The ICT Governance Committee (ICTGC) held its 20th meeting chaired by Mr. Mohamed Ali AlQaed, Chief Executive of the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA), at Authority’s Muharraq branch. The committee discussed the workflow of projects, addressed updates on pre-approved resolutions during its previous meeting along with progress of implementing governmental projects connected to IT and governance.

Committee’s Chairman Mr. AlQaed welcomed members while praising their efforts that contributed in forming visions and constructive ideas as well as shaping realistic, concrete resolutions which have been represented in unifying ICT standards in public entities and reducing duplication of joint government expenditures – in line with government direction to reduce expenses and increase government revenues. AlQaed also emphasized on continuing efforts to achieve more accomplishments in order to raise the IT sector in the Kingdom and achieve sustainability together with competitiveness whilst committing to high-quality and efficiency standards in providing public services.

During its meetings this current year, the Committee reviewed a range of key strategic ICT projects which amount to approximately BD39 Millions of several IT national projects for numerous ministries and governmental entities. Some of which include presenting the Customs Information System provided by Customs Affairs, project of implementing the data management system of Smart Energy Meters provided by Electricity & Water Authority (EWA) along with updating the support system of Bahrain Post. Moreover, a bundle of projects related to developing and revamping the internal networks of government entities have been approved to raise their performance level and keep pace with the strategic trend of Cloud Computing.

The committee also approved the outcomes of reviewing the government level Oracle software licenses initiative which has been reduced by 34%. Also, ICTGC approved outcomes of the study prepared for activating the eMeeting system.

Furthermore, the ICTGC presented progress of projects which have been studied, reviewed in-depth and intensively discussed with governmental entities’ officials to reach the best available options in order to be implemented in accordance with the highest standards and least possible costs by utilizing joint services delivered by iGA. Moreover, optimally invest in a Cloud Computing environment as well as negotiate with large companies to obtain the best prices.

The Committee addressed numerous IT projects and reviewed its strategy, related policies as well as financial costs in accordance with standards and best adopted practices to ensure delivering of high-levels of information security. Additionally, determining the usage of networks and infrastructure, study the possibility of re-engineering procedures as well as extent of developing systems. Additionally, increase number of applications and eServices to achieve high-levels of overall customer satisfaction. The Committee also followed-up on a set of assignments assigned by the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology (SCICT) which aims at raising maturity levels within the IT field in the private sector.

Amongst its recommendations, the Committee is also keen on encouraging investment within internal HR and national cadre in public entities as it requires the activation of transferring knowledge during delivery of projects related to establishing new systems. In addition to encouraging the adoption of Open Source when possible so as to reduce expenditures and facilitate the process of developing systems by entities’ internal HR.