Computer-illiterate persons on islands not overlooked

The Dutch government will not over­look residents in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba who are not computer literate or do not want to use the Internet for contact with government.

Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Alexandra van Huffelen confirmed in an online press briefing on Fri­day that the possibility will always remain for letters or personal contact for re­quests and applications by residents when the Citizen Service Number, the so-called BSN, is introduced on the three islands.

During the press briefing, Van Huffelen provided ad­ditional information about the consultation period that has started for several laws in the Caribbean Nether­lands. It concerns the law to introduce the BSN Citizen Saba, the WolBES and Fin­BES, and the equal treat­ment law. The consultation period offers people the opportunity to give their input as to the proposed changes to the laws.

The BSN will replace the ID and CRIB number that are now used by govern­ment for identification of citizens on the islands. A BSN number will also give access to a so-called DigiD, a digital identification sys­tem, for online communi­cation with the Caribbean Netherlands and Dutch governments.

“If you can’t or don’t want to make use of the Inter­net, there will always be the possibility of paper or per­sonal contact with the gov­ernment; for example, for a subsidy or permit request,” said Van Huffelen.

In the Netherlands too there are people who do not have a smart phone and/or computer and In­ternet and find it difficult to get things done online.

For that reason, the Dutch government still uses paper in communicating with citi­zens.

The Dutch government finances courses and advice on digitisation and there is attention for Internet skills in education in the Neth­erlands too. “We have a digital skills programme that also applies to the Ca­ribbean Netherlands,” said Van Huffelen.

The Daily Herald.

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