His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has approved the allocation of a national award in the field of proficiency in eGovernment services. This award comes as affirmation of His Majesty to move the sultanate forward by enhancing the performance and development of government services through the utilization of digital technology while improving efforts to build a digital community, efficient eGovernment services, and upgrade to the prospects of modern renewable knowledge.
The announcement of the Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in eGovernment was announced today at a press conference in the Conference Room, at the Ministry of National Economy, held under the auspices of HE Mohammed Nasser Al Khasibi, Secretary General of Ministry of National Economy, Chairman of ITA’s Board of Directors; HE Sheikh Al Fahdel Mohammed Al Harthy, Undersecretary for Development Affairs Ministry of National Economy, Deputy Chairman of ITA’s Board of Directors; and, Dr. Salim Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA.
Opening the press conference HE Mohammed Nasser Al Khasibi said: “It is with great pleasure and gratitude that we received His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said approval for the allocation of a proficiency award in the area of eGovernment services under His Majesty’s name: Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in eGovernment. This award is expected to be an important incentive in the development and growth in the application of digital technologies in eGovernment services, of a high quality and efficiency that will help transform the Sultanate into a knowledge community based on information technology and modern communications, which is the main mover to development in the Third Millennium."
Targeted at all government institutions, the Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in Government includes the following categories: Best eContent Award, Best eService Award, eReadiness Award, Best eProject Award , and eEconomy Award. Awarded annually, starting in 2010, all government institutions are eligible to enter into competition for the award. The registration period for this award will be from July – September, with the award ceremony to take place toward the end of this year.
Also speaking at the press conference, HE Sheikh Al Fadhel Mohammed Al Harthy offered this comment: “This award, which His Majesty – God Bless Him – has kindly approved to establish , is confirmation of His Majesty’s intent to forge ahead with the development of eGovernment services. The award will encourage the spirit of competition at the level of governmental institutions, the private sector, and individuals to provide innovative projects, and eServices of high quality. Doing so will contribute to strengthening efforts to create a developed digital environment in the Sultanate, using ICT effectively in economic, social and cultural development, and building a robust knowledge-based economy. We hope everyone will make every effort to participate, and we wish everyone success for the honor of winning this award."
The project or service to be nominated for the award should highlight the effect received by the beneficiaries from the service or project, the level of benefit, in addition to the level of innovation used in achieving the objectives of the service or project. General criteria governing the award include the following: the services or participating products must be available in both Arabic and English; the project must commit to the requirements of intellectual property rights; the project or advanced electronic service in competition for the award must be able to develop final solutions, end-to-end electronic transactions (i. e. the user will be able to complete most or all transactions electronically via the Internet); and finally, the applicant project or service vying for the award should target government institutions, businesses, and citizens.
Dr. Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of the Information Technology Authority (ITA) said: "We raise our deepest thanks and gratitude to His Majesty for having kindly approving the establishment of this prestigious award which has the honor of His Majesty’s name - may Allah protect him – to be an incentive for all government institutions to upgrade their eServices, and strengthen its efforts in the field of digital innovation, and to aspire to provide high quality and efficient eServices. This award will stimulate and encourage efforts to develop the digital environment in the Sultanate, and to move forward in the application of eGovernment."
The applicant projects for the awards shall demonstrate the effectiveness of information technology in the development of services in the institution, as the project should prove one or all of the following: information technology is used to improved eServices to the community; there is effective use of available modern technologies; the benefits of the latest technological developments are highlighted; and, the potential of new innovations in the communication and distribution of information have been assessed.