The National Council made seven recommendations to the government on the Government-to-Citizen (G2C) services on December 1.

The first recommendation was on the need to initiate an annual awareness programme on available G2C services with ministries concerned to educate public on the availability of services that are not commonly used.

Of the 120 G2C services, only seven were mostly used, a survey by the Council showed.

The NC’s first professional nation-wide survey also found that 28 percent of the 1,204 respondents were unaware of the online G2C services being offered while 64 percent of the respondents knew some of the online G2C services.

More women compared to men were unaware of G2C services. By occupational group, more housewives (51 percent) and farmers (34 percent) were not aware of G2C services. Similarly, four percent of civil servants respondents and seven percent of local government officials were not aware of G2C online services.

The House recommended the government should make use of radio, television, social media and other platforms to reach mass audience in rural and urban settings.  “Conduct G2C online awareness programmes at the community centres (CC) focusing on women and farmers in particular,” one of the recommendations stated.

The government needs to review the basis of turnaround time (TAT) determination in view of disparate time taken as opposed to the standard TAT for several services, the House recommended.

NC’s recommendation also states that the government needs to address hindrances that prevent G2C services to be delivered as per the TAT standard.

Of the 97 CC operators interviewed, more than 40 percent reported internet connectivity or network problem and system breakdown as the major challenge. About 20 percent cited lack of adequate human resource and training while about 16 percent of CC operators blamed the delay in approval by concerned agencies and about 12 percent blamed frequent power breakdown.

The NC suggested that there is a need to equip CCs and inaccessible areas in remote communities with reliable network connectivity and power supply.

“Provide CC operators with periodical trainings by agencies concerned on available G2C services,” the NC recommended.

The G2C office, which was initially a public service delivery initiative project, is institutionalised as Public Services Grievance Redressal Division (PSGRD) under the Cabinet Secretariat to simplify and enhance delivery of public services.

NC members said that while public services were simplified and made available through various channels by PSGRD in collaboration with respective public service dispensing agencies, it is the mandate of these respective agencies to provide it responsibly.

The government had established CCs, earlier known as Community Information Centres (CICs), in gewog centres across the country to improve the living standards of communities by facilitating faster, affordable and reliable public service delivery using information communication technology tools and applications.

CCs, which were initially operated and managed by Bhutan Postal Corporation Ltd. was later, transferred to Bhutan Development Bank Ltd by the present government given the bank’s outreach.

Tshering Palden