Govt Offices will be Converted into E-offices by June 2020

The government is planning to introduce a new communication system in the lines of Whatsapp for federal government employees as most of the intra-government communication was being done through Whatsapp which increased the risk of important data leak. Govt Offices will be Converted into E-offices by June 2020.

The National Information Technology Board (NITB) is working on a framework recommending the government to ban social networking websites such as Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube in government offices.

Govt Offices will be Converted into E-offices by June 2020

This was revealed before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Infromation Technology and Telecommunication which met with Ali Khan Jadoon in the chair here on Wednesday.

In order to stop this practice, the committee was informed that a new local social network, modeled on WhatsApp, would be introduced into government offices to streamline communications. The implementation of this framework is likely to impose a complete ban on use of social media by government servants during work hours.

It was said that not only the use of social media applications or pages including Facebook and Whatsapp would be banned during the office timing but the officials would also be barred from bringing storage devices-USBs- to the offices.

To a question regarding fake news on social media, NITB official said that big social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been approached by the government and efforts to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) were underway through different official meetings with the representative of Social media sites.

DG NITB said that to control fake news, a separate framework is under consideration under which only authentic government news would be issued on social media.

The committee was further informed that all federal government offices will be converted into E-offices by June 2020. The committee was further informed that e-office which was started in 2009 but not yet completed.

The federal Cabinet in March 2019 approved to convert all federal ministries and departments by June 2020 with centralized procurement which would cost Rs1.4 billion.  However after the depreciation the cost is increased to Rs 1.8 billion, said Joint Secretary MoITT, however added that there is no legal cover. He said that legislation would be done once government offices are converted to e-office.

The committee was apprised that 29 ministries have been upgraded to different level of E-offices while 13 are still at zero level. NITB was working on integration of data nervous system which will provide a central plate form for communication within all the public departments.

NITB officials apprised the House that 10 lacs online applications have been received under ‘Kamyab Jawan Program’. “In case of denying of application the bank is responsible to give explanation to the applicant”, they added.

They said that PM youth loan has received 70000 applications over the last 5 years and their data has also been included in current programme data.

An official from the ministry informed the committee members that digitization of federal departments An official from the ministry informed the committee members that digitization of federal departments was underway and E-tendering was also one of the priorities of IT ministry.

NITB also informed the House about another programme named ‘BootCamp’ under which the officials from international giant IT hub Silicon Valley will be invited to train the federal employees in respect with different operations under Ministry of IT and Telecommunications.

PPP MNA Naz Baloch suggested the House that this training should not be restricted only for the federal employs but provincial employees of different government organizations should also be given the opportunity to get the training from IT experts of Silicon Valley.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Mazia Hameed, Ali Gohar Kahn, Kanwal Kanwal Shauzab, Makhdoom Zia Hussain Qureshi and officials from Ministry for Information Technology and Telecommunication.

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