E-Government Initiative in the Sultanate of Oman: The Case of Ubar

E-Government Initiative in the Sultanate of Oman: The Case of Ubar

Khamis Al-Gharbi (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman) and Ahmed Al-Kindi (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1752-0.ch006
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Abstract

There are many interesting initiatives regarding the use of internet technologies in e-government that are taking place in developing countries. A number of studies have been conducted in recent years regarding the adoption and use of internet technologies in e-government. However, most of these studies focused on the developed countries. There are many interesting initiatives regarding the use of internet technologies in e-government that are taking place in the developing countries and yet have received very little research attention. The Sultanate of Oman is currently working on a project called e-Oman to provide e-government, e-commerce, e-learning and other e-services. The hope is to enhance the quality of services offered by the government to its citizens. The purpose of this paper is to highlight e-government Initiatives in Oman.
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E-Government Definition And Implementation

E-government is defined by (Luling, 2001, p. 43) as “online government services, that is, any interaction one might have with any government body or agency, using the Internet or the World Wide Web”. Basically e-government represents the use of modern information technology (MIT) and telecommunication technology (TT) to exchange information and process across computer networks, especially the Internet Silcock (2001). The purpose of e-government in Oman is to:

  • Improve the relationship with the citizen

  • Provide round the clock services

  • Cut departmental hierarchies

  • Reduce queuing in many ministries’ offices

  • Provide a single point contact to speed up services

Studies describe e-government initiatives that serve a range of constituencies including: 1) Government-to-Citizen (G2C) applications such as the provision of online information and services, 2) Government-to-Business (G2B) applications such as electronic procurement, 3) Government-to-Employee (G2E) applications such as human resource internets, and 4) Government-to-Government (G2G) applications that provide integration between government agencies (e.g., between ministries). The Omani government vision is as follows: “The leveraging of information technology and communications in providing collaborative services to public and private sectors and citizens through electronic means has been the driving force to move forward the Sultanate to the knowledge-based economy and achieve sustainable development” (Digital Society Strategy, 2002, p. 2).

The government has followed the following strategy in order to implement the above vision.

The strategy included the implementation of

  • E-Government Architecture, Applications and Service Delivery Model

  • Security, Audit and Continuity Planning

  • E-Legislation (Trust and Confidence)

  • National Telecommunications and E-Payments Infrastructure

  • E-Government Initiatives

  • Flagship Projects (Quick Wins)

  • Environment

  • Resourcing

  • Marketing and Awareness (Oman IT Executive Committee (2002-2003)

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