Dubai eGovernment successfully concludes “1st e-Transformation Forum”

Published April 22nd, 2010 - 12:16 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Dubai e-Government recently organized the 1st e-Tranformation Forum for government resource planning (GRP) systems. The event was held in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Head of Dubai Higher Committee for Financial Policy and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, and H.E. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director of the Office of H.H. the Ruler of Dubai, in addition to over 150 representatives of around 19 government bodies in Dubai including Director Generals, CEOs and several IT, HR and Strategic Planning Managers.

The forum is one of many that Dubai eGovernment plans to hold to fine tune an integrated plan to enhance the eTransformation and integration of Dubai’s government entities. It focused on the development of GRP systems, which are included among the interconnecting systems provided by Dubai eGovernment to government departments. Such systems will form the backbone for the infrastructure that local eGovernment will use to optimize the administration of its basic resources.

In his opening speech, Ahmed Bin Humaidan, Director General of Dubai eGovernment, said: “With confidence and faith, we are walking on the path outlined by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, upon initiating the National Charter of UAE and clearly setting its goal by stating that ‘we want the UAE to be among the leading countries by 2021.’ The eTranformation  movement is very important for Dubai and so we are working on the improvement of related services in line with our leadership’s vision of achieving excellence in building a knowledge-based society and economy.”

“Government Resource Planning (GRP) systems constitute the cornerstone upon which government departments and entities depend to optimize its basic resources and  maintain Dubai’s reputation as a center of excellence in eGovernance. These systems cover HR management, payroll, financial management, procurement and storage, and asset management. Other automated systems will also be deployed to boost the effectiveness of departments and facilitate foreign transactions by automating activities such as recruitment, inter-government customer affairs and government supplier trade. Moreover, the current 29 Dubai government departments took the initiative to tap into the benefits of GRP systems for over seven years now, relying on the support of around 25 integrated systems.  There are 46 integrated operations covered by GRP and related systems to facilitate efficient inter-departmental data transfer and exchange,” he added.

Bin Humaidan pointed out that these systems “will provide government employees with the opportunity to fulfill their tasks in the best possible manner as they provide several practical and training data to enhance staff capabilities. Dubai eGovernment is committed to activating these systems and properly training government departments in their use as part of its earnest efforts to meet the goals of Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, particularly the pursuit of government excellence.”

Commending the vital role of the attendance in realizing the goals set forth by the event, Bin Humaidan said: “We recognize the importance of your participation as well as your opinions and proposals since you are all primary partners who stand to benefit from these systems. We assure you that all your requirements and needs, whether they are about business automation, departmental integration, or more efficient and cost-effective information and resource management, will be addressed.”

Bin Humaidan added that the coming stage will require concerted efforts to achieve overall development in line with the goal of transforming the UAE into one of the world’s leading countries. He urged participants to monitor existing challenges and continue to address the effects of the global financial crisis. He pointed out that the first item on the forum’s agenda is the adaptation and adjustment of GRP systems to respond to the current and future needs of government bodies.

Bin Humaidan reviewed the accomplishments of Dubai eGovernment over the past nine years, noting that the investment and support provided by the Dubai Government for eTransformation over the past years has positively affected human resources development and realized advanced levels of eGovernment applications. Some of the success indicators he referred to were:

-          A highly-developed internal automation that enabled government entities to provide their customers with over 2,000 eServices, forming a solid foundation to enhance efficiency and move towards more advanced levels.

-          The unique “Shared Services” which Dubai e-Government provided to government entities to allow them to offer public services via electronic platforms, such as the ePayment Portal, the unified communication center “Ask Dubai”, and the SMS ePortal.

-          The completion and constant enhancement of the Government Information Network (GIN), which was the backbone for linking 50 Dubai government and semi-government entities through high speed connections, depending on an infrastructure that ensured safe and cost-effective exchange of information and smooth integration.

-          The comprehensive nature of the unified government resource systems provided by Dubai eGovernment for the benefit of government entities. These systems enabled efficient management of internal resources and provided users with the opportunity to carry out the transactions directly. They also formed the basis for establishing more strategic joint systems in the future.

Bin Humaidan added that the development of an eGovernment that complements Dubai’s stature has been accompanied by the emergence of numerous challenges such as the inevitable restructuring of government services, the circulation of rules and standards governing eGovernment, the integration of the diverse operating systems and network infrastructures connecting government departments, the varied experiences among government departments regarding eTranformation and human resource management and the public’s limited use of new eServices. He noted the importance of the leadership’s support and cooperation among government entities in eliminating these obstacles.

Bin Humaidan concluded that success should not make the parties involved forget that they are not working separately from other eGovernments around the world. He explained that they are responsible for exerting all possible efforts and constantly developing services to meet the needs of users and keep up with the latest developments if they want the UAE to be among the world’s most respected countries.

The forum’s agenda included the discussion of a number of reports detailing the current status of GRP systems adoption among government entities. A number of lectures were also delivered on the use of the systems in resolving present challenges. The proposed development plan for GRP systems was thoroughly discussed, with emphasis on how to maximize the benefits offered by their application. Relevant documents were presented by Dubai eGovernment officials like Mr. Mohammad Karzoun, Director of Government Resource Planning; Ms. Huda Al-Hashimi, Customer Relations Director; and Ms. Carla Za`rour, Team Leader of Systems Application for Government Resource Planning Systems. 

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