Tuesday 4 June, 2024

The  Data Governance Workshop 2024 commenced today at the Holiday Inn, Port Moresby, bringing together key government officials and stakeholders to explore pathways to enhance data governance practices nationwide.

The two-day event, organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), aims to foster cooperation amongst custodians of public data, and validate an online survey to create a comprehensive Data Governance baseline report to fuel effective data coordination.

The workshop opened with a keynote address from the Department of National Planning and Monitoring’s First Assistant Secretary, Mr Sanja Pepae.

Emphasizing the critical role of data governance in modern Papua New Guinea, Mr. Pepae highlighted its importance in leveraging data for national development.

“Effective data governance provides the foundation for informed decision-making, operational efficiency, economic growth, and social equity,” Mr. Pepae stated.

He underscored the necessity for collective efforts from all stakeholders, including ministers and government officials, to gather data at various levels, from ward to district.

Mr. Pepae pointed out that robust data governance is vital for development planning and organizational progress, significantly influencing national development goals.

 “It ensures policymakers have access to high-quality data, addressing real-world societal needs and development issues,” he said.

Further, he elaborated on how data governance enhances public service by improving data quality and accessibility, identifying inefficiencies, and allocating resources effectively.

 “It also plays a crucial role in economic growth by fostering a conducive business environment, supporting innovation, and enabling informed decisions regarding investments and job creation,” Mr. Pepae added.

Stressing the significance of education, training, collaboration, technology investment, leadership, and commitment, Mr. Pepae urged everyone to treat data as a strategic asset and promote responsible data practices.

 He concluded by encouraging a collective commitment to building a culture of data governance, valuing accuracy, security, and responsiveness to drive sustainable development and improve lives.

National Identification (NID) Registrar-General Noel Mobiha highlighted the high costs associated with data collection, describing it as an expensive but essential exercise.

Scheduled to speak on NID tomorrow, Mr. Mobiha shared his experience of collecting data with a budget of 39 million kina and 70,000 datasets.

 He cited a census collection costing over 30 million kina, emphasizing the need for efficient data management and warning against data silos. “Data sitting in silos loses value over time,” he cautioned.

Mr. Mobiha encouraged innovative approaches to data management and overcoming organizational changes.

Key presentations at the workshop included an overview of digital transformation and the Government Technology Stack by Russel Woruba, Deputy Secretary for Digital Government and Information Delivery Wing, DICT. Oala Moi, Chief Legal Officer at NICTA, discussed data governance within the 2022 Digital Government Act, while Flierl Shongol, Deputy Secretary for Policy and Emerging Technology, DICT, provided updates on data governance and data protection policies.

Stakeholders from Transparency International, University of Papua New Guinea, Bank of Papua New Guinea, Department of Health, and the Investment Promotion Authority shared their data governance practices.

The workshop saw participation from up to 50 public agencies and corporate organizations, with nearly 100 attendees. Interactive Q&A sessions facilitated a collaborative environment to address data governance challenges.

The ultimate focus of this workshop is to produce a Data Governance baseline report, to enhance collaboration, improve data quality and reliability, streamline data management processes, and strengthening data-driven decision-making across government agencies.

The workshop continues tomorrow, and will explore additional stakeholder presentations, furthering today’s discussions and establish a better understanding of how organizations house and manage data.

The Data Governance Workshop is being held from 4 – 5 June 2024.

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