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Department of Finance launches open data portal

Portal will provide information on government fees and charges, to aid with financial planning

The portal will provide insight into government fees, to make data more readily available, says Huda Al Shaikh.
The portal will provide insight into government fees, to make data more readily available, says Huda Al Shaikh.

The Department of Finance for Government of Dubai (DOF Dubai) has launched an open data portal to share information on government fees, fines and other charges.

The Government Service Prices Portal is intended to provide a bilingual information source for businesses and individuals to research different financial charges across Government of Dubai entities, as well as to give government decision makers more insight into revenue generation.

"The first phase of the portal, which caters to the public has gone live now, and access is open to the public," said Huda Hamdan Al Shaikh, Director - Technical Support and Development Division at DOF. "Public users are able to view details about government charges across a wide range of services, conduct data analysis and download data. The site is also supported with advanced search functions and visualisation technology. The portal will also prevent fees duplication."

In the second phase, high-level government decision makers will be given access to similar analytics tools using the same database, but with access to additional government revenue data from DOF, which will allow them to analyse revenue streams, and use the information in financial planning.

DOF, which is the one and only reference point for governmental fees and fines in the Government of Dubai, will also use the portal for its analytics requirements, to conduct deep-dive analytics, see specific revenue streams and track revenue trends.

"The launch of the Government Service Prices Portal is in line with the Dubai Data Initiative, a city-wide data initiative to govern the sharing of public and private sector data," explained Al Shaikh.

"It is also connected to Dubai Plan 2021's commitment to adopting a transparent approach in the development and implementation of all policies, legislations and services. DOF proved to be a leader in implementing the latest technologies in the government sector on a global level," she added.

The portal was built by DOF with systems integrator Finesse, using the Qlik Analytics Platform (QAP). DOF is the first government entity in the GCC to develop a solution on the QAP.

The implementation involved creating a central database of the financial fees, including all documentation and legal decrees related to each service. The data is updated in real time, and the users can either access and manipulate the data through the portal, or download the data sets in Microsoft Excel format for use offline.

The Qlik analytics solution was selected for its advanced analytics capabilities and fast response times. The platform includes powerful visualisation capabilities to show data in graphical form.

DoF reports that there is a positive response from stakeholders to the pilot project it showed at GITEX last year.