LAHORE: The capital city police have initiated a scheme to replace the century-old manual paper work at their offices with digitisation after a recent report revealed risks of leakage of official record and the security-related information, besides high cost of the old system.
Citing an example the analysis report stated that the number of the official files at the operations deputy inspector general’s office alone had reached two million annually, increasing risk of misplacement of the record.
The matter was taken up when the police authorities came to know that the official files also contained security plans, shared intelligence and sensitive information about police-related projects.
According to the report, the Lahore police were utilising Rs25 million annual budget alone to purchase stationery for 84 police stations, 35 circles, six divisional offices, besides the offices of the two DIGs (operations and investigation) and the Capital City Police.
The offices of other units -- Mujahid Squad, Police Lines, Qurban Lines and VVIP Security -- are also among the police establishments consuming the budget.
It said the manual paper work had hampered the performance of the police department, besides resulting in wastage of money and time.
Sharing some important features of the programme, Operations DIG Dr Haider Ashraf said, “Every month, 36,000 dispatches from various government departments, including (office of) inspector general of Punjab police, were landing at the DIG office alone,” he said.
According to the report, he said, during correspondence between IGP office and the Lahore DIG office, a single official letter was copied 210 times as it was circulated among relevant officers for their signatures or comments.
He said the paper cost for the DIG office alone had reached Rs13 million annually which constituted 53pc of the Lahore police’s total stationery budget.
In addition, he said, the printing cost at the DIG office had reached up to Rs6.1 million, adding that the total cost of stationery purchased for other administrative units of Lahore police was Rs11.7 million annually.
Dr Haider added there was additional stationery cost for the occasions like Muharram and Eids etc.
He said unnecessary appointment of police employees for the transportation of the official (hard copy) files and other documents had also doubled the expenses.
He said at the CCPO office alone at least 10 employees had been deputed permanently for the transportation of the official documents, files and other material to other police units.
Besides the issues of fuel consumption, transport provision and other such expenses, there was always a risk of leakage of sensitive information and misplacement of the official documents.
Similarly, eight employees at the DIG (operations) office, four each at divisional SPs offices, three at circle offices and two each at the 84 police stations had been deputed on a permanent basis for the purpose.
The DIG said his own office alone had been issuing 40 letters daily to the divisional SPs.
“Taking into consideration these issues, we have in first phase replaced the century-old paper work of the DIG office with 45 computers, laptops and trained human resource”, Dr Haider Ashraf said.
The paperless environment has brought a considerable relief in respect of security risk, utilisation of human resource, printing, transportation costs and workload. He said the scheme was being replicated at the divisional, circle and police station level, besides other offices and units of the Lahore police.