First Federal e-Government Program Forum to discuss UAE's progress towards achieving a knowledge-based society

Published April 6th, 2009 - 04:38 GMT

First Federal e-Government Program Forum to discuss UAE's progress towards achieving a knowledge-based society


General Information Authority to highlight the Strategic Plan of the Federal e-Government'


The First Federal e-Government Program Forum will be held on Wednesday (April 08, 2009) at the Zayed University Dubai to discuss the Strategic Plan of the Federal e-Government program and to identify opportunities and challenges in the development of a structure for electronic transformation. The Forum, organised by the General Information Authority (GIA), will gather representatives from the federal ministries as well as international experts in an effort to reinforce collaboration among key stakeholders of the e-Government initiative and help accelerate the UAE's transformation towards a knowledge-based and society.


H.E. Humaid Al Qutami, Minister of Health and GIA Chairman, will be present to welcome the participants, while H.E. Salem Khamis Al-Shair, Director General of GIA, will conduct a presentation and facilitate discussions on the subject "Highlights on the Strategic Plan of the Federal e-Government," which will be one of the two focus areas of the Forum. David McClure, Managing Vice President – Global Government Research, Gartner, has been invited to talk about the topic "e-Government: Blurring Boundaries Present Both Opportunities and Risks."


"The Forum is an important milestone for the GIA's efforts to consolidate the e-Government initiative in the UAE. It is the GIA's vision to accelerate the country's transformation towards a fully digital society, and with the support of all e-Government advocates in the country, we are greatly confident that we can achieve our goals," said Al Qutami.


Al Qutami added: "The development of e-Governmental services is clearly highlighted in the UAE Government Strategy and it is the GIA's mandate to realise this important vision of the federal government. However, it is also imperative that we gather the support and participation of all ministries and government authorities who will be responsible in the society's electronic transformation in order to create a suitable strategic plan for the e-Government initiative. As such, the Forum will be a major breakthrough as it will encourage all e-Government stakeholders to exchange ideas and share expertise towards realising our ultimate goal, which is to establish a strong foundation for a knowledge-based economy and society."


“The e-Government initiative is a tool that enables governments to implement the principles of good governance, promote service quality and efficiency, and improve the communication lines between the public and the government. This will ultimately contribute in formulating government services that satisfy the needs of the public. Moreover, our strategy for the electronic transformation of the Federal Government, which will be presented during the Forum, will take advantage of Web 2.0 capabilities and the advances we have gained as a knowledge-based society. The progress that we have achieved is clearly manifested in the way that the government communicates with the public and how the government has been a lot more efficient in servicing customers. We also feel that we have achieved in the UAE a new leadership paradigm through the eGovernment initiative, making us a pioneer in the GCC and the rest of the Arab World in the electronic transformation of the government," said Al-Shair.


McClure, on the other hand, will discuss a wide range of interesting sub-topics, which include lessons learned from previous e-Government implementations, the impact of Web 2.0 trends on government's role in the society, preparing governmental IT organisations to manage opportunities and risks of Web 2.0, and best practices in developing government websites and portals. Mr. McClure is a 21-year veteran in the IT industry who has served as vice president for e-Government and technology at the Council for Excellence in Government in Washington and had an 18-year career with the Government Accountability Office in the USA; he is currently responsible for research and client support for public-sector IT management practices at Gartner.


The UAE has been one of the leading proponents of e-Governance in the Middle East and globally, having been ranked as among the world's top five countries in terms of transactional services during the 2008 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) UN e-Government Survey. The country's e-Government initiatives have played a key role in improving the rate of technology adoption in the UAE as citizens and residents are being attracted by the convenience and simplicity of the growing number of e-Services being offered.


The GIA is a leading federal institution that provides technology consultancy, study, training and technical support services for all ministries and government institutions responsible for spreading awareness and knowledge across different branches of government. The Authority also conducts training, seminars, workshops and studies for ministries and government institutions, and has analysed, designed and carried out 104 computer systems and applications at the federal and local levels.


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