Technology merger: Govt merges bloated tech departments to form National IT Board

Pakistan Computer Bureau and Electronic Government Directorate failed to deliver results, along with corruption.


Web Desk July 18, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday approved the merger of two bloated departments, the Pakistan Computer Bureau (PCB) and the Electronic Government Directorate (EGD) to form the National IT Board (NITB).

At the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Restructuring (CCoR) at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday, a summary for their merger, presented by Ministry of IT, was approved.

Earlier the Minister of State for IT Anusha Rahman and Secretary IT Azmat Ali Ranjha briefed about the existing IT entities of MoIT (EGD and PCB) and the problems surrounding them.

PCB was formed by a directive from the Cabinet Division of Pakistan on January 12, 1971, while EGD was established on October 19, 2002. Though it had been decided to merge them in 2012, the order had yet to be implemented.

Both departments had been working to implement e-government projects, execute capacity building programes and to promote information technology. But a majority of these projects had failed to achieve their objectives due to incompetency, weak and inefficient leadership and ill-conceived projects.

Last year, an internal audit of 13 projects undertaken by EGD costing Rs1.632 billion, found glaring financial and administrative irregularities.

This had prompted the MoIT to push for restructuring of the two entities.

Thus, the two bodies will be merged to form the NITB which will be headed by an executive director supported by a technical team of 60 IT experts, hired on merit through a competitive process on market based salaries.

The NITB will primarily focus on providing consultancy services to all the ministries to supervise and implement programmes through its Project Management Office.

In this regard, Dar directed Secretary MoIT to pursue reports filed against officials for financial irregularities and to bring to justice the people involved in corruption.

The meeting was also attended by Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, , Minister of State for Education Baleegur Rehman, federal secretaries and senior officials of the concerned ministries.

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