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National status likely for Centre for Good Governance

By V. Geetanath

HYDERABAD, FEB.15. If things go according to plan, there is a fair chance for the Government's Centre for Good Governance (CGG) to become the National Centre for Good Governance providing for e-Governance initiatives, action research and change management programmes for Government departments in all States.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID), which had partnered the State Government in setting up the CGG, has sounded the Union Government on the proposal and a decision is awaited. The DFID has already come forward to extend its assistance for three more years after the first phase of assistance ends in March.

"We stand a good chance to become the national centre. We are happy that DFID has come forward to assist us again. Our objective in the next few years will be to make it financially independent generating its own resources and not depend on budgetary support," explained the Director- General and Executive Director, CGG, P.K. Mohanty.

Concept paper

The CGG had prepared a concept paper on good governance and also a draft consultation paper on the setting up of the NCGC. The CGG was set up in October 2001 to achieve its goal of transforming governance and design to implement the reforms programme.

If Dr. Mohanty and his team are gung ho about CGG prospects it is because of the painstaking work they have undertaken since inception. It was sweet music when the World Bank cleared the Rs. 1,380-crore Andhra Pradesh Urban Reforms and Municipal Services Project (APURMSP) as it had done the background paper work.

Seven studies

Seven studies for the project pertaining to urban finances, framework design, simplification of land use, regulatory audit, accounting reforms, social and environment assessment, project implementation plans, etc., were done. "Strong documentation work was done by our personnel for two years and at a fraction of cost of what was expected. We are likely to assist in the project operationalisation as well," says Dr. Mohanty.

Even as the CGG (behind the MCR Institute in Jubilee Hills) environs changed to greenways and a fish pond too in the rocky terrain, it had rolled out some successful concepts like petition monitoring system and file management system for the Chief Minister's Office. It's INSTAXX Station - Internet Access to Exceptional Information where messages can be transmitted through email and SMS instantaneously from the capital to the district headquarters is to be taken down the chain.

`Human resources diagnostic study' was done for the departments of health, industry and general administration while similar work is on for the welfare, finance and panchayat raj departments. Staffing patterns and duplication of works were among the issues covered. CGG's strategy performance innovation units are fully operational in the agriculture, finance, welfare and municipal administration departments.

Key projects under way are a call centre for Rangareddy and e-administration for Khammam and Visakhapatnam districts. Computerisation of seven municipalities, including Malkajgiri, is on verge of completion. "We are the only centre to develop all four -- urban development models, HRD, e-Governance and tool kits," claims the D-G, adding that reaching out to panchayats is the next goal.

"In phase II we will seek consultancy fee and expect to earn enough to sustain ourselves within a year. The target is Rs. 5 crores in a few years time," he adds.

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