ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Information Technology arranged first of its kind "e-Office Forum-2014" in Pakistan with the slogan "e-Governance for Good Governance" on Wednesday.

Syed Iftikhar Hussein Shah, director general Pakistan Computer Bureau, delivered the welcome address followed by a detailed presentation regarding e-office suite. He shared the necessary measures which have been taken to roll out e-office in the federal government divisions like the provision of e-government data centre, establishment of optical fibre-based state-of-the-art secure e-government Intranet, deployment of e-office application suite and its access to federal ministries/divisions etc.

He informed that e-office system is being successfully rolled out in ministry of IT, national assembly secretariat, and prime minister office, ministry of finance, ministry of planning, and ministry of scientific and technology. He added that major milestones of e-office/e-filing system will be achieved by the end of year 2014.

Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar, federal secretary for information technology, addressing the forum said that e-governance brings a significant change in the working culture, behaviour, and environment. Management of this change is key factor for any e-governance initiative, particularly e-office system's acceptability and implementation in federal organisation.

He said that close coordination and special help will be required from PM office, cabinet division, establishment division, planning division, and law & justice division on different occasions in this regard. He sought senior management's involvement to ensure vertical e-government planning, acquire necessary resources, motivate staff, support dealings with external partners and stakeholders, and ensure coordination across ministries and agencies.

Anusha Rehman, minister of state for information technology, in her address to the forum said, "It is a fact that ineffective governance not only slows down the pace of economic growth but also has a highly negative impact on the living standards of the citizens. To make the governance more effective and achieve the goals of government efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability in decision-making, and deliver efficient and cost-effective public services to citizens, e-governance is being adopted as a tool."

In this regard, the government of Pakistan is aggressively perusing to roll out e-office suite at the federal government to achieve the aforesaid goals. She urged that political leadership to guide the senior management working under their control to submit a weekly progress report on e-office system implementation and share their strategic vision on e-governance.

Rehman reiterated, "We are just an enabler. These are the federal divisions who are responsible for the implementation of e-office system. We feel helpless if you don't come forward and take this responsibility and ownership."

The guest of honour, Tariq Fatmi, special assistant to prime minister on foreign affairs, stated that e-governance is a key to the success of a country. "Many countries have already adopted e-government system, we just have to join them and it is the dire need of the time that we must equip ourselves with modern e-application," he said. He further said, "While seeing the commitment of Rehman, I am very hopeful that she will succeed in her efforts."