TECHNOLOGY is increasingly becoming an indispensable part of life, especially as more people access online government services and make digital payments. Epayments for parking fees, utility bills, local taxes, licences and fines have saved many people from waiting in line.In Selangor, after March 31, paper coupons will be phased out as all parking payment transactions in the state will go fully digital.From that point on, parking fee payments will be made via the Smart Selangor Parking (SSP) app, using ecoupons.When such changes are implemented, teething problems are bound to occur. Senior citizens and those less tech savvy may have trouble adjusting to this technology and payment method after being used to receiving and paying bills physically. In order to better serve Selangor citizens through digital technology, there needs to be clear communication between the local authorities and private sector industry players.
Private sector domain
From a practicality standpoint, it was usually a challenge for the government since technology was the domain of the private sector, said Smart Selangor Delivery Unit (SSDU) managing director Dr Fahmi Ngah. With much being said about how digital technology can help governments provide transparency and better services, StarMetro caught up with Fahmi to get up to speed on why it is important to have collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors in adopting digital technology. Citing the SSP app as an example, Fahmi said it was important to understand the technology itself and modes of delivery.
“We need to understand the application of technology in the sphere of government operations, which are rather set (in its ways) in terms of standard operating procedures (SOP), such as handling the flood of traffic management between specific agencies.
“The different parties – from the private sector to local councils – need to speak to each other and not operate in silos,” he said.
The eservices initiatives of Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) enable the public to obtain council services more efficiently and quickly from various apps that allow them to pay for compounds, lodge complaints as well as apply for business licence.
“To be fair, we have seen some successes, for example, in urban local councils, where the services are much better than district councils.
“But this does not mean that the citizens will be happy from the state’s perspective, because then we will have inequitable government services.
“There are more advanced technologies in cities than in districts, so we need to ask where is the equitability in terms of service delivery,” he said.
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