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Cayman Islands Government

e-Gov Director Starts Work

The Cabinet Office’s new Director of e-Government Ian Tibbetts brings a uniquely people-centred approach to his role.

Mr Tibbetts who began work at the start of December, is set to take on the weighty task of overseeing the Cayman Islands Government’s transition towards the online provision of most services.

To help Government reach this goal, he will lead a small unit that will work with public sector agencies to: make their services available online in an efficient and user friendly manner, and to enable agencies to interact with stakeholders more effectively.

Formerly the vice-president responsible for customer experience at an international telecommunications company, Mr Tibbetts is well versed in the skills necessary to ensure the success of technological change.

During more than 30 years with LIME (formerly Cable and Wireless), he worked his way up from records system serviceman to Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Cayman Islands business, and then to Vice President (VP) of customer experience (Caribbean).

As part of this progression he headed various departments, including: government and business services, residential and small business services, as well as data and the Internet. He moved on to become VP of programme management, then of sales and customer service, before spending five years as COO (Cayman).

One of the most significant challenges that he faced during this part of his career he says, was leading the customer service team through the launch of telecoms competition. During this period he contributed to his employer maintaining a majority market share. As COO, Mr Tibbetts also oversaw recovery operations for the telecoms provider in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Throughout his career he says his experiences have convinced him that a customer-centred viewpoint is a pre-requisite for success.As an example he cites the introduction of ADSL Internet to the Cayman Islands. He recalled that the very first modem that the company configured took around two hours for a technician to set up. Before the product was rolled out to the public it was ensured that configuration would take the average customer about 45 seconds.

In addition to his considerable experience, Mr Tibbetts brings to bear extensive training in both telecommunications operations and management. He holds a BTEC Higher National Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering, and has completed the Marketing for Technical Executives course at MIT, as well as the International Executive Development Programme at INSEAD management school.

A total of 17 persons applied for the Director of e-Government position. The recruitment process included pre-interview testing, which involved two scenario -based exercises designed to assess candidates’ approach to resolving ongoing e-government enablement challenges, as well as their approach to future initiatives. Panelists included Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose, Ministry of Home Affairs Deputy Chief Officer Wes Howell and Partner at Deloitte Taron Jackman.

In November of this year, the Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, laid out in the Strategic Policy Statement a number of goals with regards to e-Government for the 2015-2016 financial year.

“We will continue to improve and increase e-Government services, develop and implement e-filing for other banking, insurance and fiduciary areas of the Monetary Authority, and implement an electronic filing and payment system for director registration and licensing,” the Premier remarked at the time.

Hiring Mr Tibbetts brings Government much closer to these goals says Councillor Responsible for Technology Alva Suckoo. As the chair of the e-Government Task Force, Mr Tibbetts will work closely with Mr Suckoo and other still-to-be-appointed members of the e-Government Steering Committee to implement their policy directives.

Commenting on the way forward Mr Suckoo says it is Government’s objective to adopt a more structured and predictable model for the delivery of e-services.

“We also need to carry out a visioning exercise to determine our strategic objectives. Some other immediate steps are: the creation of a unique identifier for users of the Cayman Islands’ e-Government platform, and a decision on how electronic transactions will be accepted and processed by all Government entities. In all of these things Mr Tibbetts will play a central role,” he adds.

Key partners in the transitional process are expected to include: Cabinet, Computer Services, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and external vendors.

Acknowledging that institutional change of this nature can face numerous obstacles, Mr Tibbetts asserts that these can be overcome through strong communication and capacity building.

As such he says he plans to make it a priority to bring together agencies and people with all levels of experience, to share best practice and to learn from each other. He points to a number of departments such as General Registry, Immigration and the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing that have already made strides in the area of e-Government.

“At the end of the day it’s all about making it quicker and easier for residents, visitors and businesses to interact with government. My role is to ensure we have a plan that is coordinated, practical and which addresses: people, processes and technology,” he remarks.

Welcoming Mr Tibbetts to the Cabinet Office, Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose expressed his portfolio’s full commitment to working with the new e-Government Director to achieve streamlined, efficient and reliable services for the people of the Cayman Islands.

For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks