x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Mindset change is biggest challenge for Dubai's Smart Government plan, say experts

The idea behind Smart Government is not to create simple mobile applications but to reorganise government services to become fully customer focused and based on their needs, one expert said.

DUBAI // The main challenge of achieving the emirate’s Smart Government initiatives will be changing the mindset of its employees, experts have said.

Dr Mansour Al Awar, the director of the Hamdan bin Mohammed e-University in Dubai, said the idea behind Smart Government was not to create simple mobile applications but to reorganise government services to become fully customer focused and based on their needs.

“Government employees have to follow certain rules and guidelines to complete transactions but now, with the introduction of this initiative, a complete paradigm shift is to take place,” said Dr Al Awar.

“From senior officials to executives, everyone has to be completely customer focused and has to take instruction and direction based on customer needs.”

Smart Government was launched last month by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“Sheikh Mohammed gave us a tight deadline to achieve this and we will have to deliver,” Dr Al Awar said.

“The programme has to be complete within 24 months and, by then, all government services have to be accessible by mobile.”

During the launch of the initiative, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, said it would aim to make a “qualitative leap” in services to the public.

The first part of the scheme, to be introduced in October, is the My ID initiative.

This will allow users to access all eGovernment services with one login derived from National ID card numbers.

Wissam Lootah, the deputy director of the Smart Government department, said the programme sought to link all Dubai Government services under one platform and then make them accessible through one portal.

“We are linking all the systems together and standardising all of them to facilitate the exchange in flow of information,” he said.

Mr Lootah said that Smart Government would utilise a secure government information network.

“We hereby confirm our full readiness to respond to the requirements of the new stage, which is an extension to the eTransformation of eGovernment that we began 13 years ago,” he said.

Hussein Lootah, the director of Dubai Municipality, said the municipality was close to the launch of the iDubai smart system.

“The iDubai system will give access through mobiles to the municipality’s different services for the public,” he said.

amustafa@thenational.ae