The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will be winding up the Medium-Term Information and Communications Technology Harmonization Initiative (MITHI), convened in 2012, to increase efficiency in the acquisition of ICT resources of government agencies.  

The MITHI Steering Committee, comprised of DICT Undersecretary Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic, as Chairperson, with DBM OIC-Undersecretary Kim Robert C. de Leon, as Vice-Chairperson, along with 1 representative from each agency, recommended the inter-agency move.

“With this development, we hope to enable and empower more agencies by giving them more freedom and responsibility over their proposed ICT plans. It will also fast-track the process for the deployment of ICT-related resources in government,” DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II said, who was the first to approve the Committee’s recommendation.

The MITHI framework sought to harmonize ICT-related resources, programs and projects in all agencies and levels of government through tri-partite evaluation of the agency Information Systems Strategic Plans (ISSPs) and annual ICT budget proposals. 

It required government agencies to prepare and submit their ISSPs to the DICT for evaluation. ISSPs set out the ICT resource requirements of an agency on a  3-year basis. The DICT then reviews the ISSP and, if found sufficient, endorses it to the MITHI Steering Committee for approval. Upon DICT endorsement, the agency will then submit its ISSP to DBM for approval/allocation of appropriate funds.

While this process increased visibility in terms of ICT expenditures, the MITHI framework unintentionally led to delays in acquisition of ICT resources by agencies as layers of review multiplied.  The restrictive ISSP review could also no longer keep pace with the increasing complexity and quickly evolving character of information system and other ICT resource needs of agencies.

As a twin measure, the ISSP will be rationalized and streamlined. Secretary Honasan notes that it’s about time the primary responsibility of the agency or  business judgment prerogatives of the corporate management body be given full recognition.  He further pushed for the ISSP submission thru an online portal, and directed that the DICT ISSP team  focus on audit performance, coming up with business analytics of ISSP data, and  supporting inter-agency/sectoral ICT projects.

Secretary Honasan  remarked that the winding up of MITHI and streamlining of ISSP review process are in keeping with the mandates  of RA 11032, or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.”

The streamlining of government transactions and processes has always been a major thrust of Secretary Honasan during his term as ICT Chief.