The Governments of Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia have each received soft loan financing in the amount of 1.5 Million Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), equivalent to US$ 2.4 Million, from the World Bank for implementation of the OECS Electronic Government for Regional Integration Project (EGRIP).
The loans are being provided under a special facility of the concessional lending arm of the World Bank, the International Development Association (IDA).
The World Bank is currently in negotiations with St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is contemplating joining the Project in the very near future. Two non-IDA countries, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda, may in the future be eligible for World Bank financing, but are likely to participate initially on the basis of donor grants that are yet to be negotiated.
The Project became effective on 18thJune 2009 and is being implemented by the Regional E-Government Unit (REGU) of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat. The project seeks to address some of the huge challenges of size and isolation faced by small island developing states.
The Development Objective of EGRIP
To promote the efficiency, quality, and transparency of public services in the beneficiary countries, through the delivery of regionally integrated e-government applications that take advantage of economies of scale.
Component 1: Horizontal E-government Interventions (US$2,655,000)
The main objectives of this component are to strengthen and harmonize national and regional e-government policies, processes, operational ICT platforms and frameworks; to promote more efficient regionally-based ICT development and strengthen capacity; and to provide an enabling environment to achieve Public Administration objectives in a globally competitive context, so as to better serve citizens, businesses and consumers in the OECS region.
Component 2: Vertical E-government Interventions (US$3,697,500)
The objective of this component is to harmonize and improve key e-government systems by focusing on specific interventions in core areas of public finance (including Public Financial Management, tax, customs and procurement). This area was identified as a national and regional priority by all stakeholders, due to regional commonalities that can be used as a pragmatic basis to begin to harmonize regional e-government systems to modernize Public Administration in the OECS.
Component 3: Project Management(US$ 487,500)
This component will support the establishment of the Regional E-government Unit (REGU), under the direction of an overall Project Manager. The REGU will also include specialized staff located in the agencies identified in each country as focal points for the project, thus assisting in project implementation at the local level. To help manage the fiduciary aspects of the project, there will be a Procurement Specialist, and a Project Accountant. Contingency – US$ 360,000————–-more