Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Policy Directive National Policy on The Use of The .Gov.Lr Domain Name
Message from the Minister
The need to standardize the Government of Liberia’s (GoL) Web presence and electronic mail mechanisms is not only crucial to its e-Government initiatives, but an imperative in this Information Age. Currently, many officials of Government as well as public and civil servants, are using non- official and free Internet email services such as Yahoo! or Gmail, while communicating government policies, programs and information. In addition, there are Government Ministries, Agencies, and Corporations/Commissions (MACs) that are using domain names that do not imply that they are Government of Liberia entities. Moreover, the official second level domain (SLD) name, the .gov.lr, assigned to the Government of Liberia by the Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers (ICANN) can be registered by any web development company or contractor who meets the requirements of the Domain Registrar. All of these put GoL’s information and operations at great risk making it a matter of national security.
Obviously, our failure to take ownership of the Government of Liberia’s unique second level domain name (.gov.lr) and to utilize it presents problems that require solutions. These problems include the lack of clear governing structure; the non-existing authority of GoL over the matter; and the commercialization of the SLD at the expense of MACs, among others. This policy directive seeks to address these kinds of problems by taking control of its SLD and by providing guidelines that will minimize risk in the use of the platform for Government communication services over the Internet. Our Government has learned lessons from others whose programs precede ours. Countries in this category have succeeded to more robustly provide services to their citizens, improve their internal operations and save cost of doing business. As a member of the global community, we too now appreciate how the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can facilitate and enhance the process of interaction and integration among all three branches of government, its citizens and other stakeholders nationally, regionally and globally.
This initiative is a whole-of-government approach and its success largely depends on the role of each stakeholder in the public sector. The use of the .gov.lr second level domain (SLD) by all MACs will ensure their official representation online and stimulate all authority concerned to ensure that they actively conform to Government’s e-government initiatives.
Dr. Fredrick B. Norkeh
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Republic of Liberia