ISLAMABAD: The much-hyped e-governance initiative in the capital remains in the doldrums as government bodies keep passing the buck to each other for the delays in its implementation.
An e-governance system had been devised in 2002 by National Information Technology Board (NITB) for the Capital Development Authority (CDA) with the aim of involving citizens in the policy process, ensure government transparency and accountability apart from ensuring the quick disposal of public complaints. Over 15 years on, the programme is still up in the air.
“The issue recently echoed in Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and was misinterpreted by an English Daily. It was CDA, not NITB, whom the body had directed to resolve the issue within two weeks,” said Jamil Mushtaq, the project manager of the programme at NITB.
He added that the chairman of the committee, Senator Shahi Syed, had asked the CDA and the concerned company to implement the decade-old E-governance project or face action.
“Our department is only responsible for assistance and to ensure the transparent utilisation of allocated funds,” he clarified. He explained that the project was a joint venture between the CDA and Land Mark Resources Pakistan Private Limited (LMRK), in which the former had to work on the hardware while the later was assigned the task of installing the software. But in ten years, an audit had revealed: “only 10-15 per cent work was done despite the release of a hefty amount [of money]”.
Later, in 2014 the Ministry of Information Technology in moved the case to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for further investigation and to determine the responsibility of the delay.
CDA Director General of Admin Wing Nadeem Akbar Malik said the authority was eager to start E-governance system in its all directorates to meet a new era of challenges.
“How can we afford delays?” he asked as he explained how they have to deal with a bulk of papers in files and face the public wrath for an obsolete system.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2018.