Government Focus: An IT Weekly special report

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By  Published  September 29, 2006

In the latest in our series of special focus reports we decided to take a look at the largest vertical sector of them all: government.

More specifically, we’re examining the hottest trend in the government sector right now – the drive towards putting services online, popularly known as e-government. Most countries here in the Middle East, especially in the GCC, are keen to explore offering e-government services to their citizens.

E-government offers the capability to radically change the way governments departments interact with the wider public: it makes them more accessible, more efficient and more transparent to their citizens.

However, while most governments here have been credited for their willingness to embrace all things ‘e’ there are still a number of barriers before we start to see all government services delivered online.

For one thing, while offering such services is very important, it does need the ‘buy-in’ of the public: if people don’t want to use e-services they will not succeed, however well-constructed.

There are also security issues to be considered: if I can access such services, how do I ensure that others do not access my information? Or that the information governments give is safe.

This report attempts to answer some of the key questions we need to ask before e-government becomes a reality in the region.

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