E-governance in CDA still in abeyance after decade-hiatus

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ISLAMABAD: The much-awaited initiative of E-governance in the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has once again come to halt due to an ongoing inquiry in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) regarding the project’s non-completion in the stipulated time period.

The project that was initiated in 2006 at a cost of Rs175 million to involve citizens in policy making process, illustrating government transparency, accountability and quick disposal of public complaints may take another year to become fully operational.

In a recently held meeting of all relevant stakeholders, CDA Chairman Amir Ahmed Ali decided to proceed with the pending matter after the clearance of investigation being conducted by FIA, an official source in CDA told APP on Thursday.

“The CDA chairman directed the civic agency’s director security to check the status of delivery of hardware, including laptops procured from its own resources,” he added.

He also said that the Ministry of Information Technology in 2014 had moved the case to FIA for investigation in order to determine the reason behind the delay, adding that the matter was already under trial in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) whereas the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology had also passed a direction to resolve the issue at the earliest.

“The project was supposed to be completed by the National Information Technology Board (NITB) within 31 months,” he stated.

The source also said the CDA was the beneficiary of the project and was not supposed to finance it, while the NITB was its executing agency and had made only 75 per cent payment to the concerned company for software development. “Around Rs 14 million of the agreed payment is still outstanding on the part of NITB,” he added.

He admitted that internal resistance was shown by CDA in the past but it was now extending full support to the project’s vendors for the completion of its software development.

The official said that the delivery of hardware and networking had completed while 30 per cent work on software development remained.

An official source in NITB said that they had submitted an audit report to the IT ministry which was party to the case, adding that the application for the project was ready to be used by CDA’s Human Resource (HR) department.