RIYADH – Despite the remarkable development in the means of fibre optics and high speed networks, some government agencies are still well behind the curve in terms of integrating these technologies into their ecosystem. The resulting inefficiency continues to cause citizens untold misery in their everyday lives.
Take the case of Hussein Makki whose car was stolen. Upon reporting the matter to the police, he was shocked to discover through a friend that his car was infact at the police’s confiscation center.
However, his suffering did not end there.
He then had to go through multiple verifications processes to prove the car was his. Saeed Ahmad received a call informing him that his laborers were being held at his local police station for a religious violation. Upon arrival at the station he discovered he could not secure their release as their paper file had not yet arrived. Both examples perfectly demonstrate the turmoil citizens have to endure due to the lack of a connected electronic records management system.
Dr. Saad Al-Amari, dean of e-learning and director of the Computer Department at the University of Dammam, emphasized the need for a robust infrastructure to allow information to pass smoothly between different government entities and avoid the snare of malicious hackers. He added this may be especially challenging in remote areas of the Kingdom.
Suleiman Al-Seheim, consultant of Sites Affairs in the Agency of Civil Affairs in Riyadh, spoke of a number of IT projects designed to link the Civil Affairs with the Ministry of Justice. Over time this should enable a seamless flow of information between different branches of the government machinery as the roll out gains momentum.
A great example of this is the links being established at the Ministry of Justice. This should allow citizens to register marriage and divorce which has a major bearing on inheritance cases. Similarly, Al-Seheim confirmed that hospitals will be linked to the Civil Agency to allow for all births and deaths to be registered electronically. It is expected this will be extended to the Kingdom’s missions abroad so that they can also issue birth certificates and identification cards.
Specialist teams are working tirelessly to ensure the system is both fool-proof and user-friendly.
He added that maintenance teams at the Center of Information operate around the clock to deal with any breakdowns in the equipment and communications networks. — SG