Monday, June 11, 2007

Helping Combat Poverty Through Enabling Communication

Today, I am going to share you an experience from Bangladesh. I hope this article will encourage planners, government agencies, Telecenter operators. I have taken this article from the "Fast Company" post.

Earlier this week, the Washington DC based Grameen Foundation unveiled the Village Phone Direct Assistance Center -- a new initiative to continue its ongoing efforts to combat poverty worldwide through enabling and improving access to financial services and information.

To give you some quick background: the Village Phone is an initiative pioneered by Grameen Telecom in Bangladesh, through which the Foundation works to create a link between the telecommunications sector and the microfinance sector. This in turn enables microfinance clients to borrow the money needed to purchase a “Village Phone business” -- a small phone booth that uses a cell phone in other words.

The Village Phone Operators purchase a cell phone starter kit and then rent the use of their phone to the community on a per-call basis (they charge by the minute.) The initiative is particularly significant because it operates in places where no telecommunications services previously existed, spurring the development of economic growth and social relationships that were formerly seriously hindered by the lack of any local communication devices.

The Foundation explains that prices are kept affordable and the relationship aims to be heavily symbiotic, with the village phone operator earning enough to repay his loans and hopefully even make a profit, and the villagers themselves finally being able to make phone calls without taking the day off work and trekking miles out to do so.
Village Phone Direct, is a grassroots approach to the original program, through which microfinance institutions can work directly with local telecom providers to set up village phones businesses, without waiting for the Foundation to roll out a national Village Phone replication program. A Direct program is already operating in the Philippines.

The Foundation's new Kenya based Village Phone Direct Assistance Center features a how-to manual, a message board, customizable templates and other information that will help MFIs work independently with local telecommunications providers to develop Village Phone Direct programs for their clients.

When politicians spout rhetoric about how infrastructure must be developed in order for developing countries to move forward, it often conjures up mental images of huge railroads, dams and telecommunication grids -- huge projects that require massive funding, which ordinary people like me usually feel overwhelmed by and dissociated from. Initiatives like Village Phone are perhaps easier for the individual to grasp, and contribute to, in a directly meaningful manner.

So the next time you leave your cell phone at home and spend your day feeling sorry for yourself because you're so 'cut off' from everyone around you (and I've definitely been guilty of falling into this category of wallowers,) take a moment to think about people who consider themselves lucky to even see a phone once a month. Perhaps you'll carry on with the rest of your day feeling just a little less frustrated and a little more connected.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

National Stakeholders' Workshop on "Modernization of Nepal through the development of ICT and e-Governance"

Three days long National Stakeholders' Workshop on "Modernization of Nepal through the development of ICT and e-Governance started today in Kathmandu at Hyatt Regency Hotel. The workshop is jointly organized by High Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Subash Nembang, Speaker of the House of Representatives inaugurated the event and expressed the urgency of e-Governance implementation in Nepal. Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Mahanta Thakur also delivered short speech and wished the success of the event. Dr. Madan Pariyar welcomed the audience of about 250 participants from government agencies, private business, media, NGOs, INGOs, professionals and guests from India, Korea and representatives from ADB. He elaborated the purpose of the workshop and put forward the objectives of the workshop.

Dr. Dong Soo Pyo, the Financial Specialist from ADB, elaborated about the ICT development and e-Government Implementation investment plan preparation technical assistance to Nepal. On the same event, President of AIT also talked about the ICT for development. Vice Chairman of HLCIT, Mr. Saroj Devkota chaired the Session.

In the Second session of the event, Dr. Paul Schapper made presentation on "Modernization of Nepal" and also ADB e-Governance Investment Preparation Project objectives and its status so far. Mr. J. Satyanarayan, CEO of National Institute of Smart Governance (NISG) India and Dr. Choi from Korea shared India and Korea experiences. Dr. Hynnjung Lee ICT Specialist from ADB made a presentation on "ADB assistance in ICT4D toward E-Asia". Mr. Manohar Bhattarai, Full-time member of HLCIT also presented a paper on "Challenges for the the implementation of e-Gov and eGMP in Nepal".

Third session was about the E-Government Initiations in Nepal. Dr. Subarna Shakya, Executive Director of National Information Technology Center (NITC) presented a SWOT analysis of e-Governance Development in Nepal. e-Champions from different government agencies presented the e-government initiations in their agencies. Mr. Baldeb Prasad Joshi presented about the E-approval system as Electronic Government Operation System developed by Ministry of General Administration. Mr. Achyut Poudel discussed about the successful implementation of e-Post system in General Post office. Mr. Prem Lamichhane presented about the E-Application for the Department of Cottage and Small Scale Industries (DoCSI). Secretary of Prime Minister's Office of Nepal, Mr. Dipendra Dhakal had chaired the session. He pointed out the necessity of change of mind set of top level bureaucrats.

