Soon stashes of files piled in every available space of the Mantralaya building will be a thing of the past.
All official files and documents will now go virtual and will travel only via the internet. With the aim to increase transparency, the idea to go paperless will also cut down on office storage space, give easy accessibility and eventually save money.
The June 21 fire had destroyed the top three floors of the state headquarters, including lakhs of files and documents.
Hence, the government decided to incorporate a system called ‘e-office’, which is being supported by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), Government of India, and is used in several Union ministries.
The government was earlier considering Digi Gov, a workflow software designed by Tata Consultancy Services, but then decided against it.
“Currently, we only have a file tracking system that helps us see the movement of a file,” said Rajesh Aggarwal, secretary, information technology department.
“The e-office system will see the file stored on a central server, having backup, moving in an electronic form, enabling officials and ministers to put their noting, digital signatures, along with tracking it. One physical copy of the original file will be kept in a safe fire-proof area,” he said.
The urban development department, the home department and school education department will be the first to incorporate the new system.
In the new system, all records of files and documents will have to be re-created into the system. The NIC, along with the IT department, will be setting up a central technical cell and a training cell for capacity building apart from having an area in each department for a nodal officer.
Files will be saved on a central server and will be recalled when required.
Access of files will be monitored and controlled to ensure security.
According to an August 6 government resolution, a committee has been formed under the chairmanship of chief secretary JK Banthia, which will oversee the implementation of the plan and take decisions related to purchases of equipment and software.