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Oman Bags Top Honours at e-Meet
Source: http://www.timesofoman.com/echoice.asp?detail=52284
Source Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Oman
Created: Nov 28, 2011

The Sultanate bagged the highest number of GCC eGovernment prizes which were announced at the opening of the second Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) eGovernment Conference, Exhibition and Award held in Kuwait recently.

The Sultanate won five awards in the field of eGovernment: The ‘Electronic Cheques Scanning System’ of the Central Bank of Oman won the Best eService for the G2B category. The Ministry of Education’s ‘Education Portal’ won in the category of Best ePortal in the field of development sectors and the ‘eTendering System’ of the Tender Board won an award in the Best G2G Project category.

The Ministry of Civil Service won an honourable mention with its ‘HR Management and Recruitment System’ as one of the 12 best projects overall. Similarly, the ‘Higher Education Admission Centre (HEAC)’ of the Ministry of Higher Education also won. A total of 85 e-projects competing to win in this competition were submitted to the Jury Panel for the second eGovernment Award.

These projects from Oman were appreciated by the independent Jury Panel, which was chaired by Dr. Elsa Estevez, academic program officer at the United Nations University – International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST).

Comprising the rest of the Jury Panel were experts in the field of technical information from each GCC country participating. Competing projects were evaluated according to precise criteria internationally accredited to ensure objectivity, fairness and transparency in the selection.

Quality and excellence
The Sultanate’s achievement reflects the efforts put forth on attaining quality and excellence. Several dignitaries expressed their delight at the achievement. Ali Masoud Al Sunaidi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Information Technology Authority (ITA), congratulated the five government organisations which won the GCC eGovernment Awards.

“The Sultanate ranked first in three of the total six categories of the Award. Moreover, two Omani projects each won honorary awards for the best of twelve GCC projects. This clearly indicates the sound planning and hard work, in addition to the tremendous efforts exerted in order to develop and enhance the eGovernment projects, has started to bear fruit and achieve success and excellence,” he said.

“The achievements made by the Sultanate at the GCC, Arab and international arenas clearly show that the Sultanate is taking steady steps on the path of implementing its national vision and strategy of building Oman’s Digital Society and eGovernment. The Sultanate has devoted attention to creating an integrated environment of electronic, legislative and legal infrastructures that govern the finalisation of eTransactions.

This has added to implementing efficient and high quality e-projects as well as building, training and qualifying citizens’ abilities in the area of information technology,” he said.
Sheikh Khalid Omar Al Marhoun, minister of civil service, said that the GCC eGovernment Award granted to the Human Resources Management and Central Recruitment System, affiliated to the Ministry of Civil Service, is considered a new achievement to be added to the Ministry’s achievements which were crowned with winning a UN Public Service Award.

The Ministry will press ahead with developing the services so that as to satisfy all the citizens who benefit from such services.

“I would like to seize this opportunity to all the Government authorities currently operating the human resources system for their role making the Human Resources System a success. I also invite these Government authorities to regularly use the aforementioned system to update the data of their employees for immediate obtainment of the best information,” he added.
While expressing his happiness on winning the GCC eGovernment Award, Hamoud Sanjour Al Zadjali, the chief executive officer of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO), said: “The CBO formalised a Payment System Strategy for the National Payment Systems (NPS) in 2003 and laid down a clear roadmap for development of the National Payment Systems infrastructure in Oman. Treating the NPS as integral part of the financial stability objectives, the best international standards have been adopted.”

Education portal
On the GCC eGovernment Award granted to the Ministry of Education’s Oman Educational Portal as the Best Portal in the Development Sectors Category for 2011, the Minister of Education, Dr. Madiha Ahmed Al Shibaniyah said: “The Award acknowledges the Ministry’s efforts exerted in the IT field to accelerate the transformation process to eGovernment.

“Furthermore, both the 2nd eGovernment Conference and the Exhibition organised on its sidelines, are deemed a valuable opportunity to introduce the best technical experiences, practices and projects in Government institutions in the GCC countries, as well as benefiting therefrom in developing our eServices. The Ministry is interested in applying ICT in developing performance, which has become an essential requirement to enhance economic and social development of society.
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