Government agencies will now be using a new secure email and collaboration system for internal, interagency and public communications, the Information and Communications Technology of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO) announced.
The new email system, called GovMail, will have unique agency names with gov.ph suffix and will use a central server and public key infrastructure for added security.
GovMail was introduced to representatives of various government agencies during an executive briefing on the launch of several online services held Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) in Diliman, Quezon City. The launching was part of a four-day celebration of National ICT Month 2013.
The new email system aims to minimize the use of free web-based email services such as Google, Hotmail and Yahoo! for official government communications as well as give government personnel a credible online identity, especially when communicating with the public. Currently, government email systems are independent of each other and are maintained by the agency’s respective system administrators, while those with limited resources still use free web-based email.
The new GovMail system is part of the Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil), a joint project of the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), attached agencies of the DOST.
Other than email, users of the system will also be able to collaborate online by sharing tasks, schedule meetings using a central calendar and work on shared files.
Security is a primary concern in the design of GovMail, according to DOST Undersecretary Louis Casambre. “Data sovereignty is of utmost priority for our government, especially for mid- to high-level communications. A universal GovMail system will ensure that all communications stay within Philippine borders. Likewise, an additional level of security will be added through the use of Public Key Infrastructure for encryption,” he said.
The iGovPhil project aims to enhance government efficiency and effectiveness by using and putting relevant mechanisms to implement interactive, interconnected and interoperable government applications. Some of the components of the project include a Government Email system, Public Key Infrastructure to enhance the security of transactions and communications, the National Records Management Information System (NARMIS), a secure payment gateway, secure data centers and integrated fiber optic network to interconnect the various agencies of government. More information on iGovPHil is available at www.i.gov.ph