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Awareness campaign for e-Government services

Dubai e-Government is launching an awareness campaign next year to increase usage of its online services, one of its senior executives has revealed to IT Weekly.

Dubai e-Government is launching an awareness campaign next year to increase usage of its online services, one of its senior executives has revealed to IT Weekly.

The organisation has an ambitious target of ensuring that
50% of government services transactions are carried out online by the end of 2007.

Rehab Lootah, e-services provisioning manager, said Dubai
e-Government is confident of reaching this goal; the aim of the awareness campaign is to educate business users and members of the public on the online services available and how to access these.

“In 2007 we need also to focus on the enablement of the services plus the adoption of the services,” she said.

“We are not there yet but we have a campaign that will target the individual businesses, encouraging them to reach or to help us using those services and reaching the goal we have.”

“Our responsibility is to educate the people,” added Lootah.
She went on to say that the campaign would also involve visits to schools and colleges, outdoor advertising, seminars and participation in community events.

Lootah said that a good indication of the public’s confidence in online services is the number of transactions that are being carried out online.

At the start of the year, the amount spent on online transactions had reached 44million AED (US$11.9million) compared to just over 200,000 AED (US$54,000) in 2003.

Lootah claimed that this amount is tripling on a yearly basis, indicating both greater awareness and greater trust on the part of users “because when you pay online that means there is trust between the government and the people.”

As well as ensuring 50% of transactions are carried out electronically, Dubai Government also has a target to put 90% of its services online by the end of 2007.

Last month, Dubai Municipality announced it had reached the target a year ahead of deadline (see IT Weekly 25 November - 1 December 2006).

Lootah said she expected all departments would follow but said teamwork and alignment between the 23 government departments was essential if they were to reach their goal.

“Here in Dubai we know that when we say something we do it,” she claimed.

“The other government departments are in good shape but not all departments are on the same level. We want them to keep in mind that there is a mission that they have to
accomplish by 2007,” she continued, warning that if “one government department does not reach (the target) it will affect the overall objective”.

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