Conference: The second annual ICT (information communications technology) conference for IT officers in the government and private sector ended yesterday.

Speaking to more than a hundred IT officers, information and communications minister DN Dhungyel said their role was a crucial and critical one as ICT is an enabler for the entire government and economy.

The world is changing at a rapid rate, said the minister, and Bhutan must keep up. He said ICT officers must ensure that strategies formulated by the government are implemented.

The ICT conference saw four panel sessions that covered ICT for good governance, and policies and strategies on infrastructure. ICT for industry development and on the various ICT master plans were also covered.

Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT) director Phuntsho Tobgay said the sessions had been designed to provide a holistic picture of ICT strategies to the officers.

The last ICT conference was held in 2012. Phuntsho Tobgay said that resource and time constraints did not allow for more conferences to be held. He said the goal is to hold the conference bi-annually from now. He said it was part of DITT’s mandate to hold such conferences as the agency is the parent agency for all ICT officers in the government and it has to be ensured they are all on the same page.

Information and communications secretary Dasho Kinley Dorji also spoke to the participants about what role ICT officers play in Bhutan. He pointed out that they formed the core of the government’s efforts to transform Bhutan into an ICT enabled information society.

He added that the government is aware of existing problems. “We know different kinds of specialisations are needed, we know there are the wrong people in wrong place, that expertise is not fully utilised,” he said.

However, Dasho Kinley Dorji pointed out that the most significant challenge was changing mindsets, including in the leadership, and that it was worrying.

By Gyalsten K Dorji