I will cover the second day proceedings tomorrow.

Visit for more other details.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Taking governance to next new level

The Himalayan Times - English Daily in its Sunday "Perspective" published today (April 15, 2007) an article by Rabindra Pokhrel based on the discussions with me ( and Dr. Shailendra Sigdel on e-Governance in Nepal. Here is the full story. To view the article in the Himalayan Times Click Here.

Even as governance in Nepal goes off beam under grinding polarisation, IT experts and e-governance specialists have now taken up the cudgels to take governance to the next new level. While the world has moved on from e-governance to M-governance (mobile governance) to Ubiquitous government, these experts dream of delivering government services and information to public using electronic means to help governance evolve from the grassroots.

E-governance facilitates government an efficient, speedy and transparent process to disseminate information to the public and other agencies, and to perform government administration activities. Though Nepal is yet to take stock of the vast opportunities the use of Internet has opened up, Electronic Transaction Act, 2063 has taken Nepal further in the field of information and communication technology. A lot of initiatives have already been taken in the area, but specialists clamour for things to be implemented. A lot of measures are still to be taken for authenticity and confidence in online transactions.
Explains Rajesh Shakya, Chairman of Hi-Tech Valley, “Farmers in Mustang with access to Internet can sell their apples to dealers in Manhattan. Job opportunity available in Malaysia can be applied to from Bhojpur. Businesses and individuals can submit their income tax to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) from their computers at home. A young entrepreneur can register him/herself a new
company through the Small and Cottage Industries Department without any harassment by unwanted brokers. A software freelancer in Pokhara can work for a buyer in Australia... and innumerable other possibilities are possible for anybody and everybody through the Internet.”
Shakya informs that the House of Representatives (HoR) of the government of Nepal approved the Electronic Transaction Act, 2063 on December 4, 2006, while the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) formulated the regulations. The new legislation has not only legalised all forms of electronic transactions and digital signatures, but has also clearly spelled out ways to regulate various computer-based activities and punish cyber crimes. The new legislation has set forth a legal framework, administrative and application mechanism for electronic transactions and digital signatures. Besides legal validity of electronic records and digital signatures, the Act has made a provision for Comptroller of Certification Authority (CCA).

“Electronic transactions and digital signatures is valid not only for the private sector but also for government agencies, which allows government offices to use electronic medium regarding tender notices, vacancy announcements and others. It also validates public procurement and acceptance of electronic applications. Even corporates could avail of the benefits of the new legislation, after ICT tools such as telephone, Internet connectivity is made accessible in all areas. ICT also has a vital role to play in all transactions that the government undertakes. It helps the government cut red-tapism, avoid corruption, and reach citizens directly,” says Dr Shailendra Sigdel, institutional and governance specialist.
But the legislation still suffers from a few setbacks.
“The current Electronic Transaction Act is limited in asymmetric cryptography with key pairs for digital authentication, whereas there are already several other promising authentication technology and algorithms popular and established in the world. Key pair concept is not wrong, but the Act should have opened up scope for possible future developments as well,” says Dr Sigdel.
Shakya points out another big issue — online payment method. He complains the absence of any Act, law or regulations or government directives, which allow conducting legal online financial transaction.
“I cannot imagine reaping the full benefits of Internet technology without online payment possibilities. The Electronic Transaction Act without a word on online payment is only half-done,” he opines.
He also emphasises on the need for government employees to change their mindset from “knowledge hiding” to “knowledge sharing”. Each component of e-governance, including “transparency”, has to be initiated as a mission and such initiations should be complemented by the appropriate legal infrastructure. Simply implementing software applications alone doesn’t bring a transparent system; it requires a whole lot of training and exercises for the government employees. On the other side of the coin, citizens should be aware enough to demand their ‘right to information’.
So what will be the suitable e-governance framework for our country?
Shakya answers, “We have to have a National Citizens database, in the real sense, which will be essential for all e-governance applications, vertical or horizontal. We should have acceptable standards for exchanging information securely with non-repudiation throughout the network, between citizens to government, and among government departments seamlessly. We have to establish data centres at the centre and regional centres to handle the administrative workflow automation, collaboration, interaction, authenticated exchange of information. We should have our administrative processes rightly empowered and reengineered, which can accelerate decision-making. Only then will the entire administrative agencies be able to contribute more for the national development, rather than being entangled in piles of files.”
Adds Dr Sigdel, “To make e-governance more comprehensive, it has to be developed into an institutional framework. Good governance, being an important goal of countries across the globe, has taken up initiatives for open and participatory governments. Freedom of information is being redefined and the Internet revolution has proved to be a powerful tool for good governance initiatives.”
“An important dimension of the Internet potential is the possibility of providing services anytime, anywhere. Along with this, there is a conscious effort to put the citizen as the centre of focus of the governance. Citizens are being perceived as customers and clients. E-governance has to be citizen friendly and based on the demand of citizens. Delivery of services to citizens is considered as a primary function of the government. Particularly in a country like Nepal, where the citizens are out of reach of government services because of diversity in many ways, e-governance should enable seamless access to information and seamless flow of information in any type of political state setup,” says Shakya.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

