Title : Roadmap for implementation of e-Governance in Municipalities

Description

MoUD, Government of India undertook the design of Mission Mode Project under NeGP for implementing e-Governance in Municipalities. The project is intended to metamorphose urban local bodies? interface with citizens and businesses, while providing high quality and time-bound civic services in an efficient, convenient, less expensive and transparent manner. The project will tone up the frontline of administration through technological and functional interventions. Global best principles of management will be adopted to align people and processes to e-centric operations.

Client Name : Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India

Client Type : Central Government

Start Date : 1st June, 2005

End Date : 1st August, 2005

Project Description

The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) envisages mechanisms, infrastructure and policies at the Central, State and Integrated Service levels that are designed to create a citizen-centric and business-friendly environment. It also enjoins State governments to build capacity in terms of resource, people, processes and tools for conceptualizing, developing and managing e-Governance projects.

In June, 2005, the ministry of urban development engaged the National Institute for Smart Government (NISG) for coming out with a set of Public-Private Partnership models and a Capacity Building Plan that States and Union Territories can easily adopt, with or without modifications, to promote e-governance in municipalities. The terms of the engagement included:

  • Mapping a capacity building strategy for olBs
  • Establishing an institutional framework
  • Capacity need analysis
  • Sourcing strategy for capacity building
  • Training needs analysis

NISG, in association with the Center for Good Governance (CGG), Hyderabad sampled 10 olBs spread over five States to study operations, processes and requirements and to arrive at the commonalities, divergences and standards. Their studies included site visits and discussions concerning processes, capacity needs and feasible partnership models. In addition, the findings of primary and secondary research on international best practices in the urban services sector were considered.

The project is expected to pave the way for providing ‘single window' services to citizens on anytime and anywhere basis through increased efficiency and productivity of the olBs. It will usher in a standards-based approach, and help build an integrated information system covering all olBs in the State/UT concerned.

Project Genesis

There are over 5,000 olBs across the country, varying in size and complexity. Broadly speaking, municipal operations can be categorized into:

  • External: Involving interface with citizens and businesses, such as rates, tax, water, electricity, billing and business licenses
  • Internal: Staff support (scheduler, contact management, e-mail, web access), scanning, documentation & GIS mapping, waste management, management of council property, roads, pavement, vehicles etc. and inspections
  • Intra-governmental

Many of the foregoing operations can be performed with increased efficiency and at reduced costs through technological interventions. Some large cities/municipalities already have ICT-driven systems in place. Functions that could be bettered with ICTs include:

  • Urban planning - land titles, subdivisions and zoning applications
  • Building permit applications
  • Council property rent applications and payments
  • Public health information and announcements
  • Public transport information
  • Tenders

Currently, olBs at the circle, division and ward levels double up as delivery channels, which mirror the impact of public services on citizens and businesses. In the absence of a specialized service delivery channel, the same set of people handle internal functions as well as citizen/business facing functions, requiring citizens to visit a particular office having jurisdiction on the matter at hand. Besides, factors such as limited working hours and non-availability of the right kind of functionaries negatively impact service delivery.

As things stand today, the municipal sector requires innovative technology architectures and business models that are adaptable, scalable, standards-based and secure. Modernizing the urban development sector is estimated to cost over Rs.3,000 crore at the national level, leaving a gap between availability of resources and the requirements.

Vision

"To bring about radical improvement in the way the urban local bodies function to provide services of the highest quality, with speed, certainty and transparency through a factor of enhancement of their internal efficiencies with appropriate process reforms and technological interventions."

Objectives

A typical municipality currently performs obligatory as well as discretionary functions.

