Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) classified the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) as excellent in the field of shifting to online services provided for customers, after achieving 97% in the evaluation conducted by the TRA in the first quarter of this year, according to TRA report about the level of success achieved in shifting to electronic services in the federal government issued last May.
Khalid Al Bustani, FCA Acting Director, said the federal government directives on automating services and shifting to online and smart services enhanced federal institutional services provided for the public to rank among the best levels worldwide.
Automation of government services and changing them to online services at first stage from paper, then turning them into mobile enabled-smart services in a later stage helped in enhancing the level of the UAE competitiveness in international reports. The UAE has recently been announced the world’s number one in government efficiency, in the quality of government resolutions and absence of bureaucracy in the annual World Competitiveness Yearbook 2014, one of the most important international reports measuring competitiveness among countries, issued by the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland.
Al Bustani added that the TRA’s report about shifting to online services is part of the FCA’s compliance with the Cabinet directives about the adoption of the federal electronic government’s strategic plan for 2012-14, and with the directives of His Highness Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai “May Allah bless him” in February 2012 on the completion of shifting to online services within two years.
Al Bustani said the Electronic Readiness Index of government services is a digital index that measures the level of the electronic procedures of services provided for customers from creation to readiness on the website, so as to be offered online to the public.
Expressing delight for the FCA’s rank in the excellent category in terms of online services provided for the public, Al Bustani hinted that the electronic government work team in the customs regulator has made great efforts over two years to attain this rank. These efforts should be really commended by the FCA top management, he added.
The FCA since the Cabinet has issued directives, was keen on shifting to electronic services to be provided by the end of February 2014, according to the TRA standards in this field, Al Bustani stated, adding that the FCA put its shifting plan into effect in light of four parameters, namely time, service channels, customer needs and expected benefit.
The FCA formed a team to implement the electronic government project in the FCA upon the issuance of the Cabinet resolution, headed by Halima Al Balushi, Electronic Services Department Director, and the membership of division representatives in the FCA, to accomplish the target shift of the services provided within the specified period. The team was responsible for implementing several tasks, i.e. listing FCA’s services to internal and external customers, studying and classifying them, defining requirements for electronic shift, conducting the required budgets, and developing a plan for the target shift and obtaining approval for it in coordination with the TRA.
Al Bustani said the e-government work team succeeded in completing the electronic shift shortly before the end of the period specified by the Cabinet. The project was evaluated in two stages: First, the self-evaluation of FCA’s services via “Khadamati” system, Second, the actual assessment in cooperation with the electronic shift measurement team at the TRA. After the TRA has completed the review, FCA was classified in the excellent category.
Al Balushi, Electronic Services Department Director and head of the e-government work team at FCA, clarified that the services provided by FCA are divided into three categories: the services provided for the government, for the enterprise sector and for the private sector, in addition to retail services.
The list of services certified by the Cabinet for the electronic shift included the customs clearance department, transfer of customs duties to the GCC countries, provision of statistical data and information about the government, enterprise sector and individuals, removing trade exchange obstacles to exporters, importers and plant owners, providing customs training for companies as well as private and public sector institutions, in addition to risk management and providing media and statistical bulletins for customers, Al Balushi added.
The shift included service classification according to the target audience categories, completing the procedures required for providing incomplete services online, preparing a service card for every service to introduce it and the method of getting the same, providing services on FCA website, conducting tests required for verifying the validity, quality and accuracy of the applications included in each service according to the electronic shift standards approved by TRA.
Al Balushi added that TRA last March throughout the review and evaluation process tested a random sample of services in light of the telecom regulator’s standards. The TRA found that the services provided are excellent and of high quality in light of available forums about the services, surveys, and internal electronic procedures, etc…
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