Winners of Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in eGovernment 2018 announced
· 64 projects competed for the award from various entities.
· Ministry of Manpower bagged 3 awards and Royal Oman Police granted 2 awards in the government category.
· Oman Airports got the private sector award
· Edlal Platform and Global Computers won the SME Award
· Dr. Belgacem Haba was the guest of honor of the award ceremony.
Winners of Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in eGovernment 2018 were announced in the Award Ceremony held at the Sultan Qaboos University Cultural Centre, Grand Hall, under the auspices of HE Darwish Bin Ismail Albalushi, Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs, in the presence of HE Dr. Ahhmed Bin Mohammad Alfutaisi, Minister of Transports and Comunications and ITA’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, along with some senior officials and representatives from participating government and private entities vying for the honor to win one of the prestigious Awards.
This year, the award witnessed a great participation from government and private entities in the Sultanate as 64 projects submitted, 47 of which from government, 9 from private sector and 8 from SMEs.
Organized by the Information Technology Authority (ITA), the Award Ceremony witnessed the announcement of winners in 10 categories, 7 categories for the government sector and 3 categories for the private sector including one for SMEs.
The government sector winners in each category are: The Best Public Service – G2C Award was granted to Ministry of Manpower Inform. The Award of the Best Public Service – Supporting Doing Business G2E went to Ministry of Environment & Climate Affairs MECA eServices for Business . the Best Government App for Smart Devices G2C was granted to Royal Oman Police for Royal Oman Police Mobile App, while the award of Best Practice in Community eParticipation G2C awarded to the Ministry of Manpower for Get Involved service. In the category of the Best Whole of Government Project, the Award went to the Royal Oman Police, for Bayan System. The Award of Best eTransformation Achievement was given to Ministry of Information. In the category of Best Open Data Initiative went to Ministry of Manpower for their Project called Data.
The award allocated for the Best Private Sector eService category was granted to Oman Airports for Airports Data eServices. Whereas the Best Private App for Smart Devices award was withheld by the jury committee as no project participated met the criteria. For the SMEs, the category of Best SME eService was granted to Edlal eLearning Platform and Saharat a’shamil by Global Computers
On his speech at the Award Ceremony, HE Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Futaisi, Chairman of the ITA’s Board of Directors, said, “The award, since its launch in 2010, aimed to bring about both a qualitative and quantitative transformation in public-service delivery by honoring eGovernance / technology projects that have resulted in exceptional achievements, impacts and innovations by harnessing information technology as well as insuring the implementation of the internationally recognized best practices in ICT. Throughout the different rounds of the award, it set internationally recognized standards and criteria for assessment of the quality and efficiency of digital projects in the sultanate, thus provided a path towards excellence that government and private entities can lead to improve their eServices.”
He added, “We have witness the keenness of government and private organizations in improving their eServices and to implement technically advanced digital projects. The thing that reflects the role of the award in encouraging those organizations to move forward towards eTransformation.”
“The improvement in government eServices in the sultanate is proven by the achievement recognized at international and regional levels. The Sultanate of Oman is ranked second at the Arab region in the eServices Index in the UN 2018 eGovernment report and ranked 43 in the eParticipation index advancing 33 positions in its rank compared to the previous report. In addition, The Sultanate ranked fourth in international and the first in the Arab region in the cybersecurity readiness index. The sultanate also received 20 awards at the GCC level and 19 awards at the international level in the field of eGovernment,” he further went on.
Guest of Honor
The ceremony guest of honor Dr. Belgacem Haba, an Algerian Researcher and Scientist in Microelectronics attended the Award Ceremony and delivered a speech. Dr. Belgacem addressed the industrial revolutions history and then focused on the fourth revolution. He defined it as a fusion of the cyber space with physical space. “IoT, AI, machine learning, 3D printing, Virtual and augmented reality and other technologies are driving the revolution,” he stated.
“Technology is evolving too fast; many things students learn in early age might not be there by the time they reach the work force. We have to invest in smart education for our youth to enable them grow and succeed in the upcoming era,” he added.
Dr. Haba holds 489 U.S. patents, and over 1400 patents and patent applications worldwide. He is listed among the top 100 most prolific inventors worldwide. In 2017 he opened the Haba Institute in Algeria to help young entrepreneurs. Dr. Haba has authored numerous technical publications, has also participated in many conferences worldwide and was recognized in many occasions. His latest activities include the development of 3D technologies for mobiles and servers alike.
Dr. Haba joined Tessera in 1996 and is now its Senior Technical Fellow and vice president. Today he is heading the path finding team in the electronic R&D division. Dr. Haba was with Google data center platform division as senior staff and before that he co-founded SiliconPipe Inc. in 2002, a high-speed interconnects Start-up Company based in Silicon Valley that got acquired by Samsung.
Let this Award Ceremony be a greater Catalyst for constantly challenging ourselves to fulfil the great dream of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman, a dream for its people living in a connected society where every citizen can exercise its right to access, create and share knowledge, let us commit ourselves to ensure the right policy and Regulatory environment conducive to more investment in Infrastructure, content development, capacity building for faster Broadband deployment and the right services and applications development built and conceived by the citizen for the citizen.”
About the award
HM Sultan Qaboos Award for eGovernment was launched in 2010 and it was limited only to the government entities. In its third round in 2012, the private enterprises were allowed to participate in two separate categories; an in 2014 the participation was opened also for the SMEs in two categories.
Since its inception, the main objective of the award is to bring about a qualitative shift in the electronic services by honoring digital projects that made exceptional achievements and innovations in the field of information technology. In addition to appreciate efforts done by the government and the private institutions for the development of electronic services to support the Digital Oman strategy and promote the use of information and communication technology in economic and social and cultural development in the Sultanate.
2018 Award Categories
In this round, the award comprises of 10 categories, 3 of which were newly added, distributed among government, private and SMEs sectors. The two new categories are for government entities, which are Best Open Data Initiative and Best Government Application for Smart Devices. Whereas the third new category is allocated for the private sector to the Best Private Application for Smart Devices. Hence, the government sector entities can compete in 7 different categories, namely: Best Open Data Initiative, Best Government Application for Smart Devices, Best government eService – individuals, Best whole of government Project, Best eService supporting doing business, Best Practice in Community eParticipation and Best eTransformation achievement. Whereas the private sector’s large organizations can compete in two categories, namely: Best Private Application for Smart Devices and Best Private eService. Besides, the Private sector ICT Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can participate, in one category: Best SME eService.
The jury committee consists of an independent team under a chairman and a number of jury members who have an extensive and wide experience in eGovernment. This jury team acts professionally, independently and neutrally, following the award rules and criteria for evaluations. Accordingly, the decisions and choices made by the Jury Panel is final and not be subject to change or amendment. This year, the jury committee includes 11 local and international experts.
The committee will provide detailed final reports, which will include recommendations for the development of the award and detailed reports which illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of all the participating projects. These reports will be delivered to the head (Minister, Chairman, CEO) of each entity participating in the award to ensure that they get clear picture about their projects progress and to take steps forward to improve and provide more eServices.