Saturday, 30 September 2017


Tech. and Governance

In 21st century the scientific development has been unprecedented. Development especially in the field of information and technology has not only achieved milestones in its quest for perfection but it has drastically eased our lives and befitted our social functioning. Different levels of society have access to wide range of technologies.

Technology is a boon for humanity. As much as it has benefited humankind, it also has been a support system for humankind and its survival over the course of last one century or so. The advancement in technological development has reached the highest level ever since man entered space, drove vehicles and developed artificial intelligence through computing.

Our society has developed and for good reasons, its functioning and operation at different levels have improved. For a country to develop and for its people to enjoy happiness and good livelihood, our social system needs to be strong and efficient. So the basic rule for such changes to happen is to have a good functioning government with effective social service delivery and one that is transparent and with zero or minimal corruption. Any government with effective delivery system, transparent and low corruption is a good functioning government and that government will thrive for better in terms of socio-economic development.

Advanced technology can be used as a tool of good governance to improve and sustain a good system of governance.

For effective social service deliveries (including delivery of government to citizen services like judicial services, security services, etc…) can be achieved through online computing system. In Bhutan the government initiative called G2C online service provides online services for people to access many different government services like security services, judiciary services, passport services, marriage certificates. There are about 34 services, which are provided, online through this system. Technologies used in this way provide timely and easy service to citizens without having to stand in long queue or wait for hours to avail such services if not through such technology assisted online services.

What is a transparent government? How can technology increase government transparency? Transparency in government basically refers to making information about government like government processes, budgets and public officials available and accessible to general public.

As our literacy rate is improving and as social medias are reaching out to more users the demand for transparency in government is growing. But transparency in government can only be achieved by active citizens participation in matters of national importance. Government should invest in technology that would help general public to access government information precisely, easily and timely. For instance if governments use technology like live-video or live-audio streaming of government meetings to citizens, it would not only make information available but it would also enable citizens to take a bigger part in economic and democratic process.

Corruption in any form is detrimental for proper functioning of government. It widens the social gap between rich and poor. It favors the privileged groups in the society. So how can governments use technology to prevent corruption? As technology advances there could be many ways of its use in curbing corruption at different levels. One way and probably the best possible way could be use of technology in “deterring corruption”. The government could set up a whistle blowing system and using a mobile app/phone people could report corrupt officials to the authority concerned. The institutions can be linked online with auditing system especially with regard to billings and financial disclosure. Other methods of reducing corruption used by different institutes or government are automation of tax collection thereby reducing discretionary practices in tax related issues.

In a nutshell, technology if used properly and for right purpose can be the best tool of good governance for smooth and successful functioning in any country.

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