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Rwanda: Ombudsman's Office Online Service Laudable
Source: allafrica.com
Source Date: Monday, December 20, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs
Country: Rwanda
Created: Dec 20, 2010

The Ombudsman's Office, This Week, Launched a Service That Will Enable Public Officials to Declare Their Wealth Online. With At Least 6,000 Public Officials Declaring Their Wealth Every Year, the Use of the Internet Will Help Expedite the Process And Enable Leaders Who May Be Away From the Country for a Considerable Period of Time to Fulfill Their Constitutional Obligation.

Wealth declaration has been a requirement for government officials at a certain level since 2003 and it's one of the strategies designed to help fight corruption in public service. It helps anti-graft institutions better trace embezzlement cases as leaders are required to justify sources of their wealth. The Ombudsman's Office has the primary responsibility to enforce these measures, before any other law-enforcement organ intervenes.

It is, therefore, laudable for the Ombudsman's Office to come up with a sophisticated mechanism to enhance this accountability culture. The officials will now have no excuse; if one can't pick the declaration forms from the Ombudsman's Office, then they can easily access them online. The development also resonates well with this country's ICT ambitions.

There are a number of other public institutions which have tremendously turned around their services by applying the internet to serve the public.

They include the Immigration and Emigration Department, Rwanda Revenue Authority and Rwanda National Examinations Council. Testimonies abound on how ICT has helped these and several other institutions reduce queues, save time and other resources, as well as reaching interested customers outside the country.

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