New IT systems at CM’s Secretariat unused

The IT Wing set up a server room, installed software and carried out a successful demonstration in April.

Express August 17, 2010

LAHORE: The Punjab chief minister is yet to use a new system installed in his secretariat four months ago that allows him to hold video conferences with his staff, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The Information Technology Wing of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat set up a server room, installed the relevant software and carried out a successful demonstration of the new system in the second week of April.

All 20 officers posted to the secretariat - two secretaries, six additional secretaries, 10 deputy secretaries and two personal staff officers  - were linked to the video conferencing system. They were given official laptops with webcams, headphones and microphones. The idea was to save time wasted at meetings, but it has not been put into practice.

“The system was placed to facilitate the chief minister. It is up to him and his officials when they want to hold video conferences,” said Nadeem Butt, deputy secretary for IT at the CM’s Secretariat.

The officers were also provided Blackberry mobile phones on unlimited packages in March 2009, and they have adapted to these more readily, using them to send and receive decisions via text message from their bosses. The IT Wing also made official email address for all the officials including the chief minister.

According to its official budget, the CM’s Secretariat was allocated Rs1.15 million for computer equipment in 2009-10 and Rs1.10 million for 2010-11. But Butt said that the laptops were not bought from this budget.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2010.


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