Samsung SDS is working on a project to build an t system for Tunisia, the birthplace of the recent Jasmine revolution, which spread like wildfire across the Middle East and other regions.
Of late, Samsung SDS officials are in the final stage of confirming the design of the first e-Government procurement system of its kind in the Middle East and African regions with their Tunisian counterparts from the Prime Minister’ Office, telecommunications & technology, and other ministries in Tunis.
All Arab and African countries are keeping a keen eye on the progress of the project, said Tunisian officials, adding that public demand is mounting over the transparency of government projects in other Arab and African countries following the Jasmine revolution.
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will finance $5.7 million, roughly 6 billion won, for the project. This time, the initial project is not big, but if it is successfully carried out, it will bring additional projects in the form of the 2nd and 3rd e-Government systems in Tunisia and more in other Middle East and African countries, Tunisian government and Samsung SDS officials said. Jordan, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Uganda have shown a keen interest, they said.
As to the background of Tunisia’ taking the initiative in the IT sector on the African continent, Song Jong-in, a senior Samsung SDS official in charge of overseeing the technological affairs of the project, said Tunisia ranked first in the African region in the U.N. E-Government Survey 2012 and has a cyber university, something of a rarity in Africa. Social network services such as Facebook and Tweeter are in wide use among Tunisians, as shown during the Jasmine revolution, and the e-Procurement project is to be connected with social network services, he noted.
SAMSUNG SDS’ TRACK RECORD OVERSEAS
The Korean ICT services company has successfully established public procurement systems in cooperation with the Korean government and private companies overseas in Vietnam, Costa Rica, and Mongolia by capitalizing on the experiences and expertise it has so far accumulated at home.
Samsung SDS’ representative practice of exporting e-Government systems overseas is the establishment of an e-Procurement system that went into service in Costa Rica in August 2010. The project was valued at $9.52 million, or roughly 11.3 billion won.
The first phase, which was launched in July 2009, involved three systems °™ portal, user management, and catalog °™ which were all opened to the public in March 2010. In August the same year, six other systems °™ electronic biddings, security, certification, electric contracts, e-Payments, e-Document, and document circulation °™ followed suit in offering services.
The Costa Rican e-Procurement system is an integrated national electronic system that handles 6.3 trillion won worth of contracts and involves 39,000 public entities and 150,000 companies. The public administration system has been developed based on the integrating and standardizing of procuring goods, reflecting the Costa Rican government’ policies.
Samsung SDS’ official in charge of the public sector division said it is more important to confirm whether Korea’ e-Government system solutions are compatible with those of foreign countries, which mostly have inferior ICT infrastructure compared to Korea’. Korean ICT services firms need to suggest solutions applicable to each country and prepare support systems for availability.
Samsung SDS has established e-Government systems for the Public Procurement Service (PPS) and other government agencies in collaboration with the government and the private sector. Among them are the Korea On-line E-Procurement System (KONEPS) for the PPS called Narajangteo; Local e-Government; and the Business Processing System.