The Computer Society of Kenya

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data-picDAILY NATION By COLLINS OMULO

Friday December 21, 2018

The Sh1.3 billion City Hall data centre launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in December 2017 needs another Sh1.53 billion to finally start operating.

The money is needed for the purchase of visualisation software for supporting key functions.

This comes after it was revealed that the World Bank-funded data centre has not been operational, a year since it was launched as a digital platform to help the county government enhance its revenue collection.

This is because key components meant to support main functions are yet to be installed.

REPORT

The sorry state of the multi-million investment is contained in a report tabled by the County Assembly ICT Committee Chairman Osman Adow before the House earlier this month after a visit to the centre in September.

According to the report, the data centre lacks two critical system applications – virtual machine ware (VMware) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) application system – which are key components for its operation. The two systems cost Sh1.5 billion and Sh30 million respectively.

It is these two application systems, whose request for their procurement is yet to be approved by the office of the county secretary, which will also enable the operationalisation of other systems hosted by the data centre including e-payment solution, the integrated city management systems (ICMS), a call centre, citizen relations disaster recovery planning, citizen relations management and the geographic information system among other crucial systems.

BENEFITS

“The committee noted that indeed, the county had set a milestone in establishing the current data centre….It is, however, disturbing to note that, almost one year down the line, the county is yet to fully realise the benefits of the centre as its key components – VM Ware and ERP applications system – are yet to be procured for installation, rendering the massive benefits of the centre untapped and unutilised,” reads the report.

ICMS is the core function that the centre was envisioned to support as it is the system that is intended to automate the county’s business processes and cover other functionalities including revenue management, procurement, fleet management, citizen services and specialised departmental functions.

INTEGRATION

This will be possible as it will be integrated to other applications such as e-payment, web portal, citizen relationship management system and business intelligence.

Currently, City Hall relies on systems provided by electronic payment firm JamboPay – an electronic firm contracted by the county government in 2014 to automate revenue collection.

“The data centre [has potentially] vast benefits for the county,” said Mr Adow.

The centre is supposed to support electronic payments to reduce handling of cash, enhance collection and improve service delivery.

Mr Adow called on the executive to expedite the procurement of the necessary systems and applications to enable the operationalisation of all the in-house application systems and automation of processes for effective service delivery.

The project was started by the World Bank four years ago to support all the ICT platforms and activities in the county but hit a snag years later under unclear circumstances.

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