September 25, 2018
81% use of eGovernment services in the Sultanate According to a survey done by ITA
20 Jun 2018

o    Royal Oman Police is the first by 71% in terms of eServices usage
o    19% of the total beneficiaries faced frequent Internet interruptions
o  Integration between government entities is one of the most important recommendations to make the most of electronic transformation.


According to a survey conducted by the Information Technology Authority (ITA) on the individuals’ satisfaction with eGovernment services in Oman, 81% use the government eServices. The survey, which was conducted in the period from 1 to 24 March 2018, focused on measuring the satisfaction of individuals with eGovernment services of Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Royal Oman Police, and Ministry of Health. The survey targeted citizens and residents aged 18 and above.
The eServices of the Royal Oman Police came first in terms of use as 71% of the surveyed sample uses the ROP services. Followed by the eServices of the Ministry of Manpower with 25% users (of the surveyed sample) benefited from the portal. Invest Easy portal usage was 9% of the sample, and 7% of the survey sample benefited from the eHealth portal.

Satisfaction Survey
The data collection method was through live interviews with the citizens and residents visiting the commercial centers in Muscat, Dhofar, Al Buraimi, Al Dakhiliyah and North Al Batinah. The survey aimed to measure the satisfaction of individuals on the use of government eservices in terms of the availability of electronic services through various channels such as smart phone applications and websites, and the satisfaction of individuals with electronic support services. It also seeks to assess the Accessibility and usability of government services as well as the satisfaction with the electronic payment procedures and challenges faced by users.

eServices Satisfaction rates
The results showed that 94% of the survey respondents were satisfied with the availability of eServices of ROP through various channels such as phone applications and the website, while 90% were satisfied with their ease of use. 75% were satisfied with the availability of support for the user while the satisfaction with the ease of payment procedures was 78% of the total beneficiaries.

The satisfaction percentage of the availability of the Ministry of Manpower electronic services through different channels such as telephone applications and the website reached 69% of the total beneficiaries, while 62% are satisfied with ease of use and 54% are satisfied with the ease of payment procedures. The satisfaction of the support and help service was 47% of the total beneficiaries.

Satisfaction with the availability of eServices at the Invest Easy portal was 72% of the total beneficiaries, while 63% were satisfied with the ease of using the portal, 63% with the ease of payment procedures, and 50% satisfied with the support and help while using the service.

On the electronic services of the Ministry of Health, 71% of all respondents expressed their satisfaction with the availability of eServices through different channels (such as smart phone applications, the website, etc.), and 63% expressed their satisfaction with the availability of support. However, 59% are satisfied with the ease of use and 58% of the total beneficiaries were satisfied with the ease of payment procedures.

Survey sample
The survey sample included 2101 individuals, of whom 84% were Omanis, 16% were residents, 83% were males and 17% were females. The group age was 18- 59 years old.

Commenting on the survey, Sharifa bint Mohammed Al Maskari, Director of International Relations and Information at ITA, said, "This survey was conducted to enhance government efforts aimed at developing eServices and identify the challenges facing users of government eServices in order to facilitate these challenges and streamline procedures. We at ITA conduct surveys periodically to measure the awareness and satisfaction of individuals with regard to the use of eServices. The results of the surveys are shared with the concerned entities to benefit from them and to use them in taking appropriate decisions to achieve eGovernment. These results also serve the international reports of eGovernment surveys, particularly those issued by the United Nations."

Challenges
The survey results showed the challenges faced by the users of government eServices: 19% of the total users faced challenges related to the telecommunications sector, that is the frequent interruption of Internet service. Whereas 13% of the total users reported difficulties in tracking the status of the requested service or application when applying to the service electronically. The survey also found that 8% of users faced difficulties in downloading the required files to complete the service, 7% were unable to make mobile transactions and 6% complained from the unavailability of required devices to use digital certification “Tam to complete the service request”.
Some of the respondents also expressed the existence of other challenges including, lack of announcements on apps/software updates made by government entities, incomplete eService process in most cases so that it requires the completion of the remaining procedures at the headquarters of the entity. In addition to lack accountability and responsibility is held by government entities when users of eServices faced with any difficulties. Some of the survey respondents also said: We do not have a printer to complete the procedures later. Additionally, some respondents complained about the large number of documents required by government entities to obtain the service, besides not mentioning the documents and procedures required so that applicants can prepare them before visiting the entities or starting applying for the service electronically.

Recommendations
Based on the results of the survey, the survey-focused entities (Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Health) have to increase the awareness of their services. Integration between government entities is very crucial in order to achieve the desired benefits of digital transformation. The government entities has to conduct satisfaction surveys for their services and provide customer support service due to the increasing use of eGovernment services.


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