E-Governance for Good Governance in Nepal

English Weekly "Spotlight" published an article by me and my friend Dr. Shailendra Sigdel on April 13, 2997. Read the full story. To read the article published in the 'Spotlight" Click Here.

Rajesh Shakya (
Dr. Shailendra Sigdel

What is e-Government?

E-government is the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) to transform the traditional government by making it accessible, transparent, effective and accountable. E-government does not mean putting more computers on the desks of government officials. And e-government is more than just a government website on the Internet. Political, social, economic and technological aspects determine e-governance. It establishes a relationship between government officials and citizens, providing greater access to government information and services by making the government accessible online; promoting citizen participation by enabling citizens to interact more conveniently with government officials, such as by requesting government service and filing required documents through website; increasing government accountability by making its operations more transparent, thereby reducing the opportunities for corruption; and supporting development goals by providing business, rural and traditionally underserved communities with information, opportunities and communications capabilities. E-government is not only used in developed countries. Some of the most innovative uses of the Internet in governance are being successfully used in the developing countries, as well.

E-government will not be successful just only buying more computers and putting up websites. It’s not sufficient to automate administrative practices from the paper system to digital system. Rather, e-government is a process of transforming government; it requires planning, political will and a sustained dedication of resources. Success of e-government will not be guaranteed with the mere purchase of advanced technology or the direct automation of complex procedures until it can increase the rate of citizen participation there by bringing about the greater effectiveness in government. Technology introduction can not change the mentality of bureaucrats who do not view the citizen as valued customer of government or an important participant in decision-making.

Why e-Governance?

We are in the process of building "New Nepal". "New Nepal " should not become only a popular slogan but really the "New Nepal" with all the positive values and aspirations of its citizens geared towards the peace and progress. There are many dimensions streamlined and drivers identified to make our "New Nepal" dreams come true. One of such dimensions is the reformation of the government. Governance and its service process should be well reengineered to fulfill the aspirations of its citizens. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its tools can help its effective and efficient transformation.

With the advent of the information age, the ways we work, study, and live have been experiencing dramatic changes. Due to the influence of economic and information globalization and the rise of the digital economy, governments are "reinventing" themselves to meet new expectations and the priorities of citizens and businesses. These dynamics are compelling many governments to create a new vision for its relationship with businesses and citizens and to create a new organizational structure to fulfill its mandate. E-Government can fulfill the mandate of government formulating a new vision of how government views its citizens, employees and businesses, and building a citizen-centered, service-oriented, public-participative government with efficient, accountable, transparent and performance government system. ICT based online service is the most democratic and unbiased service system. It offers equal opportunity to all races, genders, ethnic groups.

E-Government breaks the barrier of geographical diversity and makes the government services handy to all citizens at villages who are even not connected by roads and opens up many opportunities, provided Internet connectivity is available either through wireless communication, fiber optic cables, dial-ups, VSATs or whatever other medium.

Besides providing service to citizens, it’s important to empower and motivate government employees to expect better service from them. E-Governance should transform the government workers into empowered knowledge workers. Nepal should not miss the benefits of global economy and specially the benefits offered by Internet.

Strategic Objectives of e-Governance:

The strategic objective of e-governance is to support and simplify governance for all parties - government, citizens, businesses and its employees. The use of ICTs can connect all three parties and support processes and activities. There may be two major objectives of e-governance:

1. Service to the Public: This objective of e-government is to satisfactorily fulfill the public’s needs and expectations on the front-office side, by simplifying their interaction with various online services. The use of ICTs in government operations facilitates speedy, transparent, accountable, efficient and effective interaction with the public, citizens, business and other agencies.

