The Federal Executive Council approved the Policy on Virtual Engagements for the Public Service at its meeting on the 14th of October, 2020. This followed the presentation of the draft policy by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr (Mrs) Folashade Yemi-Esan.
In a press release on Thursday, 15th of October 2020 signed by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Femi Adeluyi, he said that The COVID-19 pandemic led to a sudden migration of official meetings from the conventional physical meeting format to virtual platforms. Much as these changes were welcome, provision was not made for such meetings in the Public Service Rules.
This Policy on Virtual Engagements for the Public Service was therefore developed to legalize as well as provide the framework and standards within which Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), Parastatals, and Government-owned companies can use virtual engagements as an administrative procedure in the Public Service.
The Policy aims to achieve the following:
i. To institutionalize the use of virtual platforms for effective and efficient service delivery;
ii. To encourage remote collaboration among stakeholders, including the private/public sector, individuals and International Organizations;
iii. To effectively adopt and deploy digital technology for virtual engagements in order to improve service delivery in the Public Sector;
iv. To enhance learning and manpower development across the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to create a smart workforce; and
v. To improve transparency in government and fight corruption.
The Honourable Minister urges all MDAs, Parastatals and Government-owned companies to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Policy and ensure full compliance. To ensure the inter-operability of technologies adopted for inter-governmental meetings, Government institutions at the State and Local Government Levels are also encouraged to adopt the Policy.
“The implementation of the Policy will improve service delivery in the country and will support in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria. The Policy can also be supported by subsidiary legislation from our regulatory parastatals supervised by the Ministry.
“The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to supporting all government institutions towards the successful implementation of the Policy, the statement concluded.