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Updated: July 13, 2013 01:10 IST

Ernakulam Collectorate yet to embrace digital world

M. P. Praveen
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The digital system, if implemented, will ensure more efficiency and transparency, and quicker access to information. File Photo
The Hindu
The digital system, if implemented, will ensure more efficiency and transparency, and quicker access to information. File Photo

Seven years on, only 3 sections have adopted digital file management

Thanks to the reluctance of employees to adapt, a majority of the sections in the District Collectorate are yet to migrate to the digital file management system more than seven years after it was introduced.

DC Suite, a web-enabled solution that covers all functional areas of the collectorate, was introduced in 2006.

Only three sections in the collectorate — Revenue Recovery, Finance and Arms Licence — have so far adopted the system. Five sections still remain outside the ambit of the IT application that covers 20 other functional areas apart from file management.

District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth told The Hindu that a part of the MP Local Area Development Funds meant for strengthening administrative infrastructure would be used to introduce the system in the remaining sections. “Establishment section will be given top priority considering its vital role in the running of the collectorate. It will take about a month each to introduce the system in each of the remaining sections,” he said.

The transition calls for upgrading existing infrastructure as most computers in use have outdated configuration. Mr. Pareeth said constant shifting of employees due to promotion and transfers was a major impediment in the smooth transition to the digital system as new employees would have to be given fresh training.

Sources, however, said that it was the reluctance of employees that hindered the transition to the new system.

The digital system, if implemented, will ensure more efficiency and transparency and quicker access to information.

Employees feared that the digital application would cut them to size depriving them of their undue claim over the time and money of the public, a senior official said. Employees in some sections say that scanning old files, some of which run into thousands of pages, and feeding them into the server for digitisation is a laborious task.

Digitisation will enable seamless dissemination and access of information through multiple channels such as SMS, e-mail, Internet touch screen kiosks, inter-active voice response system, etc.

The public will be able to track the status of a file from anywhere in the world by just feeding the file number, thereby bringing in more transparency.

With the digital system in place, clerks will no longer be able to give inquiring public the stock excuse that the file is being processed. Neither will they be able to sit on files inordinately without forwarding it, as the DC Suite is so designed that officers can access any file that comes under his or her authority and even verify how long it has been before a clerk or an official. This would bring about more accountability, which obviously was not to the liking of many employees, the official said.

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