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Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in eGovernment 2014 winners announced in Muscat.

Muscat: The winners of the Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in eGovernment 2014 were announced on Wednesday at the ceremony held at the Sultan Qaboos University Cultural Centre Grand Hall, under the auspices of HE Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, minister of commerce and industry, deputy chairman of the Supreme Council for Planning, in the presence of some senior officials and representatives from participating government and private institutions vying for one of the prestigious awards.The guest of honour Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, delivered the keynote address.

Award Winners

Organised by the Information Technology Authority (ITA), the Award Ceremony saw the announcement of winners in 13 categories, 9 categories for the government sector and 4 categories for the private sector including 2 for SMEs, which are participating for the first time this year.

Government sector

The government sector winners in each category are: the Best eContent Award was granted to Ministry of Education for their project, E-Content of the educational portal, while the ROP eReadiness of Royal Oman Police won the Best eReadiness Award. In the category of the Best eService -- G2G, the Award went to Integration with government entities and UAE for the Royal Oman Police. The Award for the Best eService -- G2B, was given to the E-Spectrum Services for the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority. The Best eService -- G2C Award was granted to Muscat Contact Center in Muscat Municipality. The Award of the Best eService -- G2E went to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for their project Trading System in Centralized Fish Market. Best eService Mobile category

The award allocated for the Best eService Mobile category was granted to Naamal Mobile App for Ministry of Manpower. The Award of the Best eProject Interoperable was given to Maidan Project for the Public Authority for Consumer Protection, while the Best eProject Collaborative went to Wage Protection System for the Ministry of Manpower.

Private sector

The private sector winners in the 4 categories are: the Best Public eService Award went to Bank Muscat eChannels. The Award for Best Public Mobile Service was granted to Bank Dhofar Mobile Banking. The two new Awards dedicated for the SMEs were withheld, as no submitted project complied with the Award criteria.

On the occasion of the Award Ceremony, Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, the ceremony Chief Guest, said: "It is with a great pleasure that I have the honor be part of the fourth edition of the Sultan Qaboos Award Ceremony for Excellence in eGovernment. The Award is developing every year, and it's of interest to all government institutions and private within the Sultanate, as it is becoming one of the most prestigious Awards at the regional and international levels in the provision of eServices."

ITA Speech

In his speech at the ceremony, Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Futaisi, chairman of the ITA Board of Directors, said, "Since its first edition in 2010, the award has undergone a series of updates and developments. The main update in this year's version is the addition of two separate categories for SMEs. The addition was not done only with the aim of increasing the number of categories, but to assure the private sector of the important role they play in working closely with public sector institutions to provide excelling e-services which live up the aspirations of the Omani citizens and contribute in implementing the national strategy of e.oman and e-government."

He continued, "As we know, credibility and transparency is a salient feature of the award, which is translated in the independence of the jury panel and the absolute authority it has. The jury members are qualified by their experience in the ICT field and specifically in upgrading e-government. Apart from that, they have also been part of the jury at other similar awards internationally. One important and significant addition to this year's edition, are the two Omani members on the jury, which has helped in the decision making and recommendations of the jury that focused not only on developing the projects on the future but on developing the award as well."

On the eTransformation plan, Dr. Al Futaisi said: "The ITA is exerting great efforts to accelerate the steps towards eTransformation, through creating the basic infrastructure for IT sector, adopting central initiatives such as establishing the National Center for Electronic eCertification to be entrusted with the task of establishing and operating infrastructure for eCertification. This translates the law of electronic transactions and its recommendations issued by the Royal Decree 69/2008 to support the electronic transactions and the eTransformation."

HE also added: "The first phase of cloud computing has been launched to provide hosting, operation and security services for applications of services bodies' providers as well as supporting the integrated environment with database, which will be a major supporter to facilitate the task of providing integrated electronic services to citizens."

Concerning the follow up with the participating projects, Dr. Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, said: "The ITA will follow up with the winning projects as well as the other participating projects to further develop them, aiming to achieve excellence and compete regionally and internationally."

Founder of Wikipedia Keynote

In his speech on the occasion, Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, said: "Today all citizens are connected. Wikipedia is not only about providing free information but also a new model of collaboration, how we can use the tools available in the internet to better utilize the services provided, and this is also applicable for eGovernment. I think that eGovernment is not about providing eServices but it's about engaging citizens and businesses to implement their ideas in this field. I feel this is a fantastic Award Ceremony and I congratulate the winners."

Jimmy Wales Presentation

In the morning founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales gave a presentation on 'Harnessing the Power of Social Media and Wiki Future' at Lecture Theatre 1 at SQU where he stated, "The original vision of Wikipedia is to imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge ... To create and distribute a free encyclopaedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language - That's who I am. That's what I am doing. That's my life goal."

Wales also highlighted some statistics about Wikipedia in terms of number of users, visitors and articles up to date, saying "We have 550 million visitors for Wikipedia so far, and 232 million articles available on Wikipedia, 341.000 of which are Arabic articles." He also talked about ways of the Internet reaching people and how mobile technology is developing the world with some examples worldwide.He thought that there would be a massive connectivity 20 years from now.

The winners

The government sector winners Best eContent Award - Ministry of Education for their project, E-Content of the educational portal, while the ROP eReadiness of Royal Oman Police won the Best eReadiness Award. Best eService -- G2G - Integration with government entities and UAE for the Royal Oman Police. Best eService -- G2B - E-Spectrum Services for the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority. Best eService -- G2C Award - Muscat Contact Center in Muscat Municipality. Best eService -- G2E - Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for their project Trading System in Centralized Fish Market. Best eService Mobile category Naamal Mobile App for Ministry of Manpower Best eProject Interoperable was given to Maidan Project for the Public Authority for Consumer Protection Best eProject Collaborative went to Wage Protection System for the Ministry of Manpower. Private sector Best Public eService Award- Bank Muscat eChannels. Best Public Mobile Service Bank Dhofar Mobile Banking. The two new awards dedicated for the SMEs were withheld, as no submitted project complied with the award criteria.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Article Type:Awards list
Date:Dec 4, 2014
Words:1293
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