Tuesday, May 13, 2008

BPN 1097 Back from the PM Palace

I am just back from a presentation at the Prime Ministers Palace (see photograph) in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. There was a meeting of the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology, a government body of 11 ministers headed by H.E. Sheik Mohammed Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister. This body is the steering committee for amongst others the Government strategy in Bahrain. I had been asked to talk about the value of an eGovernment competition. I had prepared a PowerPoint presentation. It was an official meeting, which was filmed in the framework of the eGovernment Forum.

Bahrain has been working on eGovernment since the beginning of this century with a group of young civil servants. Most of them studied abroad in the Gulf region, Europe and the USA. They started to use internet and apply it in government. One of the first e-services was the portal for the ministry of commerce. This one won an award of the World Summit Award in 2003.

In the meantime the separate eGovernment actions has been converted in the eGovernment strategy and the Bahrain government is ambitious. They want to be number one in the Gulf region, but really want to compare themselves with European and North American countries. They realise that they will need an eGovernment competition in search for excellence and to establish good practices. And the competition is not just one element. eGovernment needs a complex of elements such as forum, competition, annual report, resource network and exchange network.

Among the documents which were distributed , was a document on the developments in eGovernment in The Netherlands. As key initiatives were listed the following programs:
- Digital identity initiative, the Dutch DigiD (Digital Identity) online identification system, introduced in 2005;
- eForms program to facilitate citizens and businesses to complte forms online, using a single set of questions, that suffice to serve a number of information chains;
- Contact centre initiative, Post box 51, the Dutch governments centre for public information, which distributes information through toll-free calls, letters, e-mail and websites;
- Personalisation initiative, program giving citizens their personal internet page. The program has started in 2006 and will be fully installed by 2011;
- Enterprise integration and interoperability framework a metadata standard for public-sector websites, based on the Dublin core.

Tonight we will start with the jury deliberations of the eGovernment competitions. There are more than 50 entries. We have four days to reach a selection of nine winners. The jury consists of six persons, external to the government ministries governmental agencies.

Blog Posting Number: 1097

Tags: eGovernment

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