| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Chronology of Implementation of “Sakala” is summarised as below:
a) Pilot launch in 4 talukas (administrative sub divisions) on 1st of March
b) State wide roll out on 2nd of April with 151 services of 11 departments.
c) The Second phase began on 2nd November, 2012 wherein 114 additional services have been added taking the total to 265.
d) The Third phase began on 16 August 2013 wherein 110 services have been added taking the total to 375. Further in September, another 44 services have been added and addition of 28 services in December taking the final count today at 447. The highest ever in India!
e) Additionally, 69 online services have been enabled.
The success of Sakala entails Multi- pronged strategic components based on the deeper analysis of the problems of service delivery and aimed at achieving a sustainable solution:
Strong Political will– The Act was formulated in a span of one month and was unanimously approved by both the houses of the legislature.
Mobilising the ownership by all government officials – Extensive discussions and deliberations were held with government functionaries and their associations to convince them about the benefits of implementing this Act. ‘Workflow charts’ were built to map the time taken by each govt servant for providing the service and to ensure that the administrative system can gear up to deliver much before the stipulated time. Each of the 447 services have now got a standardised workflow, stipulated timelines fixed, required documents identified and published, fixing accountability on respective officers in the process flow etc.
The ‘bottom-up approach’ ensured the ownership of time-limits by each and every functionary of Government leading to higher accountability.
Systematic reforms –The problems indicated by the staff were promptly addressed by the Government such as issue of amended rules/circulars/procedures and augmentation of infrastructure.
Training - A detailed training plan to train 70000 government officials. This is envisaged as an ongoing process. Satellite based training to train grass root level functionaries was extensively used.
Use of Information Technology – extensive use of IT with the help of National Informatics Centre.
Use of Media – Extensive publicity and awareness being done through a comprhensive media plan.
Citizen Participation – Citizens were involved at every stage starting from designing the logo, name of the Act to giving feedback for systematic improvements. The Logo was designed by a citizen himself – ‘Justice Hammer with a stop watch’ & the Slogan reads “ No more delays- We deliver on time” and the name Sakala means – ‘in time’/good time.
Involvement of Civil society - Interaction with consumer forums, resident welfare associations, CSOs, women self-help groups and other NGO’s were carried out to spread the awareness of this program and obtain their feedback for improving, evolving and amending the Act and the rules.
Grievance redressal mechanism - A call centre has been set up on a Public Private Partnership mode, which acts as an interface between Citizens & the Mission for providing information, lodging complaints and ensuring compliance in a prompt manner.
Help Desks –Various consumer organisations have been involved to set up help desks for eliminating the middle men menace and bringing government closer to a common man.
Concurrent Evaluation- Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore has been entrusted with the job of concurrent evaluation of Sakala. A monthly appraisal report is being prepared by the Institute to guide the Mission.
The focus of entire exercise was the citizen, his problems, needs and solutions through Administrative reforms.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
There are multiple stakeholders involved in this solution.
Citizens are the primary stakeholders with the initiation of “Sakala”. Citizens wanting to obtain timely services from Government form the bulk of stakeholders. In order to receive feedback from the citizens, consultations have been held with various civil society organizations such as Resident Welfare Associations, Consumer Forums and NGOs.
Employees working in various departments who deliver services to citizens under “Sakala” form the second bulk of stakeholders. The employees of Government and employees in IT platform provider NIC come under this category.
Government initiating “Sakala” is a major stakeholder because entire action emanates from here. Government is the political representation for the citizens who expect certain services to be delivered. Although “Sakala” was initiated by the previous Government of Karnataka, but it has been embraced by the current Government because of its popular citizen centric approach.
Various NGO’s such as Fiscal Policy Institute, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry embodying “Participatory Democracy” helped to bring in vast expertise in Workflow Analysis and Business Processes.
Vendors who have been involved to set up Call Centre, help desks and cyber centres across the state for eliminating the middle men menace.
Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Bangalore, IMRB and other bodies who have been entrusted with the job of concurrent evaluation of “Sakala” to ensure mid-term rectification.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Mobilisation of Financial Resources: The resources needed for the “Sakala” initiative were mobilised by the Government of Karnataka initially by allocating INR 50 million for the year 2011. The amount was enhanced to a sum of INR 150 million in the year 2012 to cover all costs associated with the burgeoning project needs.
Financial costs: A total of INR 150 million have been spent so far in the project, which includes Salary to Mission staff, Technical Upgradation, charges to the Call centre that handles grievances, Helpdesks that man the counter to aid citizens, publicity and awareness generation etc.
IT resources: IT resources were mobilized by National Informatics Centre (NIC). NIC is the primary technology provider to the Mission and various agencies who are implementing “Sakala”. Its activities include software development for Analytical MIS report generation and maintaining the “Sakala” portal.
Human Resources: Apart from the utilisation of Employees of Government, “Sakala” utilises the service of 30 district IT consultants and 500 data entry operators. At the Mission level, a state IT consultant and a management consultant are hired to assist in the daily operations of the mission. An Additional Mission Director and an Administrative officer work for the Mission on deputation basis.
Trainings are conducted as per the protocol for employees at various levels by Administrative Training Institute, Mysore and District Training Institutes facilitating individual departments in a decentralized manner at district levels. This enables the employee to upgrade his skill set needed to show results. District IT consultants impart trainings as and when necessary for the smooth running of operations of “Sakala”. This is the major investment on the part of mission.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
“Sakala” initiative has yielded many notable outputs in the area of guaranteeing public services to citizens. Major outputs can be summarized as follows.
