” Portal is an important part of e-government. A government portal allows citizens to access government information easily. Bangladesh government has introduced National web Portal Framework (NPF). The National web Portal Framework (NPF) is the single platform of public information from any government organization to ensure easy accessibility for citizens, easy updating of data by non-technical personnel and sharing of data amongst various organizations. The National web Portal Framework (NPF) is designed and developed by the Access to Information (A2I) Programme of the Prime Minister’s Office .
Including all ministries, all directorates, all semi-government and all autonomous organizations, and all government offices at the division, district, upazila and union levels, there are about 27,000 government offices. Only a few hundred of these offices, mostly in Dhaka, have their own specific websites. NPF ensures that all government organizations have online presence, and the existing officers and staffs of the organizations are able to update the sites without depending on technical personnel. In addition, NPF will allow the government to implement the Right to Information Act through proactive information disclosure. NPF is a joint venture of government stakeholders in different tiers.
The web presence of government organizations in Bangladesh has suffered from a number of problems for a long time – NPF addresses these problems and limitations:
• Only a small fraction of the 27,000 offices have websites. A few hundred offices – mostly in Dhaka and perhaps a few other urban areas of the country – have developed websites for the last 10years.
• Much of the current information on the government websites is not citizen-centric. Most of the information is in English excluding the large majority of the population from benefiting from the information. The information that exists focuses mostly on departmental information (supply-driven) that does not focus on citizens’ needs for information (demand-driven).
• The current websites need significant technical skills to update information. Hence, most government websites suffer from old, sometimes irrelevant and incorrect, information.
• All current websites differ significantly in both structure and design. These differences pose various problems when it comes to accessing, sharing and integration of data across the website.
• The current websites are not RTI-compliant resulting in government’s inability to utilize existing resources to uphold RTI Act for proactive information disclosure.
The web portal framework will focus on the free flow of information from union to ministry level. It creates a gateway for citizens to get access to all government services. At present, this framework contains about 6,00000 contents that are being continuously checked and updated.
This framework will focus on information that are essential to every citizens’ prosperous livelihood- agriculture, health, education, law & human rights, tourism and history, human resources, development & engineering, environment & disaster management etc. It also highlights activities that are in compliance with the RTI Act such as- the name and designation of the information officers, their duties, the laws relating to human rights.
NPF has advanced Bangladesh one step forward to online Bangladesh.” -Khan Md. Hasanuzzaman – Dhaka, Bangladesh