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UN report recognises significant improvement in e-Government Readiness in the GCC

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The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) has released its 2008 e-Government Survey, which shows that all GCC member states have significantly improved in e-Government Readiness since the 2005 survey.

According to this year report, UAE came in 32nd, improving from its previous rank of 42nd; Bahrain moved up from 53rd to 42nd; Qatar moved up from 62nd to 53rd; Kuwait moved up from 75th to 57th; Saudi Arabia moved up from 80th to 70th; and Oman moved up from 112th to 84th. The strong performance by the GCC countries has been attributed to heavy investments in deploying broadband infrastructure, coupled with increased implementation of e-government applications for their citizens. UAE has achieved 12th rank in web-measurement, surpassing fellow GCC countries and many developed countries. This measurement rates the online presence of national websites and selected ministries, which include health, education, welfare, labour, and finance. UAE and Kuwait like countries have upgraded their government portals. The UAE Ministry of Labour is one of best example in offering transactional features like payment by credit card, online submission of forms and permits, and creation of personal accounts. The Kuwait Ministry of Social Welfare (http://www.mosal.gov.kw) is another example of a progressive website which offers email notification to citizens' requests, allows online submission of forms and payment, and allows online creation of personal accounts.

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