M.P. Praveen

Plan is to bring down time taken for files to move from one section to another

KOCHI: Delay in movement of files between different departments is set to become a thing of the past, as the State government employees are to be allotted official e-mail ids as part of expanding e-governance.

The system will come into force within a couple of months as soon as the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT) sets up the e-mail server, Ajay Kumar, Secretary, State Information Technology Department, told The Hindu. The server would be stationed at the State data centre at Thiruvananthapuram with state-of-the-art security facilities. The system would be developed on open source software, he said. Kerala State Information Technology Mission, the nodal agency for the project, is set to enter into a pact with C-DIT. It is expected to cost about Rs.30 lakh, Mr. Kumar said.

In the initial phase, the server will have limited space, but can be expanded. All features of a personal e-mail account will be available under the system, Mr. Kumar said.

Once the system is in place it would cut the time lost in the movement of files directly impacting decision making. “Now it takes at least 20 days for a file to move from one department to another and a reply to reach the originating department.

With this project, the whole process will take just two to three days,” a KSITM official said.

Encouraging government employees to use e-mails for official communication is at the root of the project, Mr. Kumar said. “The system will help evolve a standard e-mail management policy in government matters. Issues like which mails should be stored and for how long will be decided since under the Information Technology Act a communication via e-mail is an official document with legal implications. Every employee who demands an id will get one,” Mr. Kumar said.

First for Secretariat

As a first step all employees in the Secretariat would be allotted e-mail ids. Gradually other departments would be brought under the net. “Later, encrypted mailing facilities will be made available for dealing with confidential communications,” he said. For instance, budget communications before the presentation of budget in the Assembly can be done using this facility.