Unofficial e-darussalam Guide (2014)

Posted on 19 Feb, 2014

This post hasn't been updated in over 3 years.

This guide was written in February 2014 and applicable as of then. In November 2014, the e-darussalam (gov.bn) website was revamped. While some features remain, my specific screenshots are no longer applicable. The ability to search all Brunei government domains is still possible at http://is.gd/govbnsearch but I am not sure if the search index is up-to-date. This will be my last update on this post; any writings about future changes to the website will be published in a new post.

You may never have heard of e-darussalam. It is a Brunei Government portal that was launched in 2011 with the shortest Bruneian domain name: gov.bn, in hopes that people would find it easy to remember.

Since its launch, it has been under the management of EGNC, or E-Government National Centre, a department under the Prime Minister’s Office.

I wrote this “guide” because I think e-darussalam has some neat features that are not highlighted well. Please note though, I have focused on the main “website” portion of e-darussalam, rather than its e-services that require login. Also, a disclaimer: I used to work on e-darussalam. Yay.

This guide is applicable to the website as of February 2014. I will update here if that is the case. As of writing, e-darussalam looks like this:

e-darussalam - Home Page

Contents

A. Search all Brunei Government websites

e-darussalam - Search box

Yes, the search box at the top-right corner of the page, as well as most other pages of e-darussalam, can do this. Give it a go.

i. Getting an error page or blank result page?

Abort the guide! Abort!
… Just kidding. Read on.

Some more technical addendums:

  • The long URL is above is actually the same as the search results page. That’s why I wasn’t panicking.
  • You could also just go to www.search.gov.bn but, er, it’s not exactly the same. It may give different results, and also, you don’t get the “specialised” searches that I will mention later on.
  • I’m not tracking the analytics for the short URL at is.gd, so chill out ‘kays.

ii. Which Brunei Government websites are covered?

Behold my totally unnecessary graphic, to answer that question:

e-darussalam search - gov.bn and edu.bn websites

Text is cooler, guys. Generally, these websites should be covered:

But it isn’t guaranteed! The search may not show results from all Brunei Government websites. This is especially true for new URLs, which may take time to appear, for example if the Ministry of Finance decided to switch to finance.gov.bn from mof.gov.bn.

What can you do, if you suspect a Government website isn’t showing up in the search? Why, send the e-darussalam team an e-mail, of course! 😉 Contact details are at the end of this post.

iii. Search by file type

You can search for files with a specific file type. Supported file types: DOC (Word), XLS (Excel), PPT (Powerpoint), PDF.

How to do it? Type in:

filetype:[format] [what you are searching for]

Here’s an example where I search for “journal” and specifically want PDF files:

filetype:pdf journal

e-darussalam - PDF search

It can be surprising to see the kinds of files available on Government websites! The XLS files tend to be forms; the PPT files are predictably presentation slides, but it’s interesting that some of them come from workshops or training sessions.

By the way, you can’t search for image files like GIF, JPG/JPEG or PNG.

iv. Search by language

  • There is no difference between searching from the English or Bahasa Melayu version of e-darussalam. If you didn’t even know that e-darussalam is available in two languages, then, er, carry on.
  • But there is a difference whether your search terms are in English or Bahasa Melayu. If you don’t get results in one language, try the other. Examples:
    • “cuti awam” vs “public holiday”
    • “hari kebangsaan” vs “national day”
    • “majlis mesyuarat negara” vs “legislative council”

v. Special searches

Okay, honestly, these aren’t great. But for the sake of completeness, I’ll include it. You may notice a drop-down list next to the search box. It appears only on the search results page, or when you’re using the short and long URLs I gave you earlier (http://is.gd/govbnsearch etc).

e-darussalam - Special searches

Click on the drop-down list to choose what you want to search:

  • All Government of Brunei websites: Self-explanatory; this is the default search
  • e-darussalam: You actually want to search just the pages of the e-darussalam website itself, i.e. the public pages starting with www.gov.bn.
  • Tenders: This was supposed to search for pages with information on Government tender notices, including those on Pelita Brunei.
  • Titah: This was supposed to search through the text of His Majesty’s Titah or speeches, specifically those on the Prime Minister’s Office website.

The “Tenders” and “Titah” searches do not work very well, which could be due to the use of outdated URLs. But all is not lost… just inconvenient.

Tenders

There is, of course, the Pelita Brunei website, home of tender notices.

Ministriy and Department websites often have their own list of tender notices. e-darussalam does have a small list of specific webpages for tender notices on Ministry websites, but only Ministries, and not Departments.

