After the implementation of the e-Government Policy, all government agencies will have to adopt citizen-centric delivery of online services.

All government services will be made available online.

However, Information of Communications Minister DN Dhungyel said that “all government services” might have to be defined. He said it might not be possible to provide every government service online.

There are over 200 G2C services spread out over 10 ministries, autonomous agencies, and dzongkhags, according to the G2C office web page.

“We are already providing numerous services online,” the minister said, adding that the government will make more services online. “The e-Government is at the formulation stage.”

The draft policy states: “The government has initiated numerous ICT initiatives to improve the delivery of public services. However, the use of ICT in government agencies is confined to agencies in isolation.”

The policy aims to address the issues on the way of the government’s e-Government initiatives.

The lack of proper coordination for the implementations of ICT initiatives has resulted in duplication of efforts and wastage of scarce resources. Low rate of adoption among government agencies, lack of adequate budget and human resource capability have also been some of the challenges in implementing e-Gov initiatives.

The policy, therefore, is expected to provide clear guidance for implementation of e-Government initiatives. In addition, the policy will enable the government to fully leverage the existing and emerging ICTs to increase competitiveness, enhance productivity, improve service delivery and strengthen good governance in pursuit of GNH.

“The Royal Government of Bhutan shall go digital by default while reforming or introducing new government services,” states the policy, which is aimed at bringing together all government agencies to implement e-government initiatives in a coordinated, cost effective and sustainable manner.

Confidentiality and privacy of the citizens will be protected to increase trust on online services, according to the policy. Agencies concerned shall be responsible for safeguarding the security.

The government has invested in numerous ICT initiatives to provide reliable, secure and efficient public services. “However, the absence of a clear policy has resulted in multiple investments in redundant systems and infrastructure across the government agencies.”

This has resulted in excessive ICT assets within government agencies, which are often underutilised.

MB Subba