The Puerto Rico Digital Service
Puerto Rico faces serious challenges. The recent enactment of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) creates an unparalleled opportunity to build new digital institutions that will transform Puerto Rico’s government operations. The way to do so is through the creation of a Puerto Rico Digital Service modeled after the highly successful United States Digital Service implemented during President Barack Obama’s Administration.
A Puerto Rico Digital Service is a fundamental step in providing what Puerto Rico needs: transparency, efficiency, and economic development. The PRDS will be a cadre of highly talented digital teams who will be in charge of transforming Puerto Rico to a “native digital” government, so that it can better serve its citizens at a significantly more efficient and at a much lower cost than how it serves citizens today.
PROMESA’s success depends on its ability to establish a Puerto Rico Digital Service with top-caliber talent and a government-wide coordination of IT investment and implementation that ensures proper delivery of information and services. Puerto Rico’s long-term success requires the PROMESA Board and the local Government to work together and use US Digital Service best practices in E-Government as an opportunity to reinvent government services, with a focus on responsiveness and user collaboration to ensure much needed transparency, savings and efficiency, while providing a foundation for economic development in “native digital” form.
The Puerto Rico Digital Service, in short, will allow Puerto Rico to leapfrog into a brighter future by leveraging the experience and wisdom of the USDS to implement a test bed for the use of digitally-enabled government services throughout the entire island.