Web presence: K-P government to get an online facelift

New dynamic portal set to go live; RTI will have separate site

Sohail Khattak July 20, 2015
New dynamic portal set to go live; RTI will have separate site. DESIGN: TALHA KHAN


Expediting efforts for computerising state records and moving towards e-governance, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to pack up its official website and replace it with a user-friendly, responsive and dynamic web portal.

Directorate of Information and Technology officials confirmed the development to The Express Tribune.

Project in charge Ghufran Javed said the portal’s security features had already been tested by their developers. “We have used superior technology which cannot be hacked easily,” he added. He said the website would be mobile-friendly and run glitch free on Android and iOS smartphones.

Bringing the beast online

“It will be a centralised web centre connected with 33 government departments. K-P’s 73 directorates and district governments will be added at a later stage.” Javed added once the website is launched, all government tenders, advertisements, job notifications and laws would be within easy reach.

“The portal will also give a virtual tour of tourist attractions unlike the current website which provides minimal information. It will also have service, hotel and ATM locaters and other features.” Every notification issued by the chief secretary’s office will also be up on the website.

He said IT teams from every department would have to upload their developments and events on a regular basis, while the directorate’s IT team will oversee the flow of information.

“The website is good to go and will be launched once the IT minister okays it [soon after Eidul Fitr],” said Directorate of Information and Technology Public Information Officer (PIO) Waqarullah Khan.

RTI portal

Waqarullah said a separate portal for K-P Right to Information (RTI) Commission has also been set up.

He said the new website will replace manual processes and reduce considerable time in the dissemination of requested information. “The new portal will have no room for delaying tactics put to use by government officials who want to withhold certain statistics,” he said. Waqarullah added the website will have an online dashboard for every department’s PIO. The dashboard can be accessed through a username and password. “The PIOs have already been trained.”

Monitoring delays

Whenever the officer logs in, he will find queries received by the department in a pop-up window. The PIO will also receive email and SMS notifications. Once the query has been seen, the online timer will be actived, forcing PIOs to respond within the time stipulated by the RTI legislation. Department heads will have separate logins to oversee the performance of their PIOs.

“Once the PIO begins pursuing the query, the complainant will receive an SMS saying the request is in process while the department head will also be notified,” said Waqarullah. In case the PIO fails to respond within the set time, the complaint will automatically be forwarded to the RTI Commission and the PIO will not be able to make changes to the draft. Once the commission begins its proceedings, it can summon the respective officer and question him over the delay.

The information commissioner will also be able to monitor the performance of all PIOs. “These portals will not only make work easy for government officials, they will ensure transparency and swift action,” said Waqarullah.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2015.



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