Smart offices are a platform to safeguard data and communication between government officers and departments, it was announced on Friday during a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information Technology and Communication.
The platform will enable online communication through video conferences and act as a substitute for Skype and WhatsApp, according to the National Information Technology Board (NITB). Its development will cost Rs570 million.
“If there’s a meeting in Islamabad with participants from some other city like Lahore or Karachi, it will be very costly for that person to attend the meeting,” NITB Director-General Faisal Khan. “We will reduce these costs by providing a platform that will enable secure video conferences,” he said.
The infrastructure of the system will be within the boundaries of Pakistan, Khan added.
The members of the committee assured that the platform will prove to be beneficial and cost-effective for Pakistan.
“Smart offices will be an alternate platform for government officers,” said Zain Hussain Qureshi, a member of the standing committee. “All sensitive data will be shared through it,” he said.
Qureshi added that ministries already have e-offices, and smart offices will be a step ahead for secure information transfer and record.
The committee has been allotted a budget of Rs37 billion for the year. Another committee member, Naz Baloch, boycotted the meeting over the absence of social media rules. The chairperson said they will be discussed during the next meeting.