Muscat: The Information Technology Authority (ITA) had organised a two-day capacity building workshop on Sunday morning at the Hormuz Grand Hotel to unveil the details of the fifth edition of the Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in e-governance, in the presence of Dr. Salim Bin Sultan Alruzaiqi and a number of representatives from various government entities, the private sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The workshop began with a welcome speech by Alruzaiqi, chief executive officer, ITA, who said, “We are pleased to launch the Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in e-governance, which appreciates efforts in the ICT sector for all government and private organizations, including SMEs.”
“This edition has been improved to world-class standards, in terms of award categories and criteria overseen by international experts in the field of e-governance and digital services.
New categories have been included to recognize agility in e-transformation, use of e-participation channels in decision making and integrated services under the whole-of-government vision and public services through mobile channels,” he explained.
The first day of the workshop highlighted the United Nations’ (UN’s) report on e-governance and the ranking of Oman internationally during a presentation delivered by Dr. Julia Glidden, an internationally recognised expert in the field of e-government, who enlightened the audience on global trends and technologies, including the UN’s e-governance rankings and the global benchmarking.
Commenting on Oman’s overall ranking by the UN, Glidden said, “Oman has witnessed an impressive rise in its overall UN ranking, with Oman’s rank improving from 112 in 2005 to 48 in 2014.”
She further added, “This tremendous improvement can be attributed to a number of factors among which is the implementation of a “Focused Whole of Government Strategy” to improve e-service delivery, the proactive embrace of social media and mobile to engage with citizens and kick starting innovation and the regulatory and policy framework, which are in place.”
The second session of the workshop familiarised the audience with the award categories and criteria for 2016, which saw the addition of three new categories, namely the best e-transformation achievement, Best Service Supporting Doing Business and Best e-participation in a decision making initiative.
Dr. Ahmed Alhosni, a jury member, presented the award for 2016’s categories and criteria, which target government, private sectors and SMEs.
He said, “The government entities can compete in eight categories, which are: Best Public Service - Government to Employee, Best Public Service - Government to Citizens, Best Mobile Service - Government to Employee, Best Mobile Service - Government to Citizens , Best Service Supporting Doing Business, Best Whole of Government Service, Best e-participation for a decision making initiative and Best e-transformation achievement.”
He added, “The private sector will also be able to compete for the Best Private Sector Service and Best Private Sector Mobile Service, while SMEs are competing for Best SME Service.”
The second day of the workshop will discuss important topics related to the participation and registration of the award system, along with a presentation on the role of social media in decision making and making a strategic impact.
It is worth mentioning that the whole award process, starting with registration, verification, up to jury evaluation and results will be carried out through a secure web system, which will be published on the award website.