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Kiribati Demonstrates a Commitment to a Digital Economy

The Kiribati House of Assembly recently passed the first reading of the Digital Government Bill 2023 (Bill). The second and final reading is expected to be taking place in August 2023.[1] The Bill is part of the Government of Kiribati’s Digital Government Master Plan and reflects its commitment to transforming the delivery of public services and using digital solutions to enhance good governance.[2]

The preamble to the Bill indicates that the Bill provides for digital government through the use of information and communication technologies across the whole of government digital services, digital infrastructure and digital skills.

The objectives of the Bill are stated to be:

  • (a) to establish the Digital Transformation Office (DTO);

  • (b) to establish the ICT Advisory Board that will provide monitoring and evaluation for the Digital Government processes;

  • (c) to establish the National Computer Emergency Response Team;

  • (d) to establish the ICT Audit Committee;

  • (e) to provide for Government critical digital infrastructure, including establishing a Government Computer Data Repository, Government Secure Network and Secure Data Exchange Platform;

  • (f) to establish the National Digital Government Portal for public bodies to deliver digital services and enable citizens electronic access and authorisation to validate and update personal data and electronic access to payment services options;

  • (g) to provide for the management and protection of government data;

  • (h) to establish a composition of ICT Practitioners for the better coordination of ICT related matters and for the effectiveness and efficiency of Digital Government Development; and

  • (i) to enforce and regulate the principles and guidelines stipulated under any Government Plans relevant to digital services and ICT.

The geographic remoteness of Kiribati, lack of internet connectivity and essential telecommunication infrastructure and the limited regulatory framework and enforcement around cybersecurity, data protection and digital identities are some of the barriers to individuals, businesses and government being able to explore and unlock the full potential of a digital economy. It also means that there is further work to do in gaining the trust and confidence of Kiribati citizens to access digital government services and actively participate in the digital economy and providing the necessary infrastructure for this to then be able to occur.

Despite these barriers, it is clear that the Kiribati Government recognises the importance of digital government to the economy and business. The Bill is one of many steps recently taken by Kiribati to break down these barriers and to establish the critical foundations for a thriving and safe digital economy that aligns with international standards in this area. These other steps include the recent passing of the Cybercrime Act 2021 which was drafted in collaboration with GLACY+ and Kiribati expressing its intention to accede to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, the passing of the Electronic Transactions Act 2021, the release of a National Cybersecurity Strategy in 2020 and the release of a Data Protection Policy in January 2022.

[1] Ministry of Information, Communications & Transport, Digital Government Bill 2023 – as passed in Parliament 27-04-23, (Web Page, dated 28 April 2023),, accessed on 10 May 2023. [2] Ministry of Information, Communications & Transport, Digital Government Master Plan, (Web Page, dated 4 March 2021),, accessed on 10 May 2023.


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