Canada highlighted at eGovernment and eServices Forum

Published: 26 May 2009

Dubai – May 24, 2009.  The Director of McGill’s Department of Translation Studies and member of the official Canadian delegation to the World Summit on the Information Society, James Archibald, presented an analysis of the successful development of on-line government services in Canada at the Gulf Cooperation Council’s eGoverment Forum.  Focusing specifically on interactive portals which may be used as benchmarks for other countries wishing to provide virtual citizen and business-related services, Archibald identified several legal and policy issues eGovernment suppliers must consider in developing eServices citing examples from Service Canada and Services Québec as well as from the Montreal and Vancouver WEB sites.

The GCC Forum brought together regional and international experts to discuss wide-ranging aspects of eGovernment and eService delivery in the Gulf States under the auspices of Dubai’s eGovernment Institute and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

During the Forum, industry experts, government representatives, and academics from various countries discussed the latest trends in eGovernment. Overall, the Forum’s objective was to create a framework for understanding eGovernment models and to formulate winning eGovernment strategies, which will enhance administrative productivity, efficiency and transparency for the benefit of citizens and businesses in the Gulf region.

In his presentation, Archibald noted that governments in Canada have begun to implement e-government strategies linking national and regional economic development to important areas of public service: education; public health; citizens' rights; language rights, obligations and resources; worker safety; automobile insurance; industry and trade; research, science and technology; tourism etc. He concluded that, based on extensive experience in Canadian eGovernment projects, successful implementation depends in great part on the ability of legislators to put in place effective legal frameworks for development.

Other speakers at the Forum dealt with transformation strategies (Dr. Khaled Bin Abdul Aziz Al Ghoneim), the creation of virtual spaces for citizen participation in governance (Shaik Umar Abdul Salam), the development of service-oriented architectures for eGovernment (Miguel A. Carrio), building eGovernment models that work (Yasser Farag), models for successful eGovernment programs in the GCC (Ali Al Meshal), and building an environment of trust (Nasser Al Meshary).

By sharing perspectives on eGovernment and eServices which reflect the experience of organizations in the various Gulf States and with speakers from Bahrain, Canada, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United States, organizers hoped to assist the GCC in moving toward a more effective and transformative use of information and communication technologies in eGovernment and to promote the participation of citizens and businesses in this new transactional environment.

The Forum took place between 23 and 27 May in Dubai (UAE).


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