The government of Bangladesh will begin a project to bring all government ministries, departments and organisations into one single e-governance system within one month.
Last week, the Cabinet Committee approved a Tk 2.81 billion (US$34.2 million) proposal for the procurement of equipment and services to start connecting all government entities to one state-of-the-art service delivery system.
This five-year project, called ‘Development of National ICT Infra-Network for Bangladesh Government (BanglaGovNet)’, was launched earlier as part of the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ action plan proposed by the Bangladesh Awami League in 2009.
The project is expected to facilitate connectivity and ease communication between and within ministries. It will promote interaction by creating an efficient e-governance system and network infrastructure to increase efficiency in government functions. This will reduce corruption in government organisations, and ensure transparency and accountability.
Additionally, the project includes plans to set up a central data centre connected to the offices of deputy commissioners and sub-district chief executives (‘Upazila Nirbahi Officers’) in all 64 districts of Bangladesh.
IT literacy among public employees and officials is expected to be enhanced through this project. 25,000 tablets are to be distributed to public servants at the grassroots level, and video conferencing facilities are supposed to increase from the current 800 to include 300 training institutes and all government offices up to ‘Upazila Nirbahi Officers’ level.
The system will also increase efficiency by reducing wastage of government resources, and enhance the quality of government services by maximising digitisation through an information management system which will enable real-time administration.
The project will be executed by the Bangladesh Computer Council, sponsored by the ICT ministry.
Bangladesh is supported in this initiative by the governments of South Korea and China, both of which have given loans to the Bangladeshi government to help finance the project. The South Korean government provided a loan of US$200 million at the launch of Digital Bangladesh in 2009, to help the implementation of Phase I of the project. The Chinese government has agreed to give the Bangladeshi government a loan at 2 per cent interest for Phase II.