Centre discusses latest implementation developments re Abu Dhabi Government Services e-transformation program enabling e-Government services via IT with 400 senior government employees
June 10, 2013
The Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre (ADSIC), the governmental body overseeing Abu Dhabi’s Information Technology agenda, hosted the 4th Abu Dhabi e-Government Forum held on June 3, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Abu Dhabi. The event attracted strong participation from 400 senior government employees and discussed various topics, most notably the e-Government strategy. New approaches to developing the skills of government employees and the latest developments in the implementation plan of the Abu Dhabi Government Services e-transformation program were presented.
ADSIC’s overall initiatives in line with the directives of the President of the UAE H.H. Sheikh Khalifah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the wise guidance of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, were taken up as well.
At the beginning of the event, H.E. Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, Director General of ADSIC, said: “A few years ago, Abu Dhabi unveiled its Vision 2030 plan for sustainable development under which the optimal use of technology, especially ICT, represents a cornerstone for developing Abu Dhabi as a knowledge-based society and promotes its economic diversification. Since its establishment, ADSIC has been adopting the latest IT tools and best practices and standards in order to support the e-Government’s strategy IT-empowered growth. Last year was very successful for ADSIC in terms of the authority granted to it to improve performance, streamline processes and promote the use of IT. As a result, our major initiatives such as the Abu Dhabi eGovernment Gateway, the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre, Jobs Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure, have been widely used and praised.”
“The 4th Abu Dhabi e-Government Forum presented us with an exclusive platform to shed light on our achievements and initiatives. We won’t rest on our laurels; we still have a long way to go before Abu Dhabi is transformed to a true digital society. But we are proud to have successfully developed a strong foundation to achieve this dream and we look forward to more accomplishments in the future as well as to play a prominent role in driving Abu Dhabi towards IT excellence,” he added.
The forum included two sessions on various topics that included updates on the eGovernment program, Abu Dhabi Government shared services, government authorities’ ICT strategies compliant with the e-government program. These were conducted in the context of achieving Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and as part of the Abu Dhabi Government's commitment to sustainable economic and social development.
ADSIC also explained its major initiatives and programs such as the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre (800555), the Abu Dhabi eGovernment Gateway, the No Objection Certificate program, the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure program, Jobs Abu Dhabi, the Information Security program, the eLiteracy Program. ADSIC’s recent accomplishments, achievements and enterprise agreements were discussed as well.
The first session titled ‘What's New in eGovernment’ discussed the Abu Dhabi government’s strategy, implementation plan and progress in achieving the goals of the eGovernment program and ensuring that it maintains momentum and impact. The program’ goals such as providing a world-class experience for all users of government services and updating government services were also touched on. In addition, ADSIC highlighted the importance of promoting the participation and cooperation of government authorities to transform their services to e-services and keep up with the latest e-government trends.
Abdulkarim Al Raeesi, ADSIC’s Director of Strategy & Planning, comprehensively outlined the Abu Dhabi eGovernment’s vision and the strategic priorities for the e-government program. He discussed ongoing efforts to develop a governance framework and a set of ICT policies and standards at the government level; establish joint government systems; and raise the level of participation of stakeholders. He also discussed plans to enable government authorities to update and provide services through various channels and promote them, build capacities, enhance technical skills, and improve customer awareness.
Al Raeesi also presented the specific targets for the implementation of the strategic priorities of the e-government program, including the integration of government systems by providing an electronic link between government authorities to facilitate data exchange through a unified infrastructure, developing systems and inter-governmental solutions, deploying and activating various government service delivery channels to meet customer needs, national capacity-building, and IT skills development.
The first session focused on three major programs launched by ADSIC covering E-Literacy, the No Objection Certificate, and Abu Dhabi’s Information Security. Ameena Al-Rifaei, IT Strategy Manager at ADSIC, highlighted the core objectives of the e-Literacy Program to raise the level of e-Literacy in Abu Dhabi. She revealed efforts to expand the potential customer base for e-Government services, identify digital gaps, and improve the ICT capabilities of all segments of Abu Dhabi society. For the latter she said that specific and targeted e-Literacy initiatives will be undertaken with focus on the four key population segments with the most urgent needs and the greatest potential for e-Literacy improvement: Abu Dhabi Government employees, housewives, the unemployed, and people with special needs.
Sameera Al Makrami, a member of the NOC team, explained the significance of the program as a promising step towards the development of mechanisms for government action and further improvement of service delivery. Al Makrami emphasized that the program is regarded as one of the leading comprehensive initiatives launched by the Abu Dhabi Government to enhance service levels and enable them electronically in order to enhance the status of Abu Dhabi as a magnet for investment and to increase customer satisfaction levels.
Al Makrami highlighted the vision of the NOC Program towards creating an investment-enabling environment to facilitate opportunities for sustainable development in accordance with the needs of Abu Dhabi. She added that another goal is to enhance government performance by introducing efficient NOC mechanisms for improving license issuance and approvals for construction projects, land developments, and public facilities and infrastructure.
