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Digital-First Principle

Digital innovation to positively shape lifestyles, business practices, and governance in Bahrain

Digital Transformation in the Public and Private Sectors

Through its Digital Government Strategy 2022 and the Government Action Plan, the Government’s digital-first policy aims to leverage the power of mature and emerging technologies to transform the Kingdom’s public and private sectors.

The Supreme Council for Information & Communication Technology (SCICT) was formed to coordinate and monitor the implementation of strategic digital initiatives across the Kingdom, with the support of the National ICT Governance Committee.

Some of the core initiatives of the government’s digital transformation journey include:

  • Designing services around users’ needs which can be delivered in real time through any device:

This involves rebuilding public services with digital delivery at their core and digitising the entire chain of activities that provide the most benefit to users.

  • Prioritising accessibility for all users, including those who cannot use online service, via an assisted digital approach:

Customers who are unable to use digital services due to a lack of Internet access, device, or Internet skills, can visit a Government Service Centre where they will be assisted. The service centres provide end-to-end digital services so that customers do not need to carry records which are already with any of the government entities.

  • Requiring citizens and businesses to supply their data to a government entity only once:

The government is considering the use of nationwide digital identity schemes that can enable the development of new products and services while reducing operational costs. This will consolidate government services so that users only need to input their information once.

  • Using advanced technologies and data analysis to make more accurate predictions and smarter decisions:

The Government of Bahrain has signed an agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to establish data centers that make the Kingdom the home of Big Data in the region. This gives rise to initiatives such as using Big Data in the Kingdom’s National Census project and incorporating the Geographical Information Systems Data as well as Land Use Data. Big Data can also be used in statics projects such as tourism and Consumer Price Index initiatives.

  • Consolidating government data and making it open and usable to the public:

The Kingdom’s Open Data portal aims to promote transparency and to make it easier for investors and businesses to make informed decisions and offer new innovative services and business models. The data published adheres to all privacy requirements.

Digital Government Policies

Through the Digital Government Policies, the Government of Bahrain seeks to achieve higher levels of transparency, openness and inclusiveness in government operations, establish a data-based culture within government agencies, encourage an integrated government approach and encourage participation in the design of public service delivery and policy development.

The Digital First Policy mandates government entities to design public services digitally first then publish it on other channels for those who cannot use digital services.

The purpose of this policy is to facilitate the delivery of all government services in a digital form where digital service offerings is preferred to the conventional non-digital government services offered by Government of Bahrain.

For more details view the Digital Government Policies document.

Bahrain’s most important digital-first initiatives

Sijilat (Commercial Registration Portal)

The Sijilat system has made it easier than ever to do business in Bahrain by offering a single online portal where businesses can apply for, change, and renew their Commercial Registrations. Businesses can also make inquiries without physically visiting a government service centre, saving time and energy. For users who are unfamiliar with how to use the system, assistants are available at the center to offer guidance and support.

National Taxation System

The iGA, along with the National Bureau of Revenue and Bahrain Customs Affairs, has built a national taxation system for Bahrain on the Amazon Web Services platform. The first of its kind in the region, it has set an example for others to follow.

The system provides a full range of services related to taxation including VAT payer registration, filing, payments, refunds, audit/risk assessment, and ancillary services such VAT lookup, newsletters, public awareness campaigns, and more.

National Social Health Insurance Program (Sehati)

In line with Sustainable Development Goal 3 related to Good Health and Wellbeing, one of the main objectives of Bahrain’s National Health Plan is the adoption of a Social Health Insurance Program (Sehati) to develop the quality of the current health system and ensure sustainability.

Sehati aims to build a patient-centered system with high-quality standards covering both locals and expatriates. It is also intended to revolutionise the local health sector through better utilization of the available resources while overcoming pressing challenges, which are mainly due to the rapid increase in population. 

Financial support services system

The Ministry Labour & Social Development uses the financial support services system to improve the services it offers and makes it easier for beneficiaries to request support. The Social Information System is seamlessly integrated with other eGovernment systems so that services can be analyzed and tracked. 

National Gateway Infrastructure

The National Gateway Infrastructure creates a unified electronic platform that supports the electronic integration of government systems, according to consistent standards and policies. This improves eServices delivery so that each government entity can utilize any service offered by another entity.

National Enterprise Architecture Framework (NEAF)

NEAF is an aggregation of models and meta-models, governance and compliance mechanisms, technology standards, and guidelines put together to guide effective development and implementation of Enterprise Architecture (EA) by government entities across the country.

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