2. Efficient Government: In the back-office, the objective of e-government in government operations is to facilitate a speedy, transparent, accountable, efficient and effective process for performing government administration activities. Significant cost savings (per transaction) in government operations can be the result.

For implementing these strategies into reality, government must be subjected to transformation.

The transformation process is not so easy and not so simple. It requires a coherent strategy and should begin with an examination of the nation’s regulatory environment and the ability of the population to make use of planned technologies. The primary driving factor for e-government reform should not be the potential it offers to save money and reformation does not mean cutting staff. The savings incurred from e-government initiatives most often benefit the businesses and citizens utilizing the improved system more so than the government agencies that invested in them to begin with. In order to realize the benefits of transformation themselves, governments must develop a citizen-centric model involving key stakeholders outside of government—community, businesses, professional associations, scientists, academics and NGOs. Without their input and demand, even e-government projects that focus on internal government processes may not prove successful because citizens are unlikely to use a system that does not respond to their needs.

Process reform, leadership, strategic investment, collaboration and citizen participation are essential elements in the transformation process. Once government makes strategies to transform the governance process, it must prepare to meet the significant challenges and opportunities that will arise during implementation. The implementation process should address the issues of infrastructure development, law and public policy, e-literacy, accessibility, privacy, security and workforce issues. Awareness, education and rollout programs are also needed. To make the e-governance initiative successful, a good marketing program is required through out the country to encourage citizens to make use of them.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cyber Law - The Electronic Transaction Act 2063 (2006)

Internet has opened up many opportunities for the world. It has given tremendous market access that any one from any corner of the world can offer their products and services to any part of the world. Farmer with Internet access in Mustang can sell their apples to the dealer in Manhattan. Job opportunity available in Malaysia can be applied from Bhojpur. Business and Individual can submit their income tax to Inland Revenue department(IRD) from their home computer. A young entrepreneur can register himself/herself a new company through Small and Cottage Industries Department without any harassment by unwanted brokers. A software freelancer in Pokhara can work for a buyer in Australia. And uncountable other possibilities can anybody get through Internet. But Nepal is still far behind all these opportunities. A lot of initiatives in the area been done but still many things to be implemented. A lot of measures are still to be taken for authenticity and confidence on the online transactions.

Nepal has moved a step further in the information and communication technology (ICT) as the government has promulgated Electronic Transaction Act-2063 and Regulations, legalizing all electronic transactions and digital signatures. Please Click Here to see my presentation on understanding Digital Signatures. I had made a technical presentation on the sensitization workshop about Cyber Law organized by National Information Technology Center and Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology on March 15, 2007. For more other issues, you can visit my site

The House of Representatives (HoR) of the Government of Nepal approved the Electronic Transaction Act-2063 on December 4, 2006 and the Ministry of environment, science and technology (MoEST) formulated the Regulations. The new legislation has not only legalized all forms of electronic transactions and digital signatures but has also clearly spelled out ways to regulate various computer-based activities and punish cyber crimes.The new legislation has set forth legal framework, administrative and application mechanism for electronic transaction and digital signature. Besides legal validity of electronic records and digital signature, the new Act has made a provision of Comptroller of Certification authority (CCA). The Act is divided into 12 sections and 80 clauses with detailed information on role and rights of regulator, certification authority, customer, government and all the concerned stakeholders. It has also envisaged a separate judicial body -IT Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal, to look into all cases related to computer and cyber crimes. The 3-member tribunal will be headed by the district court judge or legal officer of equivalent status. The tribunal will be responsible for preliminary cases, while the appellate tribunal will look into major cases.

The computer and cyber crimes such as hacking, piracy, copyright violation, fraudulent and all other deceitful activities have been clearly defined and punishments are set accordingly. The action against such crimes and punishment will be in the range of a minimum Rs 50,000 to a maximum Rs 3,00,000 in cash and six months to three years imprisonment.

The electronic transaction and digital signature is valid not only for the private sector but also for the government agencies. It allows the government offices to use electronic medium for tender notice, vacancy announcement and others. It also validates public procurement and acceptance of electronic applications. This legislation would be beneficial to business community but there is a need of better infrastructure like telephone, Internet connectivity, and electricity and so on for better yield from the application of ICT tools.

The new law would facilitate business process and transactions would be made simpler, easier, swift and cost effective. The bottom line is the business facilitation. I would like to ask the concerned authority to bring into application of the provisions set by the legislation at the earliest possible in order to get benefit.