You can find the link to “Tenders and Quotation” on the Main page of e-darussalam, under the banner, in a small section called “Quick Guide”.

e-darussalam - Tenders and Quotation link

Titah

The Prime Minister’s Office website keeps an archive of HM’s Titah dating from 2007. They are mostly in Malay.

You might also be interested in the archive of sabda by HRH the Crown Prince, or an archive of speeches by senior officials (PMO only, I think, and not comprehensive).

^ back to list of Contents

B. Website Directory for Government Departments

I can understand if this doesn’t impress you. Most Ministry websites already contain a list of links to their own Departments.

Still here? Well, thanks for still being interested.

e-darussalam’s version of such a directory is called the Government Directory. There are two ways to reach it:

Method #1: At the top of the page, on the narrow dark grey bar, click the link for “Government Directory“, or “Direktori Kerajaan” if you’re coming from a page that’s in Bahasa Melayu.

e-darussalam - Government Directory

You will arrive to the Government Directory, this rather clunky but functional list of Ministries, along with general telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, website link, and ooh, their Facebook Pages if they have one.

e-darussalam - Gov Directory - Ministries

 Then, click the name of each Ministry to see further information on their Departments. Stuff you can get from here:

  • A link to the Ministry’s org chart or organisational structure, usually high-level rather than detailed
  • The general telephone numbers and e-mail address of Departments
  • The Facebook links for Departments

For example, here’s the page for the Prime Minister’s Office:

e-darussalam - Gov Directory - Depts under PMO

As with such types of information, it is likely to have some outdated information. The information for PMO above, for example, may not reflect their new building at Jalan Perdana Menteri/Jalan Menteri Besar.

Did I forget something? Oh yes, method #2 for finding the Government Directory. Well, it’s slightly different because it bypasses the list of Ministries. Here it is:

Method #2: Click on the Government tab, next to the search box. The result is an awkwardly-named “Government” page, which has never been able to decide if its audience is the general public or civil servants… but I digress.

Look at the left sidebar for “Ministries Contact”. Clicking on any of those Ministry names will bring you straight to the Ministry’s page, with its list of Departments, in the Government Directory.

e-darussalam - Government tab
Find the “government”. Oh, there it is.

e-darussalam - Government tab -<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> sidebar
Go to the sidebar and look for this.

^ back to list of Contents

C. FAQs about logins

You may have heard about “registering to e-darussalam” and omggg I don’t want to go into any of that.

But I will tell you that there are FAQs online, that were written in hopes they would someday be useful to someone. cough

i. Where do I find these FAQs?

Well, they aren’t actually hidden. There’s a link right there on the Main page, over on the left sidebar.

e-darussalam - FAQs - Link on sidebar

And you can also find a link at the top of the page, on the narrow dark grey bar:

e-darussalam - FAQ link on top bar

ii. Important bits from the FAQS

FYI because people always asked about activation:

How do I activate my e-darussalam account?

To activate, you must have already:

  1. Registered online AND
  2. Received an acknowledgment e-mail from e-darussalam@egc.gov.bn.

Please visit any of the authorised Government counters, and take note of which counter you should visit and which documents to bring.

(Source: FAQs about Activation)

YSK about passwords and why you shouldn’t type in a fake e-mail address:

How do I get my password?

If you have activated your e-darussalam account, your password has been e-mailed to the e-mail address you used during registration.

Do I need to change my password for the first-time login?

Yes. You need to change your password before logging in for the first time.

(Source: FAQs about Log-In & Managing Password)

And, I may as well as mention this, NO, you currently cannot do a full registration online. That last part with going to a Government counter is required. Yes, I know this is a crappy deal. Sorry.

^ back to list of Contents

D. Browse in both English and Bahasa Melayu

This isn’t greatly important, and I’ve already mentioned it a few times, but what the hey.

Almost every page of e-darussalam is available in both English and Bahasa Melayu. To switch back and forth, go to the top-left of the page:

e-darussalam - Language switch

At times, the translations may seem awkward. This is a deliberate effect. (No, it’s not.)

^ back to list of Contents

*

Welp, that’s it. Just one more thing you need to know…

Contact Details for EGNC

Any comments or questions for EGNC should be directed to EGNC. This is just an unofficial guide from a former employee, so I do not speak on their behalf, nor can I help you with problems with your account, or fix things that go wrong on e-darussalam. So please, contact EGNC:

[Edited] I do appreciate comments and feedback on the writing of this guide, its presentation, or any relevant errors!
19
Feb 2014
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