FutureGov Forum Thailand kicked off this morning (on the 20th of June) with 150 civil servants participating in the event at Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok.
Dr Sak Segkhoonthod, President and CEO of Electronic Government Agency, delivered the opening keynote and revealed Thailand’s ICT master plan “Smart Thailand” and how ICT can answer the public sector’s need to deliver sustainable growth.
“Smart Thailand regards ICT as an important driver towards a stronger economy, social equality, and environmental friendliness,” said Dr Segkhoonthod.
He added that government agencies these days need to innovate their services with a focus on citizen-centric development, increased transparency, and sustainable improvement in ICT.
According to him, to create a sustainable IT ecosystem, the organisations need to start with the basics of IT architecture, and establish common standards.
“We need to look at electronic government as one operation because we cannot break down the IT system into separate pieces or sections,” he said.
Talking about how Thai citizens will benefit from the Smart Thailand project, he said that they will be knowledgeable, have sustainable growth of economy and greater social equality.
“Our tablet project is a good example of how one can bring about great ICT development,” he said, referring to the country’s One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) project, in which the Thai government is importing and giving away up to one million tablets to first grade students countrywide.
“The government’s tablets will bring a network connection to 30,000 schools countrywide, and more software will be developed to serve the demand of e-content,” he revealed.
According to him, the OTPC will bridge the digital divide and improve equality in access to technology for people nationwide.
“This is the starting point in creating opportunity for remote schools and students—think about people who have never put their hands on a tablet,” he said.
Apart from that, Smart Thailand will provide internet connection to 76 provinces countrywide, all 10,000 local communities, 15,000 hospitals, and 70 per cent of poor farmers. Further, the roll-out of 3G this October will be a key driver to improve the government’s ICT infrastructure.
The action plan can be broken down into three, five and ten years phases, he added.
“The government’s three main strategies are to establish common infrastructure, capability, and standards of practice,” he declared.