Despite numerous discussions, file-tracking system in Civil Sectt fails to become reality

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Nov 15: Ensuring speedy disposal of files by maintaining consistent watch over their movement in the Civil Secretariat, the seat of power, has remained confined to the discussions at the bureaucratic level with negligible progress on introduction of Information Technology-enabled file-tracking system developed by Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency (JKeGA) several months back.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that several years back National Informatics Centre (NIC) had designed the File Tracking System (FTS) and numerous instructions were issued from time to time particularly from the platform of Committee of Secretaries (CoS) about making optimum use of the system.
However, only few departments made use of the File Tracking System that too not with the required seriousness and with the passage of time even discussions on the vital subject came to an end despite the fact that this methodology was not only aimed at ensuring expeditious disposal of the cases but is also considered as a tool to make the officers as well as Minister accountable.
This concept of ensuring accountability in the working of the departments also drew the required attention of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who while chairing a meeting of Administrative Secretaries in the month of April this year, explicitly told the bureaucrats in the Civil Secretariat to effectively use File Tracking System in their respective departments to ensure timely disposal of the cases.
Following Chief Minister’s directions, the Information Technology Department initiated the steps to make the File Tracking System functional in all the departments but the vigor which was initially shown by several Administrative Secretaries faded with the passage of time and till the shifting of Civil Secretariat from Jammu to Srinagar the File Tracking System could not become functional, sources said.
Following opening of Civil Secretariat at Srinagar, the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti formally launched maiden workflow based e-File Tracking System on June 28 in the presence of Minister for Information Technology, Imran Raza Ansari, Chief Secretary B R Sharma, Financial Commissioner Planning and Development, B B Vyas, Finance Secretary, Navin Kumar Choudhary and several other Administrative Secretaries.
It was brought to the notice of the Chief Minister through a detailed presentation by the Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency (JKeGA) that this system will ensure automating files, correspondence and documents tracking within the offices in the Civil Secretariat and facilitate a consistent watch over the movement of files and documents at zero cost, sources said.
However, the administration again lacked focus on strict implementation of this mechanism and the same is being attributed to eruption of unrest in Kashmir valley and subsequent near zero presence of the employees in the Civil Secretariat, they said, adding “due to this the File Tracking System could not be implemented till the time Civil Secretariat functioned at summer capital of the State”.
Now again discussions have started on implementation of File Tracking System and in the recent meeting of Committee of Secretaries held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, B R Sharma emphasis was laid on introduction of this mechanism in the Civil Secretariat, sources said while disclosing that in the meeting the Chief Secretary issued directions for designation of Nodal Officers by all the Administrative Secretaries for necessary training by the Information Technology Department.
It was also decided that to begin with four departments-Home, General Administration Department, Planning and Chief Minister’s Secretariat will introduce the system and thereafter the system will be implemented in other departments.
However, no time-frame has been fixed for designation of Nodal Officers, their proper training and then start of File Tracking System, which otherwise was imperative to give practical shape to introduction of File Tracking System under discussion during the past several months. “Unless this exercise is made time-bound the objective of ensuring timely disposal of files cannot be achieved keeping in view the fate of decision till date”, sources stressed.
When contacted, an officer of the General Administration Department confirmed that fresh thrust is being laid on introduction of File Tracking System in the Civil Secretariat but he expressed his inability to fix any time-frame for same and said, “unless there are trained officers in all the departments this system cannot be made functional so initially required focus will be on having trained workforce”.
It is pertinent to mention here that File Tracking System is a web-based application to monitor the pendency of receipts and files and assist in their easy tracking. It is actually an integrated package which has features right from diarizing of receipts/files, updating its status, opening of new files, tracking the movement of files, dispatch of letters/files and finally records management.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here