In order to drive Saudi Arabia's e-government initiative forward, YESSER program has developed the first National e-Government Strategy and Action Plan which is to be implemented within the next five years.
Vision statement for Saudi Arabia's e-government initiative
The vision for Saudi Arabia's e-government initiative is user-centric and focuses on a number of aspects which all revolve around the central notion already mentioned, i.e., providing better government services to the user.
As mentioned before, users are understood here as individuals (citizens and expatriates), businesses and government agencies. The user-centric vision for Saudi Arabia's e-government initiative is summarized by the following vision statement:
By the end of 2010, everyone in the Kingdom
will be able to enjoy - from anywhere and at any time - world class government services
offered in a seamless, user friendly and secure way by utilizing a variety of electronic means."
Strategic objectives of Saudi e-government initiative
The vision for Saudi Arabia's e-government initiative was detailed by determining ten objectives to be achieved within the following five years.
Those objectives are divided as follows:
PROVIDER BETTER SERVICES BY THE END OF 2010
- Provid the top priority services (150) at world class level of quality electronically.
- Deliver services in a seamless and user friendly way and at highest standars of security.
- Make services available to everyone in the Kingdom and allow 24/7 access from cities as well as countryside and even outside the country.
- Realise 75% asoption rate with respect to the number of users.
- Ensure 80% user satisfaction rating for all services provided electronically.
INCREASE INTERNAL EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS
- Deliver all possible official intra-governmental communication in a paperless way.
- Ensure accessibilty of all information needed across government agencies and storage of information with as little redundancy as possible.
- Purchase all goods and services above a reasonable value threshold throught e-procurement.
CONTRIBUE TO COUNTRY;S PROSPERITY
- Contribute to establishment of information society in the Kingodm throught spreading information, knowledge and use of e-services.
- Help improve use of cpuntry's assets and resources by increasing society's productivity in private, business and public sector.
Components of the e-government framework
Primarily, any successful e-government initiative is concerned with providing improved government e-services to the user, be it an individual, a business or a government agency. Moreover, it also aims to increase efficiency and effectiveness of government's administration.
The improved and e-enabled government services (in some cases, possibly even new services) identified by the initiative shall be implemented in a coordinated decentralized approach by individual ministries and other government agencies, i.e., the natural owners of these services.
The implementation of improved e-government services will, however, be based on a unified e-government vision, national priorities and shared standards and methodologies identified by the YESSER program with the participation of the government agencies. Further, the coordinated decentralized implementation of the e-government initiative will follow the principle of "Develop once, use many times" as much as possible.
The YESSER program's role in Saudi's e-government initiative is therefore that of an enabler and facilitator: it enables the implementation of individual e-government services by ministries and other government agencies, on the one hand, by building the national infrastructure and defining common standards which these agencies can use; and on the other hand, by providing best practice examples and accompanying implementation of pilot services. Moreover, it will ensure an appropriate level of coordination and collaboration between the implementing agencies.
The E-Government Action Plan projects
The action plan included many projects that aim to achieve the strategic objectives of the initiative. Those projects are divided, according to their nature, to the following three types: Infrastructure projects, E-Services projects and National application projects.
Following is a description of the components of each type.
The infrastructure projects
The infrastructure projects aim to build a strong, reliable infrastructure that enables the implementation of e-services, national applications and facilitates the data exchange and connectivity between government agencies.
The infrastructure architecture
Those projects aim to achieve the main objective of e-government; "providing better services".
The following figure shows the pilot services projects (category 1) in some detail
For each of the above-mentioned services:
- The current process has been mapped
- The process has been redesigned to suit their electronic delivery
- The organizational, procedural, technical and financial requirements for implementation have been identified
The pilot services host agencies, with YESSER support, are currently working on the implementation these services in their electronic form.
National application projects
Those projects aim to provide main applications that are shared between all government agencies in order to increase their efficiency and capabilities.
Priorities of projects and implementation sequence
The methodology used to prepare the e-government action plan
The following steps have been followed in the preparation of the Saudi e-government action plan, with an effective participation of the various government agencies (Their feedback was taken through workshops, meetings, visits and field surveys).
Also, the feedback of individuals and the private sector was taken through opinion surveys. Finally, country benchmark studies have also been conducted.