The Bahamas to cut red tape costs

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas will boost competitiveness by reducing the time and cost of carrying out administrative procedures with the government, by encouraging digital transformation of the public sector with a US$30 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

By 2025, the goal is to increase by 70 per cent the number of people using online government services to obtain a certified copy of their birth certificate and use the property registry.

The project also calls for the design and implementation of a cloud-based service for the government that will allow other public institutions to have access to infrastructure shared e-government apps throughout the Caribbean island nation. A data analysis office will be created to support the design and management of public policies.

The plan will finance the easing of administrative procedures and online access to reduce costs; increase the use of information and communications technology in the public sector, instill more transparency in government operations and boost auditing and oversight tools.

Over the past 10 years, The Bahamas has endured a prolonged stretch of economic stagnation, with average annual GDP growth of just 0.5 per cent. The Bahamian economy remains dependent on tourism, which directly or indirectly accounts for 46.1 per cent of economic output, and financial services, which contribute 15 per cent of GDP. Efforts to promote economic growth by attracting foreign investment and facilitating local business activity have been hampered by the country’s limited competitiveness.

The goal of this project is to promote and encourage the use of IT in the public sector and thus reduce costs for people and companies dealing with the government and enhance transparency in government operations. It is also believed that the project will have a positive impact on The Bahamas’ competitiveness ranking compared to other countries. This reduction of processes and requirements for the completion of procedures will have a positive impact on the competitiveness rating of The Bahamas with respect to that of other countries.