Monday, May 12, 2008

BPN 1096 Bahrain eGovernment

I am in Bahrain since Friday. It is my fourth time on the island and every time I am astonished about the construction works going on and the land reclaim program. The financial centre, which was just started in 2005 is now completed and part of the new waterfront. My hotel, Mercure, is the same as in 2005, when the World Summit Award Grand Jury deliberations were here; the hotel was just opened and the Grand Jury was the first large group to be entertained. Very spacious rooms, good food and a swimming pool on top of the building. When I look down from my room I look at a large shopping mall and this is only one of the four malls in the immediate vicinity. From my hotel room I look at the tallest building in the Seef area. Bahrain will be the place for me in the coming fortnight.

I have been invited by the eGovernment Agency (should be Authority, I am told) to chair the eGov competition of 2008. It is a new competition, set up by the newly formed Agency in 2007. The competition is combined with a forum on eGovernment. It generates a healthy competition among the government services and yields interest among the citizens; roughly 1 million people, of which 250.000 original inhabitants. In the region the competition will give off the signal that Bahrain is working on the transparency of government and can be trusted. This will generate economical welfare and stamp them as a leader in the region

And this eGov program is not just a program of loose projects. No, it is a well thought out strategy. For the citizen services are initiated from the cradle to the grave. Also for business a life cycle has been worked out with the appropriate eServices. The 32 government agencies offer 350 analogue and eservices. In 2007 there were 35 eservices; by the end of 2008 that will be some 100 hundred eservices, which number will eventually grow to 167 eservices, if not more. And the eGov program is not only about pumping up eServices. Strategic priorities have been set and identified for implementation. This happens at three levels:
Channel enablement, implementation of four service delivery channels: National contact centre, Common service centres, Mobile Government and eGovernment Portal.
Service enablement, ranging from Customs and Ports to procurement.
Implementation of the key enablers with international eGovernment benchmarking and international eGovernment Awards as well as marketing and awareness services.

I am sure that I will be going to meet a lot of interesting people in the coming 13 days.

Blog Posting Number: 1096

Tags: eGovernment

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