BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Government agencies will soon be able to share information through a centralised database, the minister at the Prime Minister’s Office disclosed during the Legislative Council meeting on Tuesday.

According YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Awang Abdul Mokti Hj Mohd Daud, the E-Government National Centre (EGNC) is currently building a system dubbed the National Centralised Database (NCDB) that will allow agencies to share data on a range of matters, including welfare assistance programmes.

“The system will be implemented in phases to ensure welfare guidelines and the database can be aligned, in addition to ensuring assistance is given to those eligible with no duplication,” the minister said.

Members of the public will also be able to make online applications for welfare assistance, with the authorities hoping it will speed up the payment process. The system is expected to be operational by September.

The centralised database will be set up in collaboration with Dynamik Technologies, and can be accessed by agencies involved in welfare assistance such as the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Brunei Islamic Religious Council.

“The system is currently in its initial phase where focus is on data collection and profiling of beneficiaries,” said YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Awang Abdul Mokti.

Under the NCDB, there will also be a  National Information Hub that will contain general data on names, addresses and identification card numbers.

The NCDB will introduce a new service called “Database as a Service”, that aims to help reduce government spending.

The minister was responding to a question from LegCo member YB Siti Rozaimeriyanty Dato Seri Laila Jasa Awang Hj Abdul Rahman, who called for the establishment of a centralised and digitised database as the country works towards becoming a “smart nation”.

She said the database would help Brunei maximise its digital economic potential and improve the process of data protection and security.

“It is a requirement [for us] to remain relevant and at the same time prepare for any implications that arise from technological development,” she said.

During the session, the Minister of Transport and Infocommunications also announced the establishment of a Digital Economy Council.

“The council is established to replace the Brunei Information Technology Council, formed in 2000 and led the development of the country’s ICT sector,” YB Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof.

“The council will play a special role in developing the country towards becoming a Smart Nation,” he added.

This article was updated on March 13, 2019 at 12.08pm