HP, Rajasthan, TN, Uttarkhand Top e-Guv Survey

by CXOtoday Staff    Nov 20, 2008

Computerization in various government departments has led to direct cost savings averaged between Rs 60-110, and it has also helped reduce corruption to some extent.

These are the findings of a study on Impact Assessment of e-Government projects by Subhash Bhatnagar of IIM Ahmedabad. The report was released on Wednesday at a two day workshop jointly organized by the IIMA and department of information technology, Government of India. The primary objectives of the workshop is to share the findings and learning from the impact assessment study, and to identify a new set of mature e-governance projects that could be assessed in the next phase.

Three state-level e-government projects vehicle registration, property registration and land records across twelve states, and three national-level projects implemented by the income tax department, the ministry of corporate affairs and regional passport offices were assessed. Large samples of citizens and businesses using the manual and computerized delivery of these services were surveyed by eleven established market research agencies to measure the impact. The survey was conducted under the supervision of IIMA.

The study said that users need to make 3-4 trips to government offices on an average (up to 8 trips in some cases), wait for two hours or more (up to 6 hours in some cases) in each trip and indicates corruption practices (20 to 50% of all transactions) to get services. Even in a simple service such as issue of a copy of land record, the elapsed time (submission of application to receipt of document) averaged 5 days. For property registration and drivers license, the average time (over 12 states) was 32 and 23 days respectively.

However, basic computerization has helped a lot, it said. For instance, in all three services, the number of trips to offices reduced by 1 to 2 after computerization whereas waiting time has been reduced by 20 to 40%. Direct cost savings to citizens averaged rupees 60-110 across all states. Although the outcome in reducing corruption is mixed, e-government seems to have the potential for significant reduction in corruption. It has been observed that corruption has either been eliminated or significantly reduced in five out of the ten states after land record computerization whereas it has become very marginal in property registration and transport services.

The study said a great deal of difference in the performance of the best and the worst state in the three computerized applications. Based on an overall rating, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu rank high in all three projects.

Among the three national-level projects, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA21) appears to have had the most positive impact on the users on key dimensions covered in this study. The passport project has had virtually no impact. Results of the income tax survey indicate that whereas corporate users have benefited on some aspects, individual filers have not benefited significantly. The varying degree of impact can be explained by the difference in the extent of computerization and process reform done in each of the projects.

R Chandrashekhar, special secretary, Department of IT, Government of India inaugurated the workshop. Samir Barua, director IIMA said that e-governance is clearly the way forward to improve governance in all kinds of organizations.