- About us
- Contacts Us
The Government acquired the first mainframe computer in 1967. This equipment was mainly used for data processing. The data processing service which included data capture and processing of payroll, complement control, government accounting systems, statistical data among others was at this time under the Director of Statistics within the Ministry of Finance.
As technology grew in complexity, sophistication and versatility, other government ministries/departments started acquiring their own data capture and processing equipment mostly as components in donor supported programmes. To avoid duplication in procurement of equipment as well as wastage, Treasury was given the authority to oversee and coordinate procurement of data preparation equipment such as key punch machines, paper tape machines, flexowriters and electronic machines in order to eliminate under-utilisation and wastage. The Government thereafter formed the Government Computer Services as the central agency to oversee re-organisation of the data processing facilities with data capture units in various ministries/departments.
The advent of microcomputers in the 1980s brought about changes in the structure of data processing in the Kenya government. With technology now driving information systems from centralisation towards distributed systems, which was made possible by the now ubiquitous personal computer, the government created the Microcomputer Information Systems Department (MISD) within the Ministry of Finance to oversee implementation and coordination of microcomputer based distributed information systems. GCS and MISD were thereafter merged in 2000 to re-centralise their functions to form the Government Information Technology Services (GITS) Department with civil service wide mandate to coordinate and monitor procurement of ICT goods and services, to develop a unified civil service ICT infrastructure, initially within the capital city, and to develop the required ICT human capacity for sustainable ICT development and support in the civil service.
In 2003 however, the authority to recruit ICT personnel and creation of ICT units in ministries was granted through an Office of the President (OP) Circular. In the meantime, however, the Cabinet Office in the Office of the President had made tremendous progress on the formulation of an e-Government strategy which acquired cabinet approval in December 2003.
This culminated in creation of the e-Government Directorate within the Cabinet to oversee conceptualization, design and coordination of implementation of information technology activities in the civil service that are geared towards realization of full e-Government in public service delivery.
Finally, the government approved a national ICT policy which was spearheaded by Ministry of Information and Communications and in consultation with relevant agencies which, among others, recognised the problems of the disparate systems, duplication and lack of enabling infrastructure; recognized the principles of the e-Government strategy, and recognises the challenges that the government must face in its endeavour to achieve e-Government. The policy also underscores the need to foster public private partnership in its effort to realise the e-Government vision by encouraging sharing among agencies, private sector and civil society