E-government to help curb corruption: Massoud
KABUL (Pajhwok): President’s Special Representative for Reforms and Good Governance Ahmad Zia Massoud on Sunday asked the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology to focus on promoting electronic governance.
As part of a series of trips to ministries to discuss reforms and assess their activities, Massoud on Sunday paid a visit to the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology.
“Reforms and good governance are crucial. Our government entities have been using outdated management methods, having long procedures, which is not good,” the advisor told a meeting he chaired at the ministry.
He said red-tape and complicated procedures had led to administrative corruption and if electronic governance was not established, it would be impossible to prevent the menace.
“Afghanistan needs an administrative revolution and the Ministry of Telecommunication and IT is the one which can help do it.”
He asked the ministry to prepare a draft model of e-government and submit it to his office as soon as possible.
Eng. Baryalai Hasam, acting Telecommunication and IT Minister, talked about some achievements his ministry had made during the past 13 years: “Work on the electronic government has been started and a model will be presented soon to the president,” he said.
He said his ministry had included automation of driving licence and electronic ID cards process in the e-government model.
His deputy, Aimal Marjan said electronic ID cards system had been activated and they were awaiting orders from the authorities to launch it.
He said 23 million of Afghans used cell phones and a million had access to the Internet, while 85 percent areas of Afghanistan had been brought under telecommunication coverage.
Marjan said the price of one megabyte was $5000 in 2003, but the rate had been reduced to $67 only.
Massoud said the distribution process of electronic ID cards should begin soon.
However, the Parliament is yet to pass an amended Population Registration Law.
President Ashraf Ghani signed the law on November 9 last year, sparking protests in various provinces over the law’s approval without mentioning word “Afghan” in the new ID cards.
As the protests continued, the president referred the issue to the Supreme Court, but the apex court is yet to deliver a ruling in this regard.
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