There are examples from Pacific island countries which show that the new capabilities associated with ICTs can help to:
SIMPLIFY GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY; For example, a United Nations’ virtual meeting last January linked governments and NGOs
in 10 countries with a listserv. A productive exchange took place, saving over US$25,000 in travel costs, and cutting out wasted travel time by
busy officials. For details, see www.fiji-gov.apdip.net/governance
BREAK DOWN BARRIERS BETWEEN FUNCTIONAL DOMAINS; The Fiji Public Service Commission (PSC) is introducing a personnel
management system to facilitate, among many things, more effective training, and monitoring the performance of participants of the newly
established Senior Executive Service. The new system will facilitate decentralization of former PSC functions to line ministries, providing for entry
and maintenance of personnel records by line ministries, linked by an Intranet to PSC.
ALLOW PUBLIC SERVICES TO BE REORIENTED TO SOLVING PROBLEMS FOR CLIENTS; The Federated States of Micronesia uses a
web-based system linked with Hawaii for medical advice on difficult cases. A listserv links over 100 doctors in Pacific islands, serving as an early
warning system on outbreaks of disease, and a mechanism for asking for advice from their colleagues. The University of the South Pacific offers
distance education in member countries through remote campuses linked by phone, fax and Internet to the main campus in Fiji.
OPEN UP GOVERNMENT, MAKING IT MORE TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE; The Solomon Islands recently used the web to help it
assess the prior experience of an international contractor bidding on a government contract to do preshipment inspection of logging exports. Prior
to the availability of such easy scrutiny, contracts were approved with firms that sometimes turned out to be unqualified and/or unethical. Last
year in Vanuatu, the Ombudsman’s Office set up a listserv to get legal advice on defending itself before the High Court, against a suit by
the Council of Ministers (many of whom were accused in Ombudsman reports of misconduct) seeking to abolish the office. The
Ombudsman’s Office succeeded in its legal defence, although the Ombudsman Act was subsequently repealed by Parliament.
AND DEVELOP NEW FORMS OF CITIZEN PARTICIPATION. Web-based chat sites such as the Tonga Kava Bowl and Niugini.com facilitate
free-wheeling political discussion difficult to sustain in regulated print media. They also allow participation from the diaspora in the USA,
Australia and New Zealand in the political debates of their countries.