Sri Lanka won two prestigious awards at the FutureGov Summit 2012 awards ceremony held at the Shangri La hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand, last week.
The two awards bagged by Sri Lanka come respectively under the ‘eGovernment’ category and the ‘Public Sector Organisation of the Year’ category.
The ‘eGovernment’ award was for the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), or Visa Online of the Sri Lankan Department of Immigration and Emigration. The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) played a major role in this award-winning project – ‘Visa Online’.
This was the third of the ICTA-initiated projects for which FutureGov Summit award was won consecutively. The two previous ICTA-initiated projects which bagged FutureGov Summit awards were ‘Lanka Gate’ in 2010 and ‘ePensions in 2011.
The ‘Public Sector Organisation of the Year’ category award was won for eSamurdhi by the Samurdhi Authority of Sri Lanka.
FutureGov Summit has gathered together Asia Pacific’s public sector leaders to discuss the role of technology in enabling service transformation. Hosted by FutureGov magazine, and backed by FutureGov Research, the Summit uniquely brings together top officials from central government, city administration, and hospital management.
The topics that the world Government Organisation top leaders mostly belonging to the Asia Pacific region considered at the three-day summit (17-19 October 2012) included the following: Digital inclusion, mobile government, big data, information security, and cloud computing.
Also known as Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), Visa Online introduced in its trial version on 1 October 2011 and became regular procedure with the dawn of 2012.
The Immigration and Emigration Department had introduced the trial version of the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facility. The ETA facility became fully operational from 1 January 2012 with its launch by the department on that date.
Foreign nationals, who intend to visit Sri Lanka for short stay up to six months, must obtain ETA, prior to their arrival from 1 January 2012. The ETA is issued through the online system. No passport copies, documents or photographs are required. There is no requirement to endorse the ETA in the passport. Nationals of Maldives and Singapore who visit Sri Lanka for short visits up to 30 days are exempted from ETA as reciprocities.