CPDI concerned over lack of online management staff

Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) on Friday expressed concern over the lack of online management staff of the City District Government, Rawalpindi, to update website on regular basis.
Talking to newsmen here at a local hotel, CDPI Programme Manager Syed Kausar Abbas expressed concern that City District Government of Rawalpindi is still living in the stone-age without having its official website in running position.
He alleged that the official website of City District Government of Rawalpindi is not updated and showing message that it is still under construction. Rawalpindi City District which is the back bone of Punjab and having a population of around 4.7 million in its jurisdiction but the CDGR does not have active and well equipped website management staff.
The Government of Pakistan Muslim League (N) in Punjab has spent billions of rupees on laptop distribution to attract youth to get political sympathies but the official websites of the District Governments is not working, he said.
Kausar Abbas urged that the Punjab government should take immediate steps towards the updating of online data at every department of the districts. He analysed that the District Offices are not well equipped with the information technology. He said that the District Coordination Officer should personally monitor the updates of the website.
The commitment of chief minister towards the openness and transparency could not be ensured without having updates information about the public record on its official’s websites.
He said that the provincial government should put all the public record which includes district budget, development schemes, and minutes of meeting, public expenditures, and contact details of designated officials on its website.
Kausar Abbas said that every citizen has the right of access to information under Article 19-A of the constitution of Pakistan. The legislation on Right to Information in Punjab has not yet been introduced despite giving number of political commitments by the chief minister of Punjab. He said that the Punjab government should spend its budget on the basis of need based by the districts and the citizens.
The budget making process mentioned in the Punjab Budget Rules 2003 are not followed in the districts of Punjab. The citizen’s participation is not encouraged by the District Finance Department in the budget making process. He further said that the Punjab government should introduce online information system at every District and Tehsil level instead of spending money on the laptops for youth.
District Coordination Officer of CDGR, Sajid Zafar Dal, when contacted, agreed to the concern shown by the CPDI with regard to lack of online management staff to update website. However, he said the website of CDGR was being run on ad hoc system. Now on the directions of the Punjab government, the Punjab Urban Unit is providing assistance for providing the CDGR its own website system. Work on this plan is under way and is hopefully to be completed within next two to three months, the DCO confirmed.

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