KSA tops Middle East nations in readiness for e-government

Saudi Arabia is preparing to award the first major infrastructure contract for its e-government programme as a new survey rates it most prepared nation in the region.

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By  David Cass Published  June 4, 2002

The Saudi Arabian government is preparing to choose the supplier of the multi-million dollar first phase of its e-government system. The news could come as soon as this week and follows close on the heels of a report which rates the Kingdom as the Middle East’s “most prepared nation for e-government”. It also rates 26th in the whole world, according to a new survey by the global ratings group, McConnell International.

The Saudi government is preparing two parallel tracks for its e-government project – The so-called Saudi Gateway, which will allow government ministries and departments to talk to each other and the public access Saudi Public Data Site, which will export data to the internet for other organisations to access.

It is the Saudi Gateway which is in the final stages of contract decisions and it is a straight fight between Microsoft and IBM to supply the infrastructure.

That might be a surprise to some, as HP is close to the kingdom’s government through the successful implementation of the YaHajj.net and YaHajj.com portals. YaHajj.net went live last month and is expected to make the management of the annual pilgrimage much easier than in previous history. When YaHajj.com goes live, prospective pilgrims all over the world will be able to connect with travel agents, hotels and the Ministry of Hajj direct to ensure a trouble free visit to the Holy shrines.

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