Democracy at Doorsteps – Online Integrated Letters and Files Tracking System

Transparency and efficiency through extensive use of technology has become the fundamental principle of all reforms in the governance today. Though financial sphere of governance has been transforming very rapidly throughout the country, basic administrative aspects and office procedures, being much more complicated, perhaps have taken a back seat.

Considering this situation, Dhule district administration along with all line departments have taken many e-governance initiatives in last one year. Their implementation has been helping not just citizens but also District Collector and all concerned officers to ensure above mentioned basic principles of democratic administration. These initiatives can be replicated in every district as they are, with some cosmetic changes. One of the most important among them is ‘Democracy at Doorsteps’!

We all know that all government offices receive and generate numerous letters and files everyday. Despite trying really hard, officers fail to keep track of every letter and file. Generally, officers remember them only when any incident related to the subject matter of that letter and file occurs. 

Various versions of Letter-tracking and File-tracking softwares are already implemented in many government offices to address this. But we also see that these two softwares work in isolation wherever they are implemented. To ensure complete accountability from all stakeholders, these two softwares need to be integrated. This is the only way by which journey of a letter from Inward section till disposal of the corresponding file can be tracked. As per the recommended procedure manuals of government, it is a very complex logic. But this process has been thoroughly implemented through a suitable software at Dhule Collector office. 

The design and structure of the software was thoroughly discussed with whole staff of Collector office multiple times and their all queries and special requirements have been integrated. The SDO office and Tahsildar office can also be integrated in this software as independent offices and this process is currently going on at District Dhule.

It has not only caused Business Process Re-engineering and complete clarity in job-description of each staff, but has also enabled each officer and staff to monitor delays and generate customized alerts of all kinds related to letters and files. Augmented with advanced search facility, anyone in the hierarchy can check pendency of letters and files with anyone subordinate to him/her through real-time dashboards. This has also ensured automatic naming of files, as per the guidelines, with some creative innovations as per the changed times now.
The biggest advantage of this software, and from where its name is derived, is that it is open to public in restricted manner. A person can track his/her letter (and not anyone else’s letter) from anywhere through this website till it is disposed through a file or in any manner. For this, the person needs to use the unique inward serial number and a unique PIN number issued to him while accepting the letter at Inward section. He can also download the scanned copy of the letter or order that has been issued in response to his letter. 

Not just this, the applicant can even download the scanned copy of the note-sheet of his file, though this particular facility can be restricted as per the convenience of the Head of the Office. Also, record room has been integrated with this software to track file transactions related to it. The software generates all reports of all kinds, including Await-reports related to letters and file movements for every officer and staff.
Sponsored from the Setu Committee funds that are controlled by District Collector in Maharashtra, the software was launched on December 26, 2018 by Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra at Dhule. But with loads of customization, the software has been operationalized from July 15, 2019 and is functioning extremely satisfactorily since then. Any government office can use this software to ensure that no grievance received is left unresolved. 
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