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Technology | Global Arab Network
Qatar White Papers - Integrated e-Government
Global Arab Network - - Jihad Taki
ictQATAR recently released an i-Gov White Paper highlighting its Integrated e-Government program. The Integrated E-Government Programme (i-Gov) is a government operated information and communication technology (ICT) project with the overall aim of integrating all the services provided by the various agencies of the government of Qatar into a unified system.

The intention is to make all government interactions, information and transaction services, available electronically through a single access point, for all "users" (citizens, residents, visitors and businesses). The integration and standardization of all government systems, infrastructure and processes is required to achieve this goal.

i-Gov was established and launched in 2006 as one of nine major programmes under the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR), a government organisation established in 2004 to accelerate the process of creating an information-based society. i-Gov was conceived and structured to support Qatar's national development goals.

The Qatari National Vision (QNV) was crafted to provide a strategy that could guide the country until 2030 in terms of human, social, economic and environmental development. It recognised that improved ICT would benefit all sectors, further political reforms and help Qatar become a fully developed nation. ictQATAR is therefore well positioned to support the QNV through the use of ICT, with the following objectives: to enrich the quality of life in Qatar by connecting people to technologies; and to encourage modernisation, increase economic efficiency, help create a capable and motivated work - force, broaden access to social services, and create a sustainable knowledge-based online society through the identification and implementation of appropriate ICT programmes.

With these objectives in mind, the i-Gov programme was established. Specifically, i-Gov is expected to make government more efficient, creating productivity and competitiveness gains for businesses, enhancing investment opportunities and improving services to individuals. i-Gov will create demand for ICT products and services, encouraging the development of the sector as well as its resources and talent. i-Gov has also established a Marketing and Awareness initiative which will help sell technology, raising its usage. In these ways, i-Gov will tackle the lack of skilled manpower and the development of technological capability, which are key
development challenges.

i-Gov is an ambitious programme in its early stages of development which has nonetheless made some significant advances since its launch. Through methodi¬cal development processes and the structure provided by a well planned framework, ictQATAR has ensured the robust development of the i-Gov programme along with other ICT programmes. The major achievements, the launch of Hukoomi and the establishment of the Reference Manual, are essential foundations from which a comprehensive and fully integrated e-government solution can be established. It has been necessary to construct extensive backend infrastructure, networks, data centres, legislation, systems, processes and sup¬port services, to launch the Hukoomi portal, which fur¬ther illustrates that it is a foundation that can be built on.

As the achievements of i-Gov clearly show, ictQATAR has already brought the government together; increased the efficiency and transparency of government; and improved services to users. Should the programme succeed in its full implementation, Qatar would become a world leader in the field of e-government service provision.
In addition to its achievements, i-Gov has established itself as integral to the national development of Qatar through its use of ICT to help realise the country's ambi¬tions by: enriching the quality of people's lives through better government services; encouraging modernisation and increasing economic efficiency by increasing the capabilities and efficiency of the government and private sector through better use of ICT and improved ICT resources; and encouraging the creation of a knowledge based society through the more widespread use of ICT.

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