BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - IN the upcoming months, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will be working on a mobile application which would allow individuals to pay fees for government-provided services online.
The announcement was made yesterday (Feb. 15) by Attorney General and Minister of Information Technology the Hon. Vincent Byron at the launch of five e-Government Mobile Applications held at Ocean Terrace Inn.
The Crime Prevention App, the Consumer Affairs App, the SKNIS News App, Government Directory App and the National Events App were developed by Open Interactive and are part of the Government’s thrust to facilitate easy sharing of information between itself and the people it serves.
While making a presentation on the Government’s future focus as it relates to Information and Communications Technology (ITC), Byron said it would be working on rolling out a platform for payment of fees via a mobile application.
Currently, the Inland Revenue Department has a system in place where a number of the taxes can be paid online. But according to Byron, there is need for additional payment options to be offered in relation to the entire pool of government services.
“I would say that as we move forward, there are two particular areas that we will be looking at; one has to do with e-payments. The government…will be working over the course of the next few months to develop a platform where you can make payments to Government via your cellphone devices.
“So if, for instance, you want to get a passport…you (can) make an application online. Hopefully, we would be doing that soon. We can also pay the various charges. Right now to get a passport you need to get $150 in stamps. If you want to do a search at the Government High Court registry, you need a $5 stamp. So a lot of areas where you need services from the government, you have to go physically and pay cash or use stamps or various forms of monetary currency, that we have done for years and years and years.”
The Attorney General said the Ministry of Finance would have to give the greenlight to proceed with developing the platform, which would see the government being “able to have a secure, trusted way in which citizens can pay their bills to government online…
“And once that is done, it opens up ourselves to every department, every ministry to be able to have (another) option, in addition to people coming off the street and tendering cash…”
The Information Technology Minister even suggested that the possibility exists for persons being ticketed by traffic and other police officers could pay for the ticket via the mobile application.
“And so that would be one of our future developments that we would be working on over the next few months.”
He said such an application would be a convenient means for citizens to pay their debts to the government and an efficient means for the government to collect revenue.