There are very few examples of administrative excellence in this country; however, if there are any, they must be appreciated. Getting a passport a few years back in this country was an arduous task where long queues apart, complaints of bribe and corruption were off and on related to the officials of the regional offices of Directorate General of Immigration and Passports Ministry of Interior. Of late, in recognition of all such complaints the Ministry has resorted to the use of modern technology in dealing with such complaints.
After an applicant’s passport is duly processed, the applicant receives messages on his cell phone if the officials were cooperative during the process; and, if anyone demanded any amount from the applicant. The beauty of this system is that an applicant can reply to the same SMS to register his complaint, if any. This is indeed an appreciable step which deters the officials from corrupt practices and also gives applicants a chance of lodging their complaint easily. However, the regional passport offices in Balochistan are still not as many as needed and therefore, the Ministry of Interior should facilitate the masses in their home districts sooner than later! It is worth pointing out here that this journey of Directorate General of Immigration and Passports from manual system to the digital is commendable.
E-administration has replaced the manual administration in developed and many developing countries since long where electronic gadgets and devices have reduced the burden of maintaining huge registers and manual records. E-administration has also strengthened the concept of accountability in the public offices and made the public service points accessible for the masses. A few appreciable examples within this province and federal and provincial entities are the online application system and introduction of SMS service by Balochistan Public Service Commission, and Online Salary Slips to the employees by Accountant General Office in Balochistan. Nevertheless, a lot more is needed to be done to make the public service departments more accountable, responsive and efficient.
Currently, many Departments including Accountant General Pakistan’s regional office in Quetta, The Treasury Offices at Districts, Police, WAPDA and many more are under severe criticism by the public quarters for alleged corrupt practices by their officials. This would in fact be a wonderful chance for the entire public service administrative service set-ups of Balochistan to introduce such an SMS service under a Watchdog Cell within their departments where each applicant is inquired about the way he was treated by the officials and if he had any other complaints regarding demand for money. Such steps would build the confidence of the masses in the public offices and would provide a respite of relief to the masses of this province who have long reeled under missadministration.
Published in The Balochistan Point on August 12, 2017