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30-11-2020 11:52

Cyprus and UK sign MoU to deepen collaboration in the development of digital Government Services

Considering that digital transformation is key to fostering sustainable and inclusive economic growth and providing effective and efficient services to citizens and businesses, the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy of the Republic of Cyprus and the Government Digital Service (GDS) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, signed today, 30th November 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaboration in the field of digital government.

The MoU will facilitate greater sharing of knowledge, expertise and best practices to improve the design and delivery of quality digital public services and promote their wider use, build digital skills and capabilities of government officials and adopt open standards for government information, data and software. It reflects the deep and long-lasting relationship between the two countries as well as their shared ambition to promote digital innovation as a key pillar of a new, diversified and more sustainable economic model.

Signing the MoU on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus, the Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Mr Kyriacos Kokkinos, said:

“Through this very significant collaboration, we aspire to develop the agility required to accelerate our delivery capacity for digital services, maximize impact for society, support economic recovery and pave the way for sustainable development towards our journey for a new economic model. I would like to sincerely thank the UK Government for their valuable support in our efforts towards fuelling our eGovernment digital transformation through revalidating our Ministry’s enterprise architecture, competencies and service delivery model, and, most importantly, empowering us to better serve our citizens and businesses’.

The British High Commissioner, Mr Stephen Lillie, who signed the MoU on behalf of the UK Government, noted:

“This agreement affirms the UK's intention to support the government of Cyprus to deliver government services to citizens through digital channels, such as a single, comprehensive government website. The UK will provide consultation and advice on building digital skills and capability in the Cypriot government and the private sector, with a focus on delivering government services based on genuine user needs; fully accessible, easily used by all citizens, and be based on internationally recognised open standards”.

Welcoming the signing of the MoU from London, the Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office, Ms Julia Lopez, added:

“The UK is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the world by the UN and most recently secured the number two (2) spot in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Digital Government Index. The UK's reputation as a world leader generates significant demand for GDS expertise and I am delighted we can share our approach with the Government of Cyprus in this ambitious agenda.”

Bilateral cooperation on digital governance will continue in January 2021, with interactive online training, organised by the UK Government Digital Service (GDS, UK’s arm for digital services) in collaboration with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The training will introduce participants to digital and agile ways of working in government and the principles of user-centred design.

(MG/VCH)