Ministry of Information says it has created 167 250 official e-mails for civil servants out of 20 000 it had planned to create as part of ensuring security of government information.
Ministry of Information officials made the disclosure yesterday during a progress tracking session on public sector reforms with Vi c e – President Saulos Chilima in Lilongwe yesterday.
In an interview yesterday, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako said the official addresses will curb theft and corruption as official transactions will have a record.
He said: “We need to have the ability to trail various transactions. Civil service communications must not be personalised. This is a public service.
“We are towards a direction where any e-mail communication using a private address will not be recognised as government communication and we are working on the necessary enforcing instruments to ensure this is complied with.”
Kazako said when the Tonse Alliance administration came into power in June 2020, there were less than 10 000 civil servants with official e-mail addresses.
He said it is through aggressive reforms his ministry is implementing that 167 250 civil servants e-mail addresses have been created within a four-month period.
Reacting to the development, Information and Communications Technology ( ICT) Association of Malawi (Ictam) president Bram Fudzulani said while the development was welcome, Kazako should be clear on usage and adaptation of the new technologies.
He said: “Are they [e-mail addresses] being used or is there a policy that all the public officers are using the official e-mail addresses or what happens to those that are found not using the official email addresses.”
Fudzulani said the official e-mail addresses will spare the civil service the embarrassment on using localised e-mail addresses, including information protection.
During a reforms implementation review meeting in March this year, Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, suggested that official e-mails be mandatory in transacting government business.
The Veep said the official e-mail addresses were long overdue.
Chilima is currently in his second phase of his review meetings on public service reforms implementation progress with various organs of government.
During similar meetings in the past, he said it was observed that almost all ministries and the other public institutions were implementing the reforms with efficiency, effectiveness and professionalism.
Recently, governance expert Augustine Magolowondo told The Nation that public sector reforms are the most crucial reforms to be undertaken if socioeconomic and political transformation is to be achieved in the country. n