The centre can be reached toll free at 8888 for any information related to the G2C services 

ICT: As part of an effort to increase public accessibility to G2C (government to citizen) services especially for rural communities, the G2C office will establish a hot line or contact centre by next month.

G2C office head, Sonam P Thaye said that the contact centre initiative is in response to a need to provide various platforms for citizens to avail G2C services and for information related to the services.

Currently, G2C services can be obtained either through government agencies or community centres. Some services are available directly to citizens through any device connected to the internet.

“While other channels of delivery such as service delivery counters and websites serve important functions, contact centres provide the advantage of greater accessibility due to high penetration of telecom and cellular services in rural parts and its ease of usage,” Sonam P Thaye said.

“The contact centre will be an important initiative of the G2C office to provide right information to the right person at the right time,” she added.

The contact centre will serve as a centralized point from which the public can obtain information on the G2C services, such as on the procedures and if needed, the documents required to apply for a service. Sonam P Thaye said that people shouldn’t have to learn about what documents are required for a service by having to visit an agency.

“To ease such unintended burdens and most importantly, to provide a single point of information for all G2C services, the contact centre is being initiated,” she said.

To start, the contact centre will focus on 29 G2C services that are offered by the home, agriculture, foreign, and education ministries, combined. Information on the audit authority’s and Thimphu thromde’s services will also available. Information on the government’s citizen portal and public service mobiles apps will also be offered.

Sonam P Thaye said that awareness about the contact centre is low given that the pilot phase began only two weeks ago. Callers so far have also asked the centre for information not related to the G2C system. “But we are optimistic and with time and extensive awareness and advocacy programs, the G2C contact centre services will pick up,” she said.

However, despite the short time of its existence, the contact centre has already been targeted by prank callers.

On how the availability of the contact centre might impact the community centres, Sonam P Thaye explained that the contact centre and the community centres offer different services that should complement each other. “The G2C contact centre provides information pertaining to G2C services, and guides the citizens over the toll free number on how to avail these services,” she said. “The community centre operators on the other hand are authorized by agencies to deliver their services at the community level.”

The contact centre is expected to be launched once the one-month pilot phase is over. Sonam P Thaye said that the pilot phase is being carried out to engage the public and gain feedback for improvements. “In this regard, we urge the citizens to call the centre and contribute their desires and expectations from the contact centre for the G2C Office to be able to successfully implement the service,” she said.

The contact centre can be reached toll free by dialling “8888”. The centre is currently staffed with two agents who will be available on weekdays from 9am-5pm.

Gyalsten K Dorji