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Federal e-government project launch at GITEX
Source: khaleejtimes.com
Source Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: United Arab Emirates
Created: Oct 12, 2010

DUBAI — The UAE federal e-government project is all set for a big launch at GITEX on October 17. The portal will deliver easier and efficient services to citizens and businesses, according to a senior official here.

“As of October 17, the UAE federal e-government is to be officially launched at the GITEX exhibition, spanning 50 federal entities and seven local governments,” Salem Al Shair, Director-General, General Information Authority, told Khaleej Times.

The delay in launching the nearly Dh2.3-billion online portal, which faced drops and suspensions since being first proposed in 2003, has led to the UAE’s downgrade in e-government readiness on the international scale from position 32 in 2008 to 49 in 2010.

“Therefore, the federal e-platform has become indispensable under the UAE 2011-13 strategy and 2021 vision to promote an accountable, lean, innovative, and forward-looking government,” he said.

The website, covering both federal and local services, creates effective collaboration across ministries, authorities, departments and councils federally and locally, and enables the government to provide better, easier and more efficient services via advanced channels to citizens, residents, visitors and businesses in the UAE.

Shair said the project had a larger role to play in improving the lives of people.

“The programme allows the public to positively take part in the decision making process by submitting their comments and views on the quality of services and information 
available through the various electronic 
channels.” In pursuit of a ‘connected government’, the UAE eGovernment will develop standards and shared services that contribute to strengthening the integration among the government entities. “Over 3,000 local services are to be available on the UAE e-government website by next year,” he said.

The vital milestone portal, adopting the second generation of the internet known as web2.0, has three electronic wallets in which users can assemble their items.

“In the service wallet, ‘My Services’ users can keep their most used and most relevant services. In the mail wallet, ‘My Mail’ users can keep their mail accounts in one corner for easy management.

In the social networks wallet, users can keep and manage their own accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other SN websites,” Shair explained. Not only does the federal portal present an interactive map showing the locations of important attractions and government headquarters in the UAE, but also includes an inclusive government directory where all the addresses and contact numbers of the UAE ministries, federal and local entities, and officials are listed.

Furthermore, the UAE Federal eGovernment provides a list of services under the concept of ‘Cloud Computing’ which is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources.

“The networks, servers, storage, applications and services accessible can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction,” he said. Meanwhile, for Emirates national ID card purposes the e-government portal can be used to provide timely, fast and secure services.

“A customer needs not go in circles to submit copies of certain documents for verification; everything will be done electronically and automatically within the departments concerned,” Shair said.

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