All the citizen services have been integrated to one place. The portal named 'Sebakunja' (service portal) is the first ever public service portal in the country has been launched recently. The portal helps citizen get easy access to public services ever.
Besides, all government offices are ready to practice paperless office through the Form Portal. Over one thousand public service related forms are available here.
'Service Portal' and 'Forms Portal' with necessary information of few hundred public services and pertinent forms respectively were launched on that day.
Access to Information (a2i) programme of the Prime Minister's Office in close collaboration with Cabinet Division and UNDP were the mastermind of this initiative.
Through 4598 Union Information and Service Centres (UISC), the government overtly has reached common citizens to render public services in the easiest manner. Study showed- on an average 4.44 million underserved citizens are now receiving services from the Union Digital Centres each month.
The vision of Digital Bangladesh was started with the vision to take public services at mass door steps in 2011.
A significant milestone has been achieved on the way of making the dream true this year with the launching of Sebakunja. Without striving for making service process simple and hassle-free, it would be next to difficult to earn satisfaction of the service recipients. With this understanding initiatives had been taken to simplify the service process by identifying the problems and impediments. Through this initiative, the gap in the service process is being analyzed from critical point of view. In line with the above mentioned effort, primarily about 400 services of 36 directorates, offices have been amassed in a single access point naming "Sebakunja" (services.portal.gov.bd), so that citizens can get required information readily on their hand, spending lesser time and cost and by reducing number of visit to the public offices. It is expected that this initiative will eventually lead us to a long way to ensure transparency and efficiency in the public offices.
Services, in terms of importance and higher citizen involvement were identified and accumulated in the Sebakunja. The modality of service system such as- with what cost, within what timeframe, under what rules/regulations, to whom to contact (the Appellate authority) if desired services is not rendered timely- are some of the information against each service displayed in that site. Services are categorized based on the nature of services. Steps of existing services are shown in the site, so that citizen can get idea about the process of service- such as, how government employees are involved in delivering any specific service etc. All ministries, divisions, directorates, and corporations are being linked with Sebakunja.
The portal helps people find out all the soft copies of service oriented papers at a single click. The website named form.gov.bd helps citizen download necessary forms, if and when they intend to receive any service. Some 1013 forms in 10 categories of 113 government offices are attached here.
Apposite information and application form are the two basic preconditions, if anyone desired to take a service. Taking information from these sites, citizen will be able to take necessary preparation even before visiting the public offices. Thus the toil in collecting necessary information and pertinent form will be reduced if someone takes help from these sites. In this way, it would increase the accessibility and would reduce the required number of visit to the government offices. The nearest Digital Centres at Union, Pourashava, and City Corporation are there to complement this initiative. Citizens can go over there or they can go to any cyber shop if they cannot do it at their own. It would thus mitigate the sorrows of common citizens as it would reduce the expediencies of the middlemen as well. Here it is mentionable that the timeframe mentioned against few services in the portal might not always be the correct one. For such services, the mentioned time was calculated based on the current practice. These limitations will be overcome once the individual government offices make those timeframe as legal binding.
Initiatives are going on to broaden the number of services from the current level. In near future, the directorates and corporations will be given charge to change or entry information of their respective services. Moreover, initiative has been taken to make the site interactive. Citizen will be able to receive services online from this site, once the concern directorates and corporations take initiative to online those services.
One must acknowledge that the government's pledge to meet expectation of common citizens by rendering needed services from the public offices would only be attained if we could ensure collective intentness. Alongside, it is necessary to enhance the efficiency level of the government officials as well. Moreover, keeping effort to increase internet speed, reducing the price of internet, and producing skilled manpower are also vital in this regards. Understandably, it remains a long way to go, but let the Portal initiative bring significant amount of relief to the citizens. Let us see the journey of digital dream.