Our Beacon Forum

The Email Revolution
By:Abdal Hameed, Karachi
Date: Monday, 22 January 2018, 4:42 pm

No email addresses for Government offices

The lack of latest information is not the only problem with government web sites (Dawn, Sept 30). They lack even the basic contact information.

In most cases, email addresses are not given or are not valid. In some cases, message forms are given but when you click on SUBMIT after entering your name, email address, subject and the message, you invariably get an error message and your message never gets through.

Our bureaucracy is still stuck in the pre-Internet procedures. If a letter is sent through the post, it will reach the hands of a responsible officer. He will forward the more important letters to the head of the Division of Department, and mark the others to relevant official for necessary action.

n case of email messages, there is still no standard procedure. Most senior officers still do not deal with email personally (because either they cannot do it or do not want to). Their personal assistants operate computers and have access to email account but do not have authority to deal with the mail. Hence, no email addresses and no action on message forms.

The Government offices should revive Mail Registry for both paper and electronic mail until everybody can deal with his own email messages on his own computer. The Registry should receive and print all emails and forward to relevant officials. When a reply is received, it will be sent by email.

Meanwhile, the email address of every Minister, Secretary of a Division or Department and the head of an organization must be given on their web sites.

The transition to new technology takes about a generation. Typewriter took that long to replace pen and ink. In due course, email will take over paper mail in our government offices.

Allah Hafiz!
Muhammad Abd al-Hameed
Author, "Ghurbat kaise mit sakti hai" (Classic, Lahore)
www.mahameed-articles.blogspot .com/
www.mahameed-poverty.blogspot. com