The 6th meeting of the second working group on eGovernment and administrative simplification was hosted by Dubai eGovernment last week under the patronage of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The working group has been chaired by Dubai since 2005, while Italy and Korea have been co-chairs.
The two-day meeting, which was held at the Dubai School of Government under the chairmanship of HE Ahmed Bin Humaidan, Director General of Dubai eGovernment,, was attended by Inigo Lambertini, Italian Consul General, and Choung Tae-ok, Director General of Korean Ministry of Public Administration and Security, in addition to OECD delegates and representatives from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The meeting commenced with a welcome speech by Ahmed Bin Humaidan, Director General of Dubai eGovernment and Chairman of the Second Working Group. The first session, ‘Seeking Information and Measurement Standards,’ featured a presentation of a study on public policy reform and development of new performance criteria to measure the success of eGovernments in providing comprehensive information about the public sector in the Middle East. The session also included a discussion involving Mr. Lambertini, Mr. Choung, and Mr. Christian Vergez, Head of Innovation and Integrity Division, OECD Secretariat.
The second session, titled “Administrative Simplification and Engines to Update the Public Sector and Economic Growth”, was chaired by Choung Tae-ok and involved Marco Daglio; Head of Service Delivery Unit, OECD Secretariat, Ms. Khadija Zammouri; General Director of Electronic Administration, Prime Ministry, Tunisia, and Alessandro Bellantoni, Policy Analyst, Innovation and Integrity Division, OECD. This session discussed the impact of the ongoing international financial crisis and the role of information community and knowledge-based economy in realizing integrity and transparency in the provision of public services.
“The Best Practices in the eGovernment Sector and Administrative Simplification Field ” was the title of the third session during which the experience of Dubai Courts with regard to the provision of eServices related to “e-Justice” was demonstrated. The latest updates pertaining to the current activities were discussed during the fourth session held under the title “eGovernment and the Upcoming Challenges”.
The agenda of the second day of the meeting included a series of events highlighting the successful experience of Dubai eGovernment in the e-transformation process, especially the overall strategy that was adopted to achieve synchronization between centralized and decentralized methods. The first three sessions of the second day were held under the titles: “Introducing Dubai eGovernment’s initiative”, “Dubai eGovernment’s Shared Services”, and “Electronic Trade and Logistic eServices in Dubai”. Dubai eGovernment cited the example of the Government Resource Planning (GRP) System, which is one of the joint systems provided by Dubai eGovernment to help the government departments update their infrastructure necessary to manage their resources efficiently. It also cited the Government Information Network, which is the cornerstone of Dubai Government’s electronic infrastructure and links government and semi-government bodies with a high speed communication, ensuring safe and cost-effective exchange of information and smooth integration for these bodies. Meanwhile, Juma Al Ghaith, Executive Director for Customs Development at Dubai Customs, provided participants with detailed information about Mirsal 2, a comprehensive electronic customs declaration system.
The fourth session was dedicated to a field visit to Dubai Courts where the participating delegates were welcomed by Dr. Ahmed Bin Hazeem, Director General of Dubai Courts. The participants were briefed on Dubai Courts’ experience in providing eServices pertaining to “e-Justice” and were also shown a short documentary about the history of Dubai Courts.
“Dubai hosted this sixth meeting of the working group following the 2009 meeting in Marrakech when the global financial crisis had posed many challenges both locally and internationally. By organising this meeting in Dubai, OECD provided a platform for around 20 specialised representatives from the member countries to discuss means of developing public policies, and explore opportunities for reinforcing the role of eGovernments in handling the ramifications of the global financial crisis while finalising the working group’s agenda for the coming stage of this initiative,” said Ahmed Bin Humaidan.
“Dubai eGovernment and OECD believe in the ability of eGovernment initiatives to play an effective role in organisational reform, promoting government transparency, and upgrading the standard of public services offered to clients in a cost-effective way. This would effectively contribute to firmly establishing the principles of governance,” added Bin Humaidan.
Alessandro Bellantoni said: “OECD is pleased to be in Dubai to attend this meeting on eGovernment and Administrative Simplification. The meeting provided an opportunity to shed light on the scope for progress through implementing public sector reform and minimizing the impact of the global financial crisis. The meeting was especially fruitful since all the participants agreed on the importance of discussions and exchange of knowledge and best practices to achieve effective implementation of eGovernance.”
Towards the end of the meeting, the participants discussed the ongoing activities in each of the OECD member countries and analyzed the schedule of work for the period 2010-2013. They also stressed the importance of the integral role that eGovernments play in alleviating the impact of the global financial crisis by fostering economic development projects in the member countries.
During a meeting held by the "Governance for Development in the Arab Countries Initiative" in Istanbul, Turkey, in February 2004, it was agreed to select six themes for development in the Arab countries. In April 2005, Dubai was selected to chair the working group assigned to the second theme of "eGovernment and Administrative Simplification", which was co-chaired by Italy and Korea. The first meeting of the group was held in Dubai in 2005.
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