The obligatory functions include:

  • Supplying pure and wholesome water
  • Constructing and maintaining public streets with proper lighting
  • Cleansing public streets, places and sewers
  • Regulating offensive, dangerous or obnoxious trades and callings or practices
  • Maintaining/supporting public hospitals
  • Running primary schools
  • Registering births and deaths
  • Removing obstructions and protecting public streets, bridges and other installations
  • Naming streets and numbering houses

The discretionary functions include:

  • Laying out of areas
  • Securing or removing dangerous buildings or places
  • Constructing and maintaining public parks, gardens, libraries
  • museums, rest houses, leper homes, orphanages and rescue homes for women etc.
  • Planting and maintaining roadside and other trees
  • Providing shelter for low income groups
  • Making a survey
  • Organizing public receptions, exhibitions, entertainment etc.
  • Providing transport facilities
  • Promoting welfare of municipal employees

The key objectives of the MMP on e-governance in municipalities include:

  • Providing single-window services to citizens on anytime and anywhere basis
  • Increasing efficiency and productivity of olBs
  • Developing an integrated information system covering all olBs in the State/UT concerned
  • Providing a management information system for sound decision-making
  • Adopting a standards-based approach to enable integration with other related applications

Stakeholders for the project

In particular, the project will impact the following:

  • Urban local bodies in States/UTs
  • State governments
  • Union government
  • Citizens
  • Businesses
  • Citizen service providers

Services provided by the project

The MMP on e-governance in municipalities is expected to define the standards of services for following type of services:

  • Provide municipal services conforming to predefined quality norms and timelines to citizens, particularly with reference to:
    • Revenue-earning services: Property tax
    • Developmental services: Building approvals
    • Efficiency improvement initiatives: Procurement and monitoring of projects
    • Back office systems: Accounting & personnel
    • Monitoring services: Grievances and suggestions
    • Other services: Issue of birth/health/death certificates etc.
  • Enhance the efficiencies of all the offices of municipal bodies to support delivery of services of high quality in time
  • Establish multiple delivery channels to provide olB level government-to-citizen as well as B2C services in a convenient and efficient manner
  • Give leeway for operations to be scaled up to eventually cover the entire olB/all olBs in a State/UT
  • Enhance accountability, transparency and responsiveness to the citizen's needs
  • Provide efficient and real-time MIS and EIS to the departments of olBs
  • Sustain the service model through partnerships with service providers
  • Ensure speed and certainty of service by means of a Service Level Agreement with the agency selected for implementing the project

Implementation detail

NISG and CGG undertook to provide a roadmap for implementing e-Governance in municipalities. It includes a framework, along with concrete examples, that can serve States/olBs as the basis for:

  • Designing appropriate PPP models and related contracts for individual municipalities/States
  • Defining PPP requirements in the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in a standards-based way so that the intent is clear to all bidders
  • Specifying service standards in municipalities
  • Identifying process reengineering requirements to be imposed on those selected to partner with the olBs to provide various services
  • Applying technology and process considerations as inputs to the design of appropriate PPP models

The core functions studied and the possibilities explored include:

  • Self approval of building plans with regard to plots measuring up to 300 sq mts and in respect of structures measuring up to 10 mts height
  • Single-window facilities for approval of layout, subdivision and building plans
  • Approvals for group housing, commercial/office complex applications within a week
  • Permissions by a single technical officer
  • Requiring olBs to pay delay-related penalty to applicants and to recover the amount from the salaries of delinquent officials
  • Using the media to give publicity to permissions and violations

Current Status

The basic assignment has been completed. In August, 2005, NISG and CGG submitted a report to the ministry, along with recommendations. Four PPP models were showcased, along with a ‘Decision Matrix' designed to help States/olBs zero in on the most appropriate model.

As for capacity building, the spotlight was on the:

  • Insufficient information on human resource requirements to support e-Governance
  • Lack of personnel with appropriate background and aptitude
  • Inadequate skill sets of personnel already deployed
  • Lack of appropriate institutional framework to handle capacity building

Steps that States and olBs as also the ministry must take in order to build capacities at various levels have been spelled out. States/olBs have been urged to be clear about the nature and quality of services to be provided before finalizing a PPP model and adopting the Capacity Building Plan. Four delivery channels have been recommended to offer the new bouquet of services, with an option to combine any of the channels:

  • Integrated Citizen Service Centers that offer not just government-to-citizen services, but also B2C services
  • Civic Service Centers that provide services related to only olBs
  • Service Provider Model in which municipal services are made available through kiosks
  • Internet-based system with citizens accessing municipal services from home PCs

Published On : 11th July, 2013