The Electronic Transaction Act was drafted about 6 years back and it was endorsed as Ordinance in 2005 as well. There is no literally change in the current Act. In many forums, I have raised my thought that such Acts should not be technology dependent, specially the Acts, which are brought out for regulating the technology. The current Electronic Transaction Act is limited in Asymmetric Cryptography with Key pairs for digital authentication, whereas there are already several other promising authentication technology and algorithms popular and established in the world. Key pair concept is not wrong but the Act should have opened up scope for possible future developments as well. I hope the concerned authorities will take consideration on this and widen the scope in the use of authentication technology through amendment in regulations or in the Act itself. It will help using different authentication and security measures as required by different applications and situations.

Office of Comptroller of Certification Authority is already established but Comptroller is still to be recruited and PKI infrastructure is to be setup. Authentication is the essential requirement for any kind of online transaction. In absence of such authority, citizens don't get confidence doing online transactions - document or financial transactions.

On the very first day of an online business launch, one may encounter a big cyber attack on data and another may face the non-repudiation problems on product or service delivery. I can only expect the timely seriousness of concerned authority to establish IT Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal to look into all cases related to computer and cyber crimes.

Many Acts remained without action. Government agencies, government employees, business community and private employees, non-government professional organization and all citizens should be aware about the Law so that they can explore the opportunity out of that and also behave as guided in the regulations. We have no such trend of making the stakeholders aware about scope of law, its benefits, its limitations and future enhancements. Who is really responsible for this?

Online Payment method is another BIG issue. We don't have any Act, Law or regulations or government directives which allow to conduct legal online financial transaction. I can not imagine ripping off the full benefit of Internet technology without online payment possibilities. The Electronic Transaction Act without a single word on online payment is only half done. Is any government agency working on formulating online financial transaction in Nepal? Again, which agency is responsible doing this? Ministry of Finance? Nepal Rastra Bank? Coalition of Private banks? Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology? High Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT)? or National Information Technology Center (NITC)?

Sooner the implementation — with proper manpower, proper understanding — better the results will be".

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

National Identification (NID) Card

Can you imagine how many times you may need to produce your personal profile during your life? How many times you get frustrated when your credentials are not correct? Just imagine, your personal and family informations are important from the day you born - Birth certificate, School admission application, Citizenship certificate, College admission form. Similar information required for starting your business, getting driving license for riding your first motorbike, acquiring and transferring properties, registering your marriage, migrating from district to district, casting vote for your favorite leader, getting passport for traveling abroad, applying for the job and so many events and in so many situations you will have to disclose your personal identification. So your personal information is scattered everywhere. Besides that the agencies which deal with you on such situations, each one of those should process, store, retain your information separately and definitely waste of resources, time, money. On top of that, you can not expect consistency on the information of the same person in each agency. When we are planning for the e-governance implementation in Nepal, its a high time to think about an appropriate solution for this. Many countries in our region and many countries in the world have come up with the card based identity solution. Why not we go for the similar option?

Modern ID cards bear little resemblance to the traditional "photograph on piece of cardboard" and are often hi-tech smart cards capable of being swiped and read by computer. ID card is a identity document in the form of a small standard-sized card (most of the banks in urban areas issue debit and credit cards with similar card technology). Unlike other forms of documentation, which only have a single purpose such as authorizing bank transfers or proving membership of a library, an ID card should assert the bearer's identity. The ID card, which may be issued by the government should assert a unique single civil identity for a person, thus defining that person's identity purely in relation to the country. New technologies allow ID cards to contain biometric information, such as photographs, face, hand or iris measurements, or fingerprints, and other supporting database - including full name, parents' names, address, profession, nationality, medical information like blood type, Rhesus factor(Rh factor) and many other information. In addition to that it may include the transactional information like driving license information, property ownership information, passport information etc.

It is obvious that the primary data requirement for the effective e-Governance is the Citizen database and identifying citizen may be the National ID (NID) Card. It should be a multipurpose secured and authentic ID card. Nepal government should be able to provide such card to the citizens at a cost effective basis, may be for free. Hence there is a need to select the right technology for the preparation of the card and online issue of the card also needs to be determined. This challenge must be taken up by the consortium of public and private industries, academic institutions with the Government. I would suggest introducing Single multipurpose National ID card (NID) containing all personal and family information, photo, finger print of the person and other transactional information for different purposes.

