e-Governance News

Public services e-ready in Bhutan

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By 2010, obtaining a citizenship identity card, or a land ownership certificate may not take as long as, like some applicants humorously describe it, “after a pair of shoe soles are worn out.”

With the launching of an electronic-platform (e-platform) in Thimphu, government organisations now have the capability of offering online public services.

Developed by the Department of Information and Technology (DIT), the e-platform is a base system with features that can be used by any organisation to create online application registration forms and submit online. Applicants will also be able to keep track of the service being obtained and submit complaints on any delay, all without physically going to the concerned office.

The e-platform will enable government organisations to convert manual procedures into e-services and possibly achieve one of the major goals of the government: providing 75% of all pubic services online by 2010.

“Having to visit an office just to find out your application hasn't been processed would be eliminated,” said DIT senior officer, Jigme Tenzin.

While within the organisation using the e-platform, the concerned officers will be able to monitor the progress of the application or work being processed. Any delay or problems would be visible to all, ensuring transparency and efficiency. The e-platform model is currently being implemented for the forest department.

CICs are a government initiative to provide affordable information access to all levels of Bhutanese society. Currently there are 35 CICs in all but two dzongkhags.

DIT officer, Sonam Drukdra, said, CICs would be established in all gewogs by the 10th plan. A gewog's CIC would be responsible for the application, as well as the tracking process, for those not able to operate a computer. Two gewogs in Trongsa, Langthel and Drakten, have been chosen as pilot sites for the
e-platform. Online application for the approval of firewood acquisition, fencing posts and prayer flag posts will be available shortly.

DIT is also working with the royal audit authority to provide online audit clearances. “We request all agencies, whether government or private, to interact with DIT,” said Lyonpo Nandalal,

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