System News
Thai Interior Ministry Adopts Sun IT Infrastructure
Sun Open Net Environment Delivers Services-on-demand Countrywide
June 16, 2003,
Volume 64, Issue 3

The Thai Ministry of Interior, responsible for administering the vital statistics information for a country of 62 million, recently implemented a Sun IT infrastructure to manage that task. Called the Central Population Registration (CPR), the initiative centralizes the data collected by provincial, municipal and district offices in a single centralized repository that is accessible by numerous governmental agencies and departments.

Information such as birth and death records, voting information, ID cards, and marriage and divorce records has been consolidated on a central database that is accessible through real-time links among the 1077 local registration centers and nine regional computer centers throughout Thailand, making networking technology the cornerstone of the implementation.

"Network infrastructure is one of the technologies that we wanted to employ. The client/server infrastructure reduces investment costs compared to deploying on PC systems and is easier to maintain as well as more reliable. Right now, on the nationwide level, the system remains on a server-to-server architecture. But in the future, when a super highway information system is deployed, we can reduce server dependency and employ a network configuration on a regional and, maybe even, central government basis as it is easier to maintain and manage," said Surachai Srisaracam, Director of Registration Administration Bureau, Local Administration Department, Ministry of Interior, Thailand.

Most of the applications developed for CPR are written in-house by the more than 300 software developers from the Registration Administration Bureau and Control Data Pte Ltd., a local Sun partner, who work full time at the organization to develop, install and maintain software applications for the system. The work of this group is made easier by the JavaTM technology that underlies the SunTM Open Net Environment (Sun ONE), which is the system's key to providing services-on-demand.

Sun hardware that is part of the implementation includes two Sun EnterpriseTM 6000 servers, 18 Sun EnterpriseTM 5000 servers, one Sun EnterpriseTM 4800 and one Sun EnterpriseTM 450 server and three Sun EnterpriseTM 250 servers.

Services to the public have become more efficient. For example, ID card applications that used to take more than three months and required a trip to the applicant's place of birth can now be processed and issued within 15 minutes. The ministry has made such core services available to the public as citizen registration, passport data, voting lists, public key infrastructure and email boxes through the Web site:

The plan is eventually to allow Thai citizens living abroad to vote in elections using the Web site. ID cards will soon be replaced by multi-functional smart cards that citizens can use for taxation, health care and social insurance purposes while also serving as credit, debit and ATM cards.

According to Srisaracam, "We are implementing a system that will have a far-reaching effect on the government and its ability to administer to the people. The services are such that they touch the lives of all Thai citizens from birth to death and influence the way business processes will be run. As such, the platforms and solutions we chose must not only be reliable but they must deliver value from day-one and in the long run."

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