Interview: Rashed Al Mansoori

What are the key elements of Abu Dhabi’s e-government strategy, and how does it aid the development of innovation and “smart” government?

RASHID AL MANSOORI: Our new e-government strategy was launched in June 2015 under the theme “Towards a Digital Abu Dhabi”. With the aim of fully reaching a smart government system in the coming years, the e-government strategy primarily centres on achieving multi-channelled ICT modernisation by exploring and subsequently implementing new ways of integrating public and private services for the emirate’s residents, and in turn, notably improving government performance, optimising services and creating a truly customer-centric environment.

A great example of integration is the Abu Dhabi Services Gateway, which is an app that streamlines public services through a single access point, such as a smartphone or a tablet. At present, the app offers more than 1100 government services. For ADSIC and its government constituents, building a sound and realistic e-government strategy that will ultimately function within a smart city is an important component of Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030, which envisions forming a sustainable knowledge-based economy. ADSIC believes that smart cities will form the communities of the future and have a profound impact on all aspects of modern living.

In addition, a range of new initiatives are being rigorously explored at the moment, including the Abu Dhabi Government Cloud platform, which will adopt G-Cloud technology and seeks to increase efficiency, maximise productivity, control costs and catalyse digital innovation. As for innovation, this is one of our key priorities for 2016 and beyond, as we believe that the ICT sector cannot grow and diversify without the advent of innovation in everything it does. Over time, the emphasis on innovation will create new avenues for end-users to interact with public services while encouraging innovation from organisations.

What types of services are being developed to enhance e-government offerings and make working and living in Abu Dhabi easier and more efficient?

AL MANSOORI: The aforementioned Abu Dhabi Services Gateway app is a prime example of a service that makes life in the capital smoother and more efficient through its user-friendly interface, allowing users to fulfil all their daily needs across a number of sectors, including health, education, housing, transportation, public safety and tourism.

Additionally, the Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) programme for utilities and infrastructure, developed in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs and other key government entities, aims to develop, facilitate and boost the speed of its procedures to visibly assist in Abu Dhabi’s urban and infrastructure development. The new NOC digital system provides a unified and advanced platform to initiate all municipal approvals.

Another example of a digital channel that has been introduced to further position the emirate as an ideal destination for living, working and conducting business is the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre in Al Ain, an initiative that has proven highly successful in linking government with individuals while enhancing customer and public service quality throughout Abu Dhabi by centralising government services through one streamlined electronic communication channel.

Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) shares spatial information among various government and private stakeholders and has grown notably in recent years, rising from initial implementation across eight government entities in 2007 to almost 70 in 2015. AD-SDI plays a central role in improving the emirate’s government functionality and effectiveness, covering areas such as situation analysis, business decision-making, security and safety of transportation, demographic trends assessment, community planning and resource management.