1. End to end tracking / traceability of 40 million citizen applications in an on-line manner. This was not possible earlier as each department was a stand-alone entity and citizen had no knowledge on how to trace their applications and get their work done in government offices.
2. 98 % Services delivered within Stipulated Time: “Sakala” initiative has created a sense of awareness among people, including employees which has ensured the timely delivery of the services. “Sakala” initiative has conveyed a positive message about a Government policy of a Right-based approach to Governance.
3. 40000 offices directly involving 200,000 employees, integrated on to Sakala e-platform www.sakala.kar.nic.in, to have a uniform service delivery mechanism across the State. This has made Governance Transparent and accountable, in one go.
4. Reduction of average service delivery time by at least 50% in most cases. This has been possible due to standardised work processes across various departments of the Government. Redundant steps in the processes, if any were removed to ensure simplicity. “Sakala” has completely channelized the flow of documentation in obtaining services.
5. Reduction of grievances by minimum 50%. The Call Centre and help desks act a bridge between citizens and the Mission. For a large number of people who may be unable to use either the SMS mode or the website, a single call to 080-4455 4455 by the citizen giving the GSC no. is sufficient to set the appeal process rolling. Over 5 70,000 citizens have already availed the services of these centres which functions as a hub for collecting complaints, providing information and serving as a feedback tool to understand the pulse of our citizens. Using e-mail or Phone on real time basis, complaints are followed up with the Nodal Officer of each department, and then subsequently closed by confirming with the Citizen who complained. This also eradicates the menace of middlemen who give wrong information to citizens and exploiting them financially. Also random calls are made to citizens who have applied under Sakala to record their positive or negative feedback pro-actively and act upon it accordingly.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
There are basically two aspects of Monitoring systems under Sakala: (i) On-line monitoring (ii) Monthly Monitoring & Analytics.
i) Online Monitoring: Section 6 of the Act provides for On-line monitoring by officials and citizens alike with the help of a Public Portal, to ensure complete transparency and accountability.
All Application received through Sakala Portal is accounted for in the system. The Sakala report is designed in such a way that every application is tracked by the due date vs the Stipulated time, apart from monitoring disposals done within the stipulated time, Delays, overdues, rejections and Appeals / Complaints. Besides automated SMSs are sent to each official once in the morning about today’s due cases and once in the evening about total disposals for the day. This is a continuous source of self monitoring and self satisfaction!
(ii) Monthly Monitoring: Monthly Report cards are prepared by the Mission. This includes District Ranking based on performance evaluation on account of Delayed disposals (30% wieghatage) and per 100000 population covered (70% weightge). The list of poor performing offices based on Pendency, Rejections and complaints received and applications processed, helps the district/department heads to focus on most poor performers.
Monthly ranking based on Performance Benchmarks has led to a healthy competition among the districts and has emerged as a source of continuous motivation to excel oneself every month!
Analytics and Grievance Management System help in evaluating the performance in an ongoing manner. Sakala Software helps to monitor and analyse trends as follows:
a) Identifying Offices where Applications received are Nil, which implies zero workload or bypass of the portal due to manual processing of applications, which is otherwise forbidden.
b) Compare information of the past with the present and analyse to determine most poor performing Vs offices delivering ahead of schedule to enable ‘cross learning’.
c) The Software also helps in understanding disposal patterns for each service and pattern of delay occurrence for taking remedial measures.
d) The analytics helps in identifying Citizens who availed Sakala services, but did not give their mobile numbers during filing of applications, reasons for rejecting applications and so on. This helps in improvising strategies for better performance, as per deficiencies.
Integrated online Grievance Management System: To monitor the redressal of grievances registered by callcenter / citizens. The escalation of the un-resolved cases to the highest level ensures maximum citizen satisfaction with minimum effort.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Some of the obstacles encountered, are as follows:
1. Bypassing the Portal and manually accepting/ closing applications: The citizen complains that the designated officer intentionally does not enter the details of the service request in the portal; in turn it will not generate a GSC number there by excluding the activity from online monitoring.
2. Deliberate Rejections - without genuine reasons: The designated officer to manipulate sometimes rejects the service application given by the citizen citing unfound reasons.
3. Citizens hesitant to seek compensation: Only 303 citizens have come forward to claim the compensation though there is a pendency of over 5 lakh delayed dispossals.
4. Mandatory boards etc being removed to sabotage awareness mandate:
5. Shortage of staff and in-equal work Distribution that leads to accumulation of pendencies.
Steps to overcome the obstacles encountered can be summarized as below.
1. Frequent inspections to check Non-compliance of mandatory Display boards and stipulated time limits
2. Mapping Defaults automatically to Service records through Human Resource Management System to book defaulters even without the citizens complaining against them.
3. Continuous capacity building and re-engineering
4. MIS reports providing actionable points, exceptional reporting and insights to performance evaluation and management to ensure qualitative delivery of services.
5. Using letter monitoring and file monitoring system to ban all manual entries and exit from all departments to prevent bypass.
6. Using trend analysis to identify variations in flow of receipts among districts and departments over a period to locate missing receipts.
7. Single portal for grievance redressal by all departments – Sakala or Non-Sakala to build the faith of the citizen in the institution.
8. Work-studies to facilitate filling and redistribution of staff/ workload