Bahrain - Some 10.4 million government transactions were conducted through digital channels in Bahrain in 2023, leading to an 85% reduction in government’s operational costs and significant time savings.

Bahrain’s Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed said iGA developed 66 new eServices in 2023 expanding the comprehensive suite of e-services available through government eChannels to over 680. Some 16 national electronic systems in Bahrain achieved an 89% increase in transaction rates

Speaking at a press conference held at the iGA’s headquarters he said iGA will continue implementing digital strategies and initiatives to achieve comprehensive digital transformation, supporting the kingdom's Vision 2030 goals.

Enhancing user experience

Al Qaed stated that the iGA worked diligently throughout 2023 to advance the digital transformation of government services and enhance user experience. He emphasised the iGA's dedication to the directives of General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Information and Communication Technology (MCICT), as well as its ongoing collaboration with other government entities which has resulted in the introduction of new eServices,

The iGA’s achievements include project launches and digital infrastructure development, with particular progress in the automation of government services. Al Qaed emphasised that the goal remains the continuous launch of accessible electronic services targeting different segments.

In 2023, Bahrain witnessed a significant acceleration in its digital transformation journey, with the iGA successfully launching multiple initiatives and enhancing government systems and electronic channels. This involved the development and enhancement of four platforms and electronic channels.

Complete redesign

Notably, the national portal, underwent a complete redesign with the release of the latest version. Additionally, multiple features were added to the enhanced National Suggestions and Complaints System (Tawasul) and a redesigned version of the government services directory was launched.

iGA also introduced the national appointment system, Mawaeed, a unified platform that allows users to book appointments at government service centers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Urban Planning and Development Authority and will include more service providers in the future. Furthermore, 395 new services were integrated into the National Payment Platform, which underwent four upgrades, including a multi-payment system for the Municipalities and Buildings project, the introduction of a Quick Response QR-Code payment balance service, an integration of the invoice system with the Ministry of Health's health certificate process, and the launch of payment services such as Apple Pay and BenefitPay in collaboration with other government entities. Moreover, 16 national systems were improved, including Sijilat 3.0, the Births and Deaths Registration system, and the National Correspondence system (Murasalat).

Several notable eServices were launched in 2023. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) took the lead by introducing 26 eServices, with 14 dedicated to security and safety and 12 related to Nationality, Passports, and Residency Affairs (NPRA).

Meanwhile, nine healthcare related eServices were launched, six real estate eServices, and seven related to justice and courts. The iGA introduced six eServices, while the traffic sector offered three, the education sector another three, and the social welfare sector and civil affairs sector two each. Additionally, one eService was launched for each of the business and investments and electricity and water sectors.

Al Qaed emphasised the iGA’s commitment to national digital initiatives aimed at accelerating sustainable digital transformation, in line with the government programmme (2023-2026).

Advanced technologies

iGA Deputy Chief Executive, Electronic Transformation, Dr Zakaria Ahmed Al Khaja highlighted the iGA’s use of advanced technologies to provide accessible digital services across platforms, in collaboration with other government entities.

Through studies, procedure reengineering, consultations, and 94 national initiatives, the iGA reduced transaction times for government services by 65%. The national portal received 19 million visits, reducing costs by 95% on the citizens and residents, with time saved estimated to stand at approximately 70%. Simplified procedures and digital channels enabled seamless transactions through the national portal and other digital channels.- 

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