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New digital policies to enhance government eServices approved

November 4, 2021

Following approval by the Cabinet, chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, the Chief Executive of the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA), Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, today announced the approval of five new digital policies aimed to enhance government eServices.

The announcement was made at a press conference held by the iGA in cooperation with the National Communication Centre (NCC).

During the conference, Al Qaed detailed how the new digital policies are linked to furthering government efficiency and performance. The policies cover Open Data, eParticipation, DigitalFirst Policy, Digital Governance as a Right, and OneOnly Data Policy.

All policies were formulated in coordination with the the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, the Economic Development Board, the National Communication Centre, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, and the Legislation and Legal Opinion Commission, and the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Al Qaed noted that the participation of such a broad range of entities ensured that the necessary input needed to formulate advanced policies were present. Aspects covered included the promotion of innovation, attracting investment, maintaining privacy of user data, and improving customer satisfaction with government services.

Al Qaed highlighted the iGA’s committed to achieving further progress on the United Nations (UN) eParticipation Index, explaining that the iGA formed a committee tasked with studying the Kingdom’s readiness for the UN eGovernment Index that will be issued next year.

It updated these digital policies, aligning them with the targets of the Index in order to ensure Bahrain’s ranking continues to advance in this regard.

Al-Qaed explained that these policies come based on the government’s confidence in spreading a government approach based on a comprehensive digital orientation for all sectors in the Kingdom, in line with the latest global trends and the requirements of the digital economy.

He added that the authority is working in cooperation with various entities in the Kingdom to develop implementation plans for these policies, stressing that The importance of societal awareness of it, so that future trends are based on providing services in accordance with these policies, based on cooperation between government agencies and the beneficiaries of their services.

For his part, The iGA Deputy CE of Electronic Transformation, Dr. Zakareya Ahmed AlKhajah, explained how the Open Data Policy encourages government entities to make their data accessible via the Bahrain Open Data Portal and update it regularly.

The Government considers sharing data with the public to be a major part of governance transparency and accountability. It is hoped that when the public is exposed to this data, they will be encouraged to participate in creating solutions and overcoming different challenges, with the goal of improving the quality of life in the Kingdom.

Dr. AlKhaja also disclosed details pertaining to the Digital First Policy, Digital Government as a Right, and OneOnly Data Policiy, highlighting how the Government hopes to utilize them in achieving higher levels of transparency and inclusiveness in its operations.

In addition, the policies will be used to create a data-based culture within government entities, encouraging a comprehensive system and promoting participation in the development of public services.

The iGA Deputy CE of Electronic Transformation, discussed the eParticipation Policy, including the Government’s commitment to providing online participation channels, enhancing its communication with public , and improving eParticipation.

The iGA studied GCC and international experiences when setting the policies, drawing from the best among them and implementing them in accordance with Bahrain’s digital transformation initiatives.

Over the years, public expectations regarding the quality of eServices have grown, with technological innovations increasingly becoming a central part of daily life.

This led the Government to embrace advanced technologies as an essential component of its services aimed at meeting this demand. The iGA’s comprehensive initiatives have enabled government entities to improve their operations and service offerings.