I keep wondering why our government offices, hospitals and everything connected with government should have a shabby look. Files littered on tables, unhelpful staff, corruption and a general feeling of demotivation. Why can't it look swanky and clean? In fact government spends more money per-capita on upkeep of office than probably the privates sector does. Here, the question is one of leadership. Does the Chief Secretary ever go to his own sections and see for himself under what atmosphere our employees work? Never! In fact our government employees are the best in the world, because they work under trying office atmosphere and circumstances that can test the dignity of any person with some self-esteem!
My theory and practice has been that if the leadership can pay attention to three things, then we can make governance world-class; Attitude, ambience and technology. The Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women LTD (TNCDW) in year 2000, Chief Ministers Special Cell in 2001, Krishnagiri Collectorate in 2008, ELCOT office in 2009, TNeGA (Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency) in 2009, Directorate of Horticulture and Plantation Crops in 2012, Directorate of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy in 2013, and Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation in 2016, are the best examples of the above three coming together. What we get as a result is world-class administration. Why can't we introduce the concept of electronic workflow in all government offices from the PMO right upto the VAO office? A large number of ERPs are available in the market today catering to all requirements of government offices. If one officer can do this, why can’t we make it a system than the exception?
When our files move fast at the speed of thought, then we can provide that much more faster services to our citizens without burdening them, by delaying decisions or asking them to come over many times. When our systems are online, we can provide online services to them, and corruption at least at the local level will be a thing of the past. There will come a time when this will be law.