“Omanuna” refresh:8, 2
- The government is releasing a new version of its official eGovernment services portal.
- The new version is intended to be more user-friendly, giving easy access to government services online, as well as open access to government data for APIs and government-sponsored mobile apps.
- Oman is currently in 50th global position in e-government in the UN index
National space programme:9
- As part of its efforts to diversify its economy and promote research and innovation in the country, Oman plans to set up a national space programme, which will be complemented by space research and technology initiatives.
- The plan includes setting up the national space programme, supporting programmes for developing uses and applications of space science and technology, establishing infrastructure for the development and manufacturing of space systems and satellites, and transferring and adopting advanced technology in the information technology industry.
Prolonged digitization of government services – drivers’ license renewal:10
- As a result of the pandemic, many services previously offered only in specific service centres have moved online and many are set to stay that way now that citizens have become accustomed to ‘self-service’ as their default format.
- In July, Royal Oman Police (ROP) announced that citizens and expatriates will be able to renew their expired driver’s license online on the ROP website and smartphone application.
- In doing so, drivers will provide the result of eye examination electronically via their mobile phone’s camera.
- All is not completely digital, however: the renewed driver’s license can be collected from the nearest ROP services centre in various governorates.
- Much like the UAE (covered in a previous edition of this newsletter), Oman has taken advantage of the pandemic as an opportunity to restructure its government.
- In August, royal decrees were issued leading to significant changes to the cabinet.
- There will be a much smaller number of ministers and ministries. The former heritage and culture ministry has been separated into a new culture, sports, and youth ministry and a newly combined heritage and tourism ministry.
- For the first time in Oman’s history, an economist has been appointed to run the Ministry of Economy, and academics or other specialists from the private sector have been appointed in their field such as the Undersecretary for Information Technology, the Minister of Transport or the Minster of Housing and Urban Planning.