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eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001
The U.S. intelligence agencies had all the authentic information about 9/11 terror attacks, but failing to get systems to talk to each other that time resulted in a catastrophe. Waking up to the challenge after this attack, the Bush government decided to appoint a Chief Information Officer (CIO), who could integrate these IT departments and also help the government deliver its strategy for the transformation of public services, enabled by technology. Following the U.S. several other countries like UK, Australia and Canada too realized the importance of CIO post, and included this portfolio in their cabinet. But India which dreams of becoming one of the economic powers along with China by 2020, has failed to understand the importance of a CIO till now.

With the country set to spend nearly $6 billion on IT over next few years, and planning to roll-out large number of e-governance projects; a national level CIO is really needed, who can drive effective services designed around the needs of citizens and businesses. Explaining the need of a Federal CIO, Akshaya Gaur, Executive Vice President and Head - Software Solutions of Standard Chartered says, "India does need a CIO to run the major initiatives that emerge from national governance requirements, and also I believe that this post should be staffed by leaders from the IT Industry rather than bureaucrats." Till now Indian IT Secretary has been responsible for drafting the government's $6 billion National e-governance plan. Gaur said that IT Secretary can only be involved in determining strategy; he can't identify and deliver a complex technology solution. This can only be done by a CIO. Speaking on the similar lines, Ajay Dhir, Chief Information Officer of JSL explains that the IT Secretary is a Bureaucrat whereas the Federal CIO should be from the CIO Community and not a Bureaucrat by any means. The IT Secretary can keep doing what the Government has designated him to do, but the Federal CIO should be the custodian of the IT Assets of the country, the protector of the IT Systems of the country and should work closely with stakeholders in Government, Defence, Public and Private Sectors.

Unlike India, in other countries, it is the Federal CIO, who establishes and oversees enterprise architecture to ensure system interoperability and information sharing and maintains information security and privacy across the federal government. Also, a CIO plays an important role in ensuring that the government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible. While talking at NASSCOM Leadership Summit in Mumbai, John Suffolk, CIO of UK said, "A CIO's role is like a chief integration officer, who ensures that the right supplier marries the right departments for smooth flow of information." In this role, Suffolk has been providing leadership to the IT profession across the wider public sector, enabling public service transformation through the strategic deployment of technology and driving the development of shared services.

The country could benefit immensely from the creation of such a high profile post, where a professional, drawn either from the public sector, the IT industry or academia, could spearhead the central government technology and e-governance initiatives. The person at the helm would not only be the 'face' of the Indian government's IT strategy both at home and overseas, he/she would also be responsible for directing the policy and planning of technology investments and IT spends. "CIO would be the vehicle for delivering transparency in the way the government works," said Gaur.

Suggesting Indian Government to choose someone like Nandan Nilekani for this extremely respected post, Indian IT Secretary R Chandrasekhar said that the person need not be too familiar with technical aspects of the job, but he/she should be excellent with envisioning how digital means can be used to change the way services are being delivered to citizens in the country. The technical aspect can be taken care by the technical people, and the respective project IT heads. Such a person typically plays a key role in leading the implementation of the Transformational government strategy, centred on the roll out of e-governance initiatives.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Sudarshan Kumar

Quelle/Source: Siliconindia, 01.03.2010

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