Saturday, April 9, 2011

On Computerizing the Government

I had admired and liked V P Singh.

We had been involved in a project when he was the finance minister. At least I never met him but the people we interacted with definitely wanted to stop tax evasion. It was obvious that the country's infrastructure and rules made it hard.

I recall an effort to create a simpler, one page form. The officer spent a lot of time and came up with a mess. It was, then, that I realized that how hard it is for people to realize that a code is enough. All information associated the code can be displayed on the system or in the reports effortlessly. A person or an organization once known to the computer application does not need to provide anything more than the code again. However, they must provide the code!

There were times when we had extract the code from the raw information because the government forms did not ask for the code!

Success of the project was minimal. Failure was more likely to be because of logistics and the horrible telecom infrastructure and not because of commitment. Manual processes could not be eliminated in short term.

The objectives of the project were achieved. Tax compliance improved thanks to lower tax rates :)

No comments:

Post a Comment