e-Governance

Draft e-Services Bill Open for Citizen Feedback

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The Union ministry of information technology recently released a draft of the Electronic Service Delivery Bill, 2011 on its website, inviting public opinion on it by May 4.

The draft bill says delivery of all public services, like issuing of forms and applications, licences, permits, certificates, sanctions or approval and receipt or payment of money, must be made available online. It requires the public authorities to disclose the services which will be delivered online within six months of the bill being passed by Parliament.

The proposed law envisages setting up of an electronic service delivery commissions both at the Centre and in all states to monitor the effective implementation of the system.

The commissions can take up complaints from the public against the authorities who give any false or misleading information and fail to comply with the provisions of the bill. The commissions can impose a penalty of up to Rs 5,000 on the department head or any subordinate concerned for non-compliance of the law.

The bill also wants the state and the central commissions to submit reports to the legislature every year on the working of the system. The report should, among other things, include the total number of online service requests made available and complaints received under the grievance redressal mechanisms.

As per the draft bill, all public services should be delivered through electronic mode within five years from the date of the new law coming into force. The information technology department has announced that people can mail their views to abhishek@gov.in with Draft ESD Bill mentioned in the subject line.

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