Senator Alphea Wiggins has urged Government to wake up and move with technology or risk Barbados being left behind.
In a resounding endorsement of the push towards digitisation across the public sector the senator said while people generally don’t like change embracing a new digital world is a must.
“Technology is a more efficient way of doing business. This is all about making Barbados a better place to live and do business. We have to wake up and move with this technology or else we will be left behind,” she said speaking during the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill debate.
However, while supporting the move to digitise the Official Gazette and other public documents, Wiggins advised Government that they should dedicate time and resources to educating the public about the matter.
“There needs to be a wider education exercise to inform the public exactly what the Government of Barbados is doing. You have to bring people along with you. People can only get on board with information and that is the one thing. I would advise you to advise them on which direction you are going with the technological penetration.”
She further challenged Government noting: “There needs to be retraining and retooling of public officers so that there is not this fear that there will be job losses. Digitisation makes people afraid. People get afraid of change. People don’t like change.
Meanwhile, Government Senator Lisa Cummins said the world has evolved and Barbados must keep up to ensure efficiency.
“We can no longer continue to have a system that is entirely based on where we were. The world has evolved and Barbados has to keep up with it. There is a generation that has entered the University of the West Indies who no longer engage with the book shop in a way that we would have known it when we were students…. [This is] because every one of their books is now available electronically.”