In the changing nature of the Government businesses, the need and ambition level of departments have increased and so has its vision. There was a need to consolidate the applications common across the departments in terms of its usage and arrive at a Common Unified Product solution that can work seamlessly across departments. Implementation in the Government structure demands a solution that will need to address the challenges of cost, ease of use, interoperability and formats of standards used for making it amenable to replication.
e-Office has been designed in sync with the need for an effective and transparent Governance and has been conceived as the instrument for the Next Generation Government. The vision of e-Office is to achieve a simplified, responsive, effective and transparent working of all government offices. The product is developed as a standard reusable product amenable to replication across the governments, both at the central and the state levels.
Expectations and objectives
The key goals of the system are shown below:
- To improve efficiency, consistency and effectiveness of government responses;
- To reduce processing delays; and
- To establish transparency and accountability
- Open Architecture framework for flexibility to scale.
- Establish a Single Authoritative Government Directory.
- To Standardise on a Single Product for reuse across the Government
- To have a Government e-Office around a Standard Architecture & framework
E-Office is a strategic asset to the Government departments supporting the core businesses and enhancing efficiency.The Open Architecture deployed makes it a reusable framework and product for deployment across Ministries / Departments.
The main services offered through eOffice which is an Open architecture based product are as follows:
- Personnel Information System
- Collaboration and Messaging Services
- Shared Calendar
- Discussion Forum
- Instant Messaging
- Role based Access Services
- Compliant to Open Standards
- Work flow automation
- Advanced Search functionalities
Technology Architecture and Framework of e-Office
- Open Architecture &Technology Neutral
- Common Data Sets and Standards
- Role based access for authorisation
- Directory based authentication
- Workflow manager
- Open Standards & technologies based
- Unicode Compliant – Support for local languages
- Organization level common repository of user information for various services and applications.
- Single Sign On to e-Office: With a single signing in, personalized, role-based, secure access to office information for employees is made available. Users do not have to do multiple logins to access information.
- Central Repository of Documents which enables an Central Common repository for all the common Government circulars/notifications, documents viz: policies, forms, acts & regulations, circulars, guidelines and manuals instead of maintaining in various locations for quick search and retrieval with Check in and Check out facilities for Version Control.
- Collaboration & Messaging Services: The Collaboration and Messaging Services includes applications designed to address the needs of E-Office in the organization like private/shared Calendars, e-Mail, Instant Messaging, Discussion Boards.
- Work flow automation: Workflow automation allows an easy conversion of manual paper-based business process into electronic processes that eliminate paper forms and manual forwarding. Enables Controlled circulation of information within the department/ministry.
- Unified view of data: Consolidation of existing data from different sources within/across the ministry/ministries and provide a single consistent view.
- Role based personalisation for individual users can make it possible to present certain information only to the user with a particular designation title.
- Unification of the information infrastructure: Common Repository, Directory Server, Internal Communications reduce the need of having to maintain multiple infrastructure for similar requirements and purpose. It exploits the available infrastructure
The solution has been designed to provide a great degree of comfort level to the users. There is complete information sharing and linkage between the various services offered through eOffice ,for eg: eFile links with the Knowledge repository which is a store house of all Govt. Acts, Circulars, Office Orders thereby eliminating the redundant storage of documents in each application, eLeave and eTour are integrated to obtain information of users who are on leave or on tour before a decision is taken to grant the leave or tour.
Present Status of implementations of eOffice
eOffice product is expected to play a crucial role in improving the operational efficiency of Central Government Ministries and State Departments and in delivering the quality services in reduced turn out time and is replicable at all levels in the Government: Centre, State, District and to the Panchayat.
At the Central level, eOffice is under implementation in more than 20 departments and ministries. At the State and district levels, eOffice implementation for the select departments in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have begun. eOffice is under implementation for the entire Secretariat of Govt. of Rajasthan. A MoU has been signed between NIC and GoR for the eOffice implementation. At the district level, the 24 North Paragnas District Collectorate is a model implementation of eOffice.
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) which began with 250 users is expanding to include 4000 more users in 2012-13. A case study is enclosed.