Ministry of IT plans to get rid of one of the most important strategic project

Ministry of IT plans to get rid of one of the most important strategic project FGDC by changing its executing body and decided to give it to NTC. 270 million rupees which are already spent on this project are going to waste. FGDC is one of the most strategic projects for the automation of government offices. Being a project of e-governance, EGD was assigned the task of its execution. Since then all the major activities according to the scope of project has been completed so far. The only remaining activity is the procurement of some equipment for the hosting of applications at Data Center which have already been developed under a number of other projects. NTC, which was assigned the task of deployment of Optical Fiber Cable in Jan 2006 – one of the components of this project, has not yet been able to complete this activity as only 39 sites are being tested so far out of a total of approx 50 locations/sites. Further, the in-house capability of NTC to operate such a sophisticated and state-of-the-art facility is also questionable since they do not have qualified Data Center staff on their strength.

Earlier, it was informed that MoIT was unable to materialize the Chinese gift worth USD 1 million that becomes 85 million approx in Pak rupee. Had that gift materialized, there would be no requirement of IT Equipment for Data Center.

Such stupid decisions of MoIT not only resulted in intolerable delays in the execution of projects but also in this particular case darken the future of staff already working on this project. Under FGDC project a total of 38 highly qualified IT Professionals are currently employed who will be standing in air if this project is shifted to NTC. Already voices are raised on different forums regarding the incline in the rate of highly qualified professionals going abroad and low interest of highly skilled professionals in Pakistan specially in govt sector, this act of MoIT will not only support their view point but also put the democratic government of Pakistan Peoples Party in a awkward position where it has to face another scam deliberately engineered for its destabilization.

Earlier when this issue was raised in front of Mr. Latif Khosa Ex-Minister-in-Charge for IT and a detailed report highlighting all the issues faced by EGD during the execution of FGDC project was submitted at the Senate Standing Committee, Mr. Khosa immediately ordered to conduct an impartial inquiry for the identification and fixation of responsibility, MoIT devised single person inquiry committee, which is again reporting directly to Member-IT so that the result can also be engineered according to their own satisfaction. Had the directions of Minster-in-Charge followed in true spirit, the committee would have comprised of Industry Professionals who have no conflict of interest with MoIT and atleast one (in-service or retired) judge of Supreme Courts.

Industry professionals are of the view that all the remaining tasks under this project can be completed in merely 06 months while EGD is of the view that with the availability of funds and keeping in mind the detailed tendering process in govt, the remaining task can be completed in 9-12 months.

It has come to our knowledge that under Carry-Louger Bill, US congress has approved a loan of USD 10 million approx for e-governance in Pakistan.


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