- Veröffentlicht: 13. November 2018
Technology has been readily been employed over the past decade to fill the gaps in government service delivery. The aim of e-government initiatives as they are known is to provide online government services in a cost effective and client friendly manner while promoting transparency and accountability as well.
Pakistan has also seen the use of e-government initiatives in recent years to make the lives of its citizens easier by cutting the multi-layered cumbersome structure of accessing government services. In this regard, the Punjab government has taken the clear lead with the province’s Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) delivering more than 270 ICT initiatives ranging from land record digitization to e-vaccination programs.
The Punjab government’s e-stamping initiative got a special mention in the digitization of the economy section in the State Bank of Pakistan’s recently released annual report as well. The result has been a sizable increase in government revenue while also reducing tax pilferage which was common in manual stamping.
However, when it comes to the country level, Pakistan certainly needs to pick up its game when it comes to digitizing government services. As the central bank points out, the country lags behind regional peers India and Bangladesh in the United Nations E-government Surveys due to the limited scope and quality of its online services as well as the available human capital. Due to paucity of space, the detailed survey findings and the ways to improve them will be covered in the coming days.
The other important point that the central bank has raised is the low private sector participation in e-government initiatives which the bank suggest is because of the “PITB’s massive footprint in the digital space including e-government solutions.”
Ultimately, private sector involvement is what will bring innovation and cutting-edge technology to address the problems associated with digitizing the provision of government services in an effective and efficient manner.
Digitization involves complex algorithms for processing and classifying big data used in the provision of government services and development of these processes and algorithms might be developed in a more updated manner by private sector firms which have more competent human capital at their disposal.
A problem which extends in almost every other sphere where the government is involved is the actual collection, verification and authenticity of big data. Reliable data is hard to find and is the fundamental building block of any e-government initiative to be successful. The prevalent turf mentality will need to change among government institutions to enable a more streamlined database for both the federal and provincial governments.
Finally political and executive ownership of e-government is paramount to its success. The bureaucracy needs to be on board to help politicians develop a comprehensive regulatory framework which is implemented by a robust institutional structure.
Quelle/Source: Business Recorder, 06.11.2018