New ICT eGovernance Panel to Reduce Costs

The National ICT eGovernance Committee in Bahrain can save up to 30 percent of the overall government IT cost, the Bahrain National ICT eGovernance Committee said.

The committee held its first meeting chaired by Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, chief executive officer of the eGovernment Authority.

The committee is made up of professionals and specialists representing a number of government entities, who will be responsible of setting high eGovernance standards for the employment and utilisation of ICT projects in the government entities, review strategies, monitor financial cost of ICT projects and report to the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology (SCICT) in this respect for necessary action.

The Bahrain National ICT eGovernance Committee is commissioned to monitor and follow up action plans for ICT programs and projects in the government entities, decide on contingent and emergent programs and projects, set policies and standards relating to the ICT projects while taking into consideration the government entities’ goals from entering in such projects, ensure quality implementation in line with the approved policies and standards.

It will also look into comprehensive strategies and plans on the entire level of the Kingdom, develop and control ICT projects within the mandate approved by the SCICT. Furthermore, the committee will follow up any other responsibilities pertaining to its mandate as assigned by the SCICT.

Al Qaed said the formation of the committee represents an advanced step taken by the Kingdom since eGovernance committees have been established only in a few developed countries such as the USA, UK and South Korea.

He added: “Research in this field proves that a governance committee in the country can save 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the ICT budget by preventing duplication in implementing ICT projects in government entities. Moreover, the committee will facilitate the procedures for ICT providers in the private sector by ensuring that all government ministries and entities conform to unified ICT standards which will facilitate tendering processes and dealing with the government entities.

Al Qaed pointed out that the committee will conduct workshops with various government entities in Bahrain to elucidate the mechanisms of work and communication with the committee, in addition to working jointly with government entities to raise the eMaturity to globally recognized standards.

Members of the committee are: Shaikh Salman bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, director of the General Directorate of Information Technology, Central Informatics Organization (CIO); Hameed Yousif Rahma, assistant undersecretary for domestic trade, Ministry of Industry and Commerce; Ismail Abdulnabi Al Marhoon, assistant undersecretary for resources and information, Ministry of Finance; Zahir Mohammad Al Awadhi, assistant undersecretary for planning and information, Ministry of Education; Heyam Al Awadhi, executive director – administration , finance and IT, The Economic Development Board (EDB); Dr Zakareya Ahmed Al-Khaja, director of policies and BPR, eGovernment Authority; Dr Arif Abdul Rahman Abdulkarim, the information advisor of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office; and Dr Ali Al Soufi, University of Bahrain. The secretary of the Committee is Aref Murad from the eGovernment Authority.