- Veröffentlicht: 11. November 2018
Why are Malaysians better off than Pakistanis? Why is Singapore ahead of Pakistan? Amazingly, there are only two differences: state institutions in Malaysia and Singapore work; and Malaysia and Singapore have successfully brought down the incidence of corruption. We have been left behind because our institutions don’t work and the incidence of corruption is way too high.
Here’s something I wrote in an article titled ‘Without the US’ published in these pages on January 14: “We are not beggars; we have been conscripted into begging. We are not poor, wealth has been sucked out of us. We are a fertile nation – both land and minds. We are the sixth largest country in the world – and the youngest – with 63 percent of the total population under the age of 25. What this means is that a very large segment of our population has the potential to take Pakistan towards financial independence and prosperity”. Welcome to the use of technology to transform ‘governance’. ‘Good governance’ in the simplest of terms is a “form of governance which serves the citizens”. Welcome to the use of technology to serve citizens. Welcome to the Pakistan Citizens’ Portal.
E-government or electronic government is the use of digital interactions between a citizen and his/her “government (C2G), between governments and government agencies (G2G), between government and citizens (G2C), between government and employees (G2E), and between government and businesses/commerce (G2B)”. The Pakistan Citizens’ Portal has the potential to completely transform the processes of ‘governance’ through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) – mobile apps, telephones and email. The Pakistan Citizens’ Portal has so far set three aims: faster service delivery to citizens; the accountability of ministers and their ministries; and citizen participation in the decision-making process.
For the first time in Pakistan’s 71-year history, citizens will now be able to have a ‘digital dialogue’ with their elected government. Do they want an Orange Train or do they actually prefer a chain of hospitals? For the first time in Pakistan’s 71-year history, citizens will now be able to hold both elected officials and civil servants ‘digitally accountable’. For the first time in Pakistan’s 71-year history citizens will now be able to share their concerns about the police, the education department and the health ministry directly with the prime minister of Pakistan.
Over time, the Pakistan Citizens’ Portal will have a digital scorecard of every government ministry and every government department. Over time, the Pakistan Citizens’ Portal will have a digital wish-list of citizens (ie, what citizens want). Over time, the Pakistan Citizens’ Portal will provide Pakistanis an opportunity to own their government.
According to the World Bank, “South Asia has the highest share of public procurement in GDP…Pakistan 19.8 percent”. What this means is that the government of Pakistan buys goods and services worth $60 billion or Rs7.5 trillion a year every year. Yes, there is a Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA). But estimates of ‘wastage’ in this $60 billion-a-year ‘business’ vary from a low of 30 percent to a high of 60 percent. This is one area where the government must introduce e-procurement. To be certain, the level of trust between the citizens of Pakistan and the state of Pakistan is low. The primary prerequisite of ‘good governance’ is the trust of the citizenry in their state. The Pakistan Citizens’ Portal has the potential to increase the level of trust between the citizenry and their state.
In short, the Pakistan Citizens’ Portal is three-in-one: accountability, transparency and empowerment. Will the project achieve its objectives? Only time will tell.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Dr Farrukh Saleem
Quelle/Source: The News International, 04.11.2018