The winners of the 2018 Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in eGovernment have been announced in Muscat.
Ten awards were presented to government and private sector entities from Oman, to recognise digital projects that have made exceptional achievements and innovations in information technology, to improve government services.
The awards ceremony was 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 senior officials and representatives from participating government and private entities.
The ceremony including an address from guest of honour, Dr Belgacem Haba, an Algerian Researcher and Scientist in Microelectronics, who discussed the fourth industrial revolution and the need for education to prepare young people for the digital future.
The awards, which began in 2010, are organised by the Information Technology Authority of Oman. This year 64 projects were nominated, including 47 from government and nine from the private sector and eight 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.
For the private sector, the award for Best Private Sector eService category went to Oman Airports for Airports Data eServices. For the SMEs, the category of Best SME eService was granted to Edlal eLearning Platform and Saharat a'shamil by Global Computers. For the Best Private App for Smart Devices award there were no entries that met the criteria.
In his address, 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 honouring eGovernance and technology projects that have resulted in exceptional achievements, impacts and innovations by harnessing information technology as well as ensuring the implementation of 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.
"We have witnessed the keenness of government and private organisations in improving their eServices and to implement technically advanced digital projects. The thing that reflects the role of the award in encouraging those organisations to move forward towards eTransformation."
"The improvement in government eServices in the Sultanate is proven by the achievement recognised at international and regional levels. The Sultanate of Oman is ranked second in 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."