iGA Discusses ICT Cooperation with Pakistan Counterpart

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24 Nov 2021

The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) held a second video conference with its Pakistan counterpart, which discussed cooperation opportunities in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. The meeting was attended by iGA Deputy Chief Executive of Operations & Governance, Dr. Khalid Ahmed Almutawah and Director of Government Systems Support & Maintenance, Hesham AlHashemi.

They reviewed the decisions of the first meeting, with both parties expressing their willingness for further cooperation. A presentation was made showcasing the iGA’s deployment of advanced services and systems, in line with directives from the Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology (SCICT), chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa and supported by the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.

The presentation covered the iGA’s key objectives, which align with the Kingdom’s high-level strategies, as detailed in the 2019-2022 Government Action Plan and the Fiscal Balance Program. The iGA highlighted the most notable eServices it offers to citizens, residents, and businesses, including the eKey, the National Suggestions and Complaints System (Tawasul), and the Government Notifications Service. Major projects led by the iGA include improvements to ID card services, the digital transformation of judicial services, the BENAYAT platform, and more.

More than 587 eServices are currently being provided via the National Portal, bahrain.bh and self-service kiosks, in cooperation with public and private entities. They are also available via the eGovernment Apps Store, bahrain.bh/apps, which offers over 20 apps including the eTraffic, GovEmployee, and Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) apps. This is in addition to the services of the Government Services Contact Center on 80008001.

The meeting covered the Kingdom’s Cloud-First Policy, which prioritizes the use of cloud computing in the enhancement of government services and innovation. The technology has had a major impact in reducing expenditure, improving information security, streamlining procedures, and raising the productivity and efficiency of public services.

The Kingdom’s experience in combatting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic was also highlighted, including its high technological readiness, as proven through the BeAware Bahrain app, which offers technical assistance to the National Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and helped limit the spread of the virus. Another example was the development of an eMeeting system, which helped maintain business continuity at Government entities.

The meeting concluded with an agreement to continue cooperation between the two sides.