for Seychelles with a lot of benefits to come not overnight but in the long term.

Mr Faure stressed that while the government always sees development in technology as a development tool, businesses see more opportunities for business development and the role of government is to ensure proper balance of the two with its main objective the interest of the people.

In another question Mr Arnephy asked about the government’s plan to ensure all ministries and departments have a functioning website where basic information about them is accessible to the public and also where online transactions are possible.

Vice-President Faure explained that the official website of the government is to which the different ministries and department should have links.

But he noted that the major constraint being encountered is to have sufficient capable manpower in each ministry to ensure their websites are operational and updated with new information at all times.

Mr Faure pointed out that there is a need to work with the different parties to ensure all websites are maintained.

He said at present there are 46 functioning websites while 24 are not operational.

The vice-president said the government is working on a protocol and the appropriate standard to ensure that websites are properly designed and maintained and training is given to website operators where necessary.

Mr Faure informed the Assembly that as from next year all government reports will be accessible to the public on its official website.

He noted that after President James Michel’s request following government restructuring in March this year that all ministries and departments submit their plans and targets, their quarterly reports with regard to their work will be posted on the website for public access.

He further noted that at present only the Assembly can have access to institutional activities and reports but added that as from next year all the reports will also be accessible to the public.

But Mr Faure stressed that in order to make the life of all Seychellois much easier through the use of information technology, all ministries and departments should design their functions and procedures to make that happen.