The UAE has achieved a remarkable rate of mobile governance, aiming to serve the country’s residents through mobile devices with the ultimate objectives of achieving environmental improvements, improving readiness and achieving user happiness.
As of today, 96.3 per cent of the UAE government’s most important 337 services providing day-to-day services have made the smart transition to m-Government and m-Services.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted: “The Government of the future works 24/7 and 365 days a year. A successful government is one that goes to the people and does not wait for them to come to it.”
mGovernment, or Mobile government, refers to collection of services as the strategic use of government services and applications which are possible using cellular/mobile telephones, laptop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and wireless Internet infrastructure.
In May 2013, the UAE initiated an ambitious roadmap to move from eGovernment to mGovernment within two years. Sheikh Mohammed had announced a new ‘government vision of the future’ following a meeting with government officials.
As with anything else that the UAE leaders decide to do, the goal was global excellence in the field of mGovernment. The project, called m-Government, follows the e-Government initiative that was launched in 2000 and led to most government services being made available online.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “The two-year deadline was not meant to be a scourge hanging over work teams. Rather, it was meant to be just like any other ordinary practice in administration and leadership where a timeline is set for fulfilling each target that we have. The aim of our government is not to keep pace with the ongoing technological and scientific developments in the UAE but to lead these developments. This is no easy challenge.”
Directed by its leaders and executed by its government employees, the UAE has indeed managed to create one of the best nationwide mGovernment implementation in the world, within a record timeframe.
A report documenting the UAE’s transition from eGovernment to mGovernment reveals that the biggest 41 government departments succeeded in achieving the shift to m-Services within 730 days.
At a meeting with government officials, Sheikh Mohammed viewed the report on the results of the transition to m-Government.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “The most important change that was taking place over two past years was the change of mentality, the culture of government services and the archaic definition. Today, delivery of services no longer relies on buildings and thousands of employees, but on advanced systems and innovative minds. In the near future, we will see yet bigger and faster changes.”
He said: “Work teams managed to complete the shift to m-Services. The next stage is to link all services together, improve the quality of smart applications and achieve a high satisfaction rate for smart services. The report also explains that the low numbers of users of some m-Government services were attributed to low awareness of users and sometimes to the difficulty to use these services.”
Out of the 337 services that have made the ‘smart’ move, 267 (more than 79 per cent) are procedural services while 34 (10 per cent) are informative services and 21 (6.23 per cent) are social services. The remainder are commercial and enforcement services.
The country’s various departments boast of an impressive mGovernment rate. The UAE’s Infrastructure, Environment and Energy department has a 100 per cent mGovernment transition rate, followed by the Health department which has a 99.7 per cent transition rate.
The country’s Finance and Economic department has a 97.7 per cent mGovernment transition rate, followed by Social Affairs (97 per cent), Security and Justice (94 per cent), Education (89 per cent) and Others (93.8 per cent).
The meeting with Sheikh Mohammed was attended by Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs; Mohamad Ahmad Al-Qamzi, Chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of (TRA); Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director-General of Dubai's Protocol Department; Ohood Al Roumi, Director-General Office of the Prime Minister; Hamad Al Mansouri, Director-General of the UAE Smart Government and Director-General of the TRA.
The next stage in the country’s mGovernment journey will entail linking all the services together, improving the quality of smart applications and achieving a high satisfaction rate for smart services.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “The target of raising the number of m-Service users to 80 per cent by 2018 has been set. The report also shows varied degrees of quality and user-friendliness of the services... We want these services to be more streamlined, faster and simpler. We also want the customers to be happier than they were in the past years.”
“A star rating system for all m-Government services will be put in place in the coming stage to inform customers about the quality of any service before they start to use it.”
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