ISLAMABAD ( BMZ REPORT )
Ministry of Information Technology arranged first of its kind “e-Office Forum-2014” in Pakistan with the slogan “e-Governance for Good Governance”on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The purpose of the forum was to share experience of roll-out of Ministry’s flagship e-Governance initiative“e-office/e-Filing System to sensitize all the stakeholders about its importance, and ask them for their active support in its implementation and their key role and responsibilities in “Change Management Process” in working environment, culture, and behavior in Federal Government/Division. The guest of honor Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Mr. Tariq Fatmi, Federal and State Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Federal Secretary/Additional Secretaries, Government Organizations, focal persons from different Ministries/department and other dignitaries participated in the Forum.
It is pertinent to mention that the government is taking keen interest to bridge the digital divide for the development of Pakistan into an information society, and knowledge based economy through e-Governance. It wants the public sector to play a major role as an enabler, producer, and encourage the use of e/m applications and digital content through the different measures. The technology has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. In today’s global economic and technological dynamics, ICT plays a vital role in national development, good governance, and public services. The world is evolving rapidly into a knowledge-based economy. Therefore, ICT sector has become a primary sector at the national level.
Director General Pakistan Computer Bureau, Syed Iftikhar Hussein Shah has delivered welcome address followed by a detailed presentation regarding e-office suite. He shared the necessary measures which have been taken to roll out of e-Office in Federal Government Divisions like the provision of e-Government Data Center, establishment of optical fiber based state of the art secure e-Government Intranet, deployment of e-Office Application Suite and its access to Federal Ministries/Divisions, e-Readiness evaluation by e-Office users Identification, infrastructure requirement, IT Training assessment, IT Human Resource, identification of Focal Persons in Federal Government Divisions, creation of awareness through briefings to Focal Persons, training of Federal Employees on e-Office System, establishment of IT Services Management Cell to resolve e-Office System issues, preparation of standard PC-I for any Ministry/Division’s ICT infrastructure requirements.He informed that e-Office System is being successfully rolled out in Ministry of IT, National Assembly Secretariat, and Prime Minister Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning, and Ministry of Scientific and Technology. He added that major milestones of e-Office/e-Filing System will be achieved by the end of year 2014.
Federal Secretary for Information Technology, Mr. Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar while addressing the forum said that e-Governance brings a significant change in the working culture, behavior, and environment. Management of this change is key success factor for any e-Governance initiative, particularly of e-Office System’s acceptability and implementation in Federal Organization. He said that close coordination and special help will be required from PM Office, Cabinet Division, Establishment Division, Planning Division, and Law & Justice Division on different occasions in this regard. He emphasized on the Senior Management’s involvement to ensure vertical e-government planning, to acquire the necessary resources, to motivate staff, to support dealings with external partners and stakeholders, and to ensure co-ordination across ministries and agencies. One of the main conclusions of “The e-Government Imperative” is that leadership is an indispensable tool to promote co-ordination within individual agencies, as well as across government. In this connection he requested the senior management for enforcement of the change in their organizational culture and working environment, active and close coordination, and full cooperation with MoIT, provision of requisite IT Infrastructure at their locations, issuance of directives for e-Office System training and usage, development of key performance indicators, introduction of reward and recognition system for the system users.
Minister of State for Information technology, Ms. AnushaRehman in her address to the forum said it is a fact that ineffective governance not only slows down the pace of economic growth, but also has a highly negative impact on the living standards of the citizens. To make the governance more effective and achieve the goals of government efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability in decision making, and to deliver efficient and cost-effective public services to citizens, e-Governance is being adopted as a tool. In this regard, Government of Pakistan is aggressively perusing the roll-out of e-office suite at the federal government to achieve the aforesaid goals. She said that recent spectrum auctioning of 3G/4G technologies in Pakistan reflects that Government of Pakistan resolve to capitalize on the benefits of 3G/4G technologies, we are in the process of developing mobile based software applications particularly e-Government applications.
The Minister emphasized that political leadership is the key initiator and supporter of an e-Government vision. We must realize that e-Government is more about modernization and reform than about technology.e-Government leaders recognize the importance of using technology as a strategic tool to modernize the structures, processes, and overall culture of public administrations. The Minister said that she has undertaken the huge responsibility of bringing efficiency, transparency, effectiveness, and accountability in government processes through e-Governance, and has great confidence in her fellow Federal and State Minister’s leadership capabilities/qualities, visionary approach, and dedication to serve the public. This e-Office System empowers them to have up-to-date information required for decision making in the best interests of the general public. Their ownership of this system would help her implement the vision of present government of PMLN and its leaderships to create a less paper environment. Therefore, she urged that Political Leadership should guide the senior management working under their control to submit a weekly progress report on e-Office System implementation, and share their strategic vision on e-Governance.
Anusha Rahman reiterated that we are just an enabler. These are the Federal Divisions who are responsible for the implementation of e-Office System. We feel helpless, if you don’t come forward and take this responsibility and ownership.
At this occasion, Guest of Honor, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tariq Fatmi stated that e-Governance is a key to the success of a country. Many Countries have already adopted e-government system, we just have to join them and it is the dire need of the time that we must equip ourselves with modern e-application. He further said that while seeing of the world and commitment of Ms. Anusha Rehman I am very hopeful that she will succeed in her efforts.