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Jordan’s e-Government Program dialogues with the private sector share successes and challenges with local firms

int@j hosted a “Jordan e-Government Program” workshop today with the aim of facilitating dialogue between local IT firms and the Jordan e-Government Program. This workshop comes as part of the Jordan e-Government Program’s efforts to communicate program objectives and goals, and share with the industry the challenges being faced in implementing e-Government across government.

The Jordan e-Government Program aims at contributing to Jordan’s economic and social development by providing access to Government electronic services and information for all citizens in the Kingdom, irrespective of location, economic status, IT literacy, and educational background.

“Jordan’s e-Government model is not replicated from other national programs. It is a truly unique Jordanian model that builds on best practices from around the world” stated Mahmoud Khasawneh, Chief Information Officer and Head of e-Government. “Our emphasis has been on equipping qualified subject matter experts in the area of program management, technology, and change management, with the goal of developing and supporting e-Government operations and management”.

Team members from the e-Government Program Management Office updated the local ICT industry on the role of the Program Management Office, which provides support and capability to Government departments for the coordination of management, implementation and interoperability of e-services. Nadia Naber, Quality Assurance Director of the PMO highlighted that the Program Management Office “aims to support other ministries and communicate the standards and methodology to support consistency in operations across government”.

Emphasizing the program’s objective of successfully delivering e-Government initiatives and projects through dedicated project managers, Mr. Khasawneh highlighted the progress of select e-services in the Kingdom. Ms. Fatima Abdel-Rahim, e-Services Manager added that “we are now in the process of development and implementation of key citizen services, including income tax, drivers and vehicle licensing, land and surveys, and borders and residency service”.

Updating other developments, Khasawneh added that “We have created operations at the National Information Technology Center, and it is a great source of pride that this center is being run by a local company, and not a global entity with a call center that is introducing the concept of customer services to government”.

The PMO team shared the strategy towards the development of the e-Government portal, emphasizing that 100 government agencies have been scanned with content gathered, developed the look and feel of the site, and that content managers across government have been assigned. Fadi Mari, Government Portal Project Manager, highlighted that the various private sector companies working with the PMO on the implementation of the portal “have been working together as one team”, and that the aim of the portal was to “facilitate citizen access to e-services”. The PMO team also updated the sector on the various projects including e-procurement and e-accounting, the secure government network currently connecting six ministries, as well as other shared services.

Not neglecting to mention the real challenges in implementing e-Government in Jordan, Mr. Khasawneh also shared with the local IT industry the challenge of implementing e-Government in Jordan, including staffing, technology, program management, change management, communications, and readiness and acceptance challenges.

Following the presentation, an interactive discussion came about during the Q&A part of the workshop. Members of the IT community addressed thoughts regarding the accomplishments of the program since the adoption of the e-Government initiative in 2000. In response, e-Government Team Members informed the IT Community that the e-Government program has progressed immensely, in terms of building the infrastructure for a secure government network; ICT training for government employees; building awareness and changing processes, all of which have been accomplished in accordance with the proposed work plan of the program.

In closing, Mr. Khasawneh highlighted the future business model for identifying the next wave of e-services and the growing maturity of government operation services that will be offered through subscription models and/or driven by e-services.

Int@j Redaction

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