NID would be a useful administrative tool that will increase government efficiency and cut down on crime. If the government doesn't issue ID cards, private companies will require equivalent documents, such as a driver license, which are not properly suited for identity purposes. crimes such as identity theft would be drastically reduced, and are indeed unknown in countries where ID cards are required to open a bank accounts. To make the NID work, it should be a citizen-driven movement. It is a political issue. Cards for everything from passport and visa, voter ID, drivers license, vehicle registration, weapon permit, health care and welfare and secured services should come under its umbrella of NID. From 2010 you need Electronic Machine Readable Passport to travel abroad according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements. Some of the countries already use biometric passports.

Electronic cards are used increasingly by various governments, million passports are in electronic format. Smart Cards based IDs seem to be part of life in those countries. E-passports mean automated entry and exit at airports, all the while enhancing two mutually exclusive elements-security and management of passenger flows. Not only Singapore, Japan, Korea, USA, UK, but there are several developing countries that are expanding their use of smart cards as well. Take the example of multipurpose card (myKad) in Malaysia, vehicle registration and driver licenses' in El Salvador, ID cards in Oman, health care cards in Slovenia and vehicle registration in India. Government security in the US, UK, - there are whole range of areas where smart card usage is applicable and beneficial.

During my interactions with different agencies while preparing investment plan for the e-governance, I found a greater enthusiasm for putting driving licenses, vehicle registration, Citizenship certificate, passports etc., on the card. If national broadband network can be started and made available in cities and to the last village, East to west, Himalayan region to plain Terai, a number of e-services can be delivered, which would provide a government-citizen interface of tremendous value. The National ID card is the foundation of trust for e-governance. A large number of services can be listed, which could make all the difference in creating a efficient government-citizen integration.

The scale and range of the National ID card business is so vast that multi-stakeholder partnership (may be the Public Private Partnership) is the only perceived way it could be successfully implemented for all the citizens of Nepal. For all these services however, the cards need to be secure against fraud and tampering. It should be a strong identification, with no threat to customer privacy, providing a better service to the clients and an easy to deploy system. Visit for other details.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Transparency in e-Governance

It is quite frustrating dealing with government organizations especially when one does not know anybody personally there. And of course, everybody seems to know that there are "ways and means" to get things done anyway. Its very surprising that almost all the work processes in government agencies are well specified with almost no room for subjective arguments. Every decision are taken referring to some well specified policy. Even if the rules or policies do not address a particular situation at hand, an elaborate system ("TIPPANI UTHAUNE") has been developed so that a broad consensus is attained by collecting bunch of signatures before a decision is taken. The whole system seems to be well designed and operated to eradicate corruption.

If you go to government departments, you will find that the employees are very much cautious with every single activity they do. They are cautious using specific words when they write, and they always make commitments referring to the "policy and regulations books" and "business as usual". More often than not, they seem to choose non-action or personally safe actions rather than committing to or doing anything that can hold them accountable. There are so many problems in the present bureaucratic system which can all be easily evaluated and traced back to one single root, 'lack of standard, reliable, intelligent and automated support system to facilitating the existing governance system". In the existing system, citizens don’t see the complete picture of the any process (they don't know where to look at for such 'complete picture' of the service workflow), because of this, citizens spend a lot of time visiting one department to another and one table to another; there is not effective and efficient way to cross-reference the work progress, performance Standards are not followed and there is no incentives for best performers in bureaucracy and no real-time performance, process and accounting audits.
Only Technology can be the answer for this!

Nepal is moving ahead for transformation, at least I really look forward to seeing the transparent society. It is quite essential that government services which have direct face to face contact or interactions with citizens especially where the government agencies have to serve or support the citizens, such services have to be using the tools of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). For this to happen, software have to be designed and written to standardize and encode the process rules, procedures and similarly other related government services and access to those public services should be through IT, especially through Internet based online services. Then the government services can provide equal and unbiased access to all citizens based on pre-coded common process rules and even with rules to handle the exceptions in a transparent manner. As myself being myself in IT industry for the last 15 years, I am confident that Nepal has got its own sufficient IT talents in Information and communication Technology (ICT) to develop any complex software applications required for e-governance. Visit for other details.

Each components of e-Governance including 'transparency' have to be initiated as a mission and such initiations should be complemented by the appropriate legal infrastructure. We should not forget that simply implementing the software applications don't bring in the transparent system, it requires whole lot of training and exercises for the government employees to change the mindset from "knowledge hiding" attitude to "knowledge sharing" attitude. On another side of the coin, citizens should be aware enough to demand its right to Information.