eGovernment Transformation Policies
The adoption of the Digital Oman Strategy in March 2003 was one of the steps towards achieving the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, may God protect him, to transform the Sultanate of Oman into a knowledge-based economy. The strategy describes the key aspects of developing the Sultanate of Oman into a digital society and the implementation of eGovernment.
In his address to Oman Council in November 2008, His Majesty stressed: “We have always emphasized the importance of learning and knowledge and we have always been open to the adoption of new developments in this field. Information and communication technology have now become the main elements that move forward the development process in this third millennium; therefore, we have accorded our attention to finding a national strategy to develop the skills and abilities of citizens in this domain with the aim of further developing eGovernment services. We are closely following the important steps that we have made in this regard. We call upon on all government institutions to speedily enhance their performance, and to facilitate their services, by applying digital technology in order to usher the Sultanate into the constantly evolving spheres for applying knowledge”.
The Cabinet of Ministers has also stressed repeatedly on the importance of eGovernment transformation. In its meeting No. 8/2012 dated on February 28, 2012, the Cabinet focused on the evaluation of the ministries and government entities’ ability to provide services electronically and enabling them to start implementing the eGovernment Transformation Plan.
Based on these strategic directions to achieve eGovernment, the Information Technology Authority (ITA) has developed the eGovernment Transformation Plan and the corresponding set of eGovernment Transformation Policies that the Cabinet of Ministers has approved in June 2012. All government entities shall comply with the eGovernment Transformation Policies as they implement the various stages and targets defined in the eGovernment Transformation Plan.
The eGovernment Transformation Policies cover four (4) areas as described below.
First: Government Information and Data
- The government entities shall avoid information or data duplication and redundancy. In coordination with other government entities, ITA shall seek integration of information and data through specialized agency responsible for keeping the information and data by major data type and classification. The specialized agency or agencies shall ensure non-repetition, non-duplication and no conflict of information or data from multiple sources, and to have a backup copy of all information and data.
- The government entities shall manage databases and its data, provide access to shared data electronically to the other beneficiary government entities to enable the integration of data among government entities, and facilitate the delivery of government services electronically.
- Each government entity shall rely on the electronically available information and data of relevant authorities, and reduce the information and data provided in the eForms and other modes of government services, and not to request information or data from the applicants of eGovernment services, except in rare cases when such information is required in order to deliver the service to the users.
Second: Government Services
Each government entity within six months from the issue date of these policies shall:
- List all services, including the pre-requisites or conditions to obtain these services; and to transform related manual forms into electronic forms.
- Document business processes related to each service.
- Re-engineer business proces es (identified above) with the aim to implement quality eServices, and to continuously improve these business processes so as to meet the ever-increasing demands of the public.
Third: Government eTransactions
- The government entities shall adopt ICT applications in the performance of all its internal services and processes.
- The government entities shall use e-mail and electronic means of communication in their work.
- The government entities shall develop a detailed plan for the transformation into eGovernment and begin its implementation within six months from the issue date of this decision.
- The government entities shall appoint an internal committee within six months from the issue date of this decision to be responsible for all the government eServices in their entity. The committee shall be headed by the head of that entity, with the membership of the heads of each department concerned with the eGovernment, the head of IT Department, Administrative Development Department and the head of the Customer Services Department. The main task of the committee is to supervise and review the implementation of the eGovernment Transformation Plan of its entity, as well as coordinating with ITA.
- In the implementation of IT projects and eGovernment, the government entities shall comply with the Oman eGovernment Architecture Framework (OeGAF), which was developed by ITA in cooperation with other government entities.
Fourth: Indicators and Measurement
- The government entities shall fill in the assessment form to measure the progress made towards eGovernment transformation annually according to the indicators set by ITA. These indicators shall be included in the annual report of the entity, and copies shall be sent to ITA which shall annually supervise the preparation and implementation of the assessment.
- ITA shall submit a general annual report to the Cabinet that shows the transformation progress of each government entity into eGovernment according to the above mentioned indicators.
- ITA shall issue all the important instructions to the government entities according to the eGovernment Transformation Policies, and in conformity with the relevant regulations.