Thimphu, 15 February, 2017: With the objective of expediting public service delivery, the Royal Government of Bhutan, G2C Office, under the Cabinet Secretariat, had taken the initiative for developing mobile phone applications for providing public services to the general public.
The contract was awarded to Southtech Bhutan Private Limited (SBPL) after a competitive bidding process between local and international software firms. The project consisted of developing and implementing 21 mobile applications which were both hybrid and native in nature. In many cases, APIs and backend portals were also developed by SBPL in order to complement the functions of the main mobile applications.
The main advantages of the 21 mobile applications is that Bhutanese citizens will now have greater access to technology driven services. The Mother App, which contains links to all other apps, will act as one-stop app for all the G2C apps thereby bringing convenience to users in using the applications.
Road blockages and maintenance works are updated in the Road Safety app, allowing the general public to know in advance if a route is inaccessible/blocked and plan their trips accordingly. The Dail4Blood app connects donors to patients instantly while the BNCA app allows citizens to familiarize themselves to different types of drugs and get access to counselling if they are substance abusers. Most notably, users will be able pay bills online for Thimphu City Corporation services and taxes using the mobile app. This has been done by integrating with IMPS service provided by RMA – Central Bank of Bhutan. Another app for Thimphu City Corporation allows spot billing of water consumption using the mobile app and a Bluetooth device. Other apps of high impact are online, such as the issuance of kerosene and LPG coupon which is expected to help curb misuse of these highly subsidized quota items and online booking of doctor’s appointment for those who wish to avail off-hour consultancy.
Mr. Pema Tashi, CEO of Southtech Bhutan Private Limited shared his thoughts on the successful implementation and sign-off on the project. “This was a highly prestigious project as this was a project being directly implemented by the G2C office of the Prime Minister. We wanted to ensure successful implementation, keeping in view of Southtech’s reputation for meeting project deliverables on time and also acknowledging the importance of the project to the Government of Bhutan.”