Moreover, Al Makrami noted that the program is intended to boost customer satisfaction and facilitate smooth user workflow by establishing sophisticated mechanisms that improve NOC service performance, raise the efficiency of government performance, and reduce costs by creating an integrated NOC solution that serves all parties through a shared portal. She added that the program significantly enhances the safety and efficiency of facilities and infrastructure in Abu Dhabi.
Mohammed Karmostaji, ADSIC’s Acting Director of Technology & Standards, presented the goals of the Abu Dhabi Information Security Programme to ensure the appropriate confidentiality of services, integrity of data, and availability of desired services for both the Abu Dhabi Government and its users. He also discussed the target mechanisms across the entire government to assure that all Abu Dhabi Government Entities (ADGEs) and their services are adequately secured.
The second session of the forum was held under the theme ‘Abu Dhabi Government Shared Services.’ It discussed other leading initiatives launched by ADSIC, including the Abu Dhabi eGovernment Portal which is a key element of the e-government transformation plan to establish the Abu Dhabi eGovernment as a comprehensive platform for streamlining governmental procedures and delivering customer-oriented services in an effective, efficient and user-friendly manner.
During the session, Hammad Al Hammadi, the Abu Dhabi eGovernment Portal project manager, revealed that the portal was launched in February 2007 and has since grown rapidly to become the preferred platform for all citizens, residents, visitors, government entities, business establishments and tourists to acquire reliable information about Abu Dhabi. Al Hammadi said that in December 2012, the Abu Dhabi eGovernment Portal successfully provided 8.000 pages of information related to 99 government entities. These, he said, included 1,101 eServices, more than 50 of which are comprehensive and provided through the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) across the Abu Dhabi Government.
Ahmed Al Hashimi, Project Manager at Jobs Abu Dhabi, discussed how the initiative has become a key contributor to the virtual job market. He explained that Jobs Abu Dhabi offers easier access to job opportunities by creating an interactive online platform for employers (government and private businesses) and job seekers to communicate and meet their employment needs. Al Hashimi also gave an overview of the Correspondence Management System (CMS) and the challenges facing government entities in terms of time, security and organization in the exchange of formal correspondences.
Al Hashimi said that ADSIC has already begun integrating CMS with government entities to help provide a secure and centralised interactive platform to cater to government decision makers in Abu Dhabi. This integration, he said, complements the internal correspondence system and facilitates intergovernmental communication. He said that Abu Dhabi-based government entities will be covered by 2015.
Meanwhile, Khawla Al Fahim, Data Projects Specialist, gave a brief on the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI). She emphasized its importance as an integrated framework for guiding policies, standards and technologies which coordinate, support, and promote the use of geospatial data across all industry segments. These, she explained, help create a flexible and dynamic geospatial environment for establishing an open crossing point that enables ADGEs and the general public to access high-quality, up-to-date geospatial information and government services. This further includes the development of the Spatial Data Centre (SDC), the provision of legal guidelines, policies and corporate system roadmaps, and the assessment of GIS maturity across relevant parties.
For his part, Khaled Al Mazrouei, Business Information Manager, talked about the main features and benefits of Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre (800555) which provides around-the-clock bilingual (Arabic and English) servicing through multiple contact channels such as mobile (800555), fax and email. Al Mazrouei explained how the Centre provides UAE Nationals, residents, tourists, visitors and businesses with streamlined access to information and immediate assistance regarding inquires and transactions, as well as government e-services.
Al Mazrouei commended the Centre for its efforts to deliver a wide range of services, including access to trained Contact Centre Agents who are skilled in handling and managing customer enquiries across multiple channels in both English and Arabic; leveraging standardized best-in-class customer management processes and technologies tailored to fit each government entity requirements; ramping-up support resources at short notice around special campaigns and marketing initiatives; extending existing in-house customer support operations into a 24/7 service; and deploying scalable services to help cope with unpredictable fluctuations in call volumes.
Khaled Al Sheikh, Entity Liaison Specialist, underlined some of ADSIC’s recently signed strategic agreements and partnerships with leading ICT suppliers and international service providers, including the Oracle Framework Agreement which helped to deploy Oracle’s software and build on the certified flexible pricing system, while providing executive discounts on the cost of software purchase, maintenance and technical support. Al Sheikh talked about ADSIC’s Memorandum of Understanding with the USA’s Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), the world's leading developer of geographic information systems (GIS) software and data applications, aimed at empowering society with GIS capabilities while fostering mutual cooperation in enhancing spatial thinking, planning, GIS usage and licensing, awareness, and exchange of best international practices.
Another highlight revealed by Al Sheikh was the three-year renewal of partnership with Microsoft to activate IT innovation across Abu Dhabi-based government departments and build on Microsoft’s leading experience in delivering state-of-the-art technologies and knowledge to improve the e-services provided to customers.
Since its inception in 2005, ADSIC has been supervising the implementation of AD-SDI to provide convenient, open access to high-quality and up-to-date geographic information and spatially enabled e-government services. In coordination with the emirate's government entities and relevant parties, ADSIC is working on a wide range of projects to help launch and develop new geospatial data programs.