Saturday, November 17, 2007

WSA 07 Jury Distinction (15)

The jury rules of the World Summit Award allow five awards per category. In this edition the WSA 07 Grand Jury decided to institute Jury Distinctions and made a selection of five diverse projects. In the coming days I will treat the projects separately, starting with the Labour Market project from Bahrain. First I will present the data and the jury laudation and expand on it.

Photograph taken during the WSA 07 Winners' Conference. Most to the right is Ali Rahdi, CEO, Labour Market Regulatory Authority in Bahrain.

Title: LMRA – Bahrain
Media Format: broadband/online
Producer: Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA)
Country: Bahrain
Description of the Product
The Labour Market Regulatory Authority website provides a quick and transparent source of information and services in eight languages for foreign workers, employers and the public in Bahrain. The Expatriate management system covers the entire work flow where employers apply for, pay for, renew and terminate work visas. Employees on the other hand are empowered to check the validity and track the processing stage of their visa. The complex process of immigration and getting a work permit is made easy and requires no longer personal presence. The system allows for capturing and verification of biometric data, scheduling of Health check appointments and the issuing of permits.

Bahrain has been very active in the content world. It has mainly operated in the e-government and e-inclusion categories. And one notices it straight at the airport upon arrival in the capital Manama. An electronic visum can be applied for on internet and upon arrival some stamps are put in the passport and one is through. (This is quite a difference with the long qeues in Johannesburg and Beirut).
Bahrain is a kingdom with 600.000 inhabitants. A majority of these inhabitants make up the labour force. Before the introduction of the LMRA system, these people were dependent on a middle man and the employer. This often presented problems for the labourer; passports were kept by the middle man or the employer. Now the LMRA system checks every phase from application to departure. After arrival the new employee is signalled at the customs; an appointment is made with the physician for a check-up. The employee can keep his passport. But the system can also be used for spot checks. Upon a visit to a company, the inspectors can wirelessly check details like finger prints in their system. The system has streamlined the workflow for the Labour Authority and the information for the employer and employee, but it has also given the labourers a less dependent status in a foreign country.

Blog Posting Number: 926

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