National Plans and Initiatives
YESSER, the national e-Government program, has adopted mobile services to help take government agencies to the next phase of e-service development. Through Ma’ak, the mGovernment platform, YESSER aims to create the ideal environment for this type of service to flourish in Saudi Arabia.
It’s a unified framework to implement e-government. It includes cross – governmental specifications and policies, to enable cross – governmental integration and facilitate G2G transactions and data sharing.
This initiative is launched by Ministry of Commerce & Investment in collaboration with (Thiqa) company for business services. The main objective of the initiative is to maximize success opportunities of the online stores and facilitate communication between the stores and their customers. The initiative is useful to all individuals involved in e-commerce whether they are sellers or buyers. All can sell and buy through the electronic platforms and advanced communication devices. While registration is free of charge, there are no particular conditions for registration in this service.
This service boosts creditability of e-commerce and e-business since its website is a credible shopping platform to all buyers. The dealer will be provided with an icon to document his/her accounts in his own e-platforms. Moreover, the buyer can review accounts of dealers that are registered in the service and all their platforms and accounts that are integrated to the service. He/she can also review evaluation and feedback from previous customers.
Saudi Arabia has been keen to use open source software (free software). The CIT national plan describes the open source software as “software that can be freely accessed and edited. It does not belong to the ownership of any party”.
In its third year, the plan’s objective provides for “ Development of the CIT industry, concentrating on strategic areas and encouraging business enterprises”. The policies to meet this objective include: Boosting the efforts of CIT localization. A project entitled “Supporting open source software industry” has emerged therefrom.
The plan describes the project as seeking to “encourage local programming industry depending on free software for its programing requirements and creating a thriving market through selling of services and technical support and cost saving by becoming less dependent on software licenses for over-the-shelf-software. The project seeks to adopt supporting of open source applications, research and development in this area”.
King Abdul Aziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) is taking care of this project. It has established the National Program for the Technologies of Free and Open Source Software dubbed (Motah). The program encourages and boosts using of free and open source software through creation of partnerships with several partners from both the public and private sectors in order to meet the program’s objectives. The program provides and facilitates various activity aspects of the free and open source software e.g. developing and supporting of software, building of open source resources, establishing of software digital library and supporting of research in the area of open source software.
Considering the crucial significance of this matter, an initiative for identification and using of open source software has been included in the e-Government 2nd Action Plan.
The initiative refers to the automated systems/applications commonly in use by government agencies, the most well-known of which is the Government Resource Planning systems (GRP). Examples of such systems include financial systems, personnel (HR) systems, administrative communications systems, material management systems and archiving systems.
The YESSER e-Government Program has adopted an initiative to build a unified national electronic system for government correspondence known as the e-Correspondence System. This will require developing an electronic platform that links all government agencies, through which correspondence and documents can be easily prepared, shared, stored, tracked and recovered when needed. The government e-Correspondence system has come about as a result of the huge progress achieved in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s development. Such progress is inevitably accompanied by increasing numbers of government agencies, which have greater needs for correspondence, whether ingoing or outgoing.
The YESSER e-government Program is keen to support the changes that accompany the implementation of e-government transactions projects, which require the activation of technical methodologies as tools to enable the application of new procedures. This includes the need to develop the human resources of governmental agencies, so that it can keep pace with the changes, as well as change the prevailing work culture and help build an information society. Given the importance of capacity and skill-building programs in respect to e-government applications, and to support adaptation to and acceptance of the new changes, whilst maintaining of high level of productivity, responsibility and continued improvement of performance, the YESSER e-government Program launched a capacity-building and skills development initiative. The initiative will spread information technology culture and bridge the digital gap some employees face when using computers, to permit them to deal with electronic service programs and manage their implementation with a high degree of skill and professionalism.