The Federal Executive Council has at its meeting on Wednesday, the 14th of October, 2020, approved the Policy on Virtual Engagements for the Public Service, according to a statement signed by Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
The approval 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.
The COVID-19 pandemic had 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 is aimed to institutionalize the use of virtual platforms for effective and efficient service delivery; and to encourage remote collaboration among stakeholders, including the private/public sector, individuals and International Organizations.
It also aims to effectively adopt and deploy digital technology for virtual engagements in order to improve service delivery in the Public Sector; to enhance learning and manpower development across the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to create a smart workforce; and to improve transparency in government and fight corruption.
The Honourable Minister tasked 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 statement read.
The statement quoted the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy as expressing its commitment to supporting all government institutions towards the successful implementation of the Policy.