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E-gov’t services: For enhanced efficiency and accessibility

Feb 18,2020 - Last updated at Feb 18,2020

The government's fifth executive package, which was launched on Monday with the aim of improving e-government services for citizens and investors, is a significant step and its success hinges on the efficiency of implementation and end results.

In spite of the delay in enhancing digital government services, the move is of paramount importance for a variety of reasons, including sparing the public from the whims of some civil servants at public institutions and wasta [using personal connections to obtain favours for friends and relatives].

During the launch of the fifth reform package, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said strengthened e-public services will save time and effort for users.

This new measures seeks to alleviate the hassle of shuttling between one public institution to the other and sometimes spending an entire day in a queue to complete official transactions.

E-public services are being adopted across the world to combat "small-scale corruption", which the premier warned that if not tackled, could grow into a larger issue.

One of the services announced on Monday was a 15-day window for resolving investors' urgent cases and a 30-day period for regular cases. Prior to the package, there was no timeframe for resolving citizen and investor grievances concerning taxes, customs and investments, which was counterproductive and a hindrance to enhancing Jordan's investment climate.

This is all good news, but needs to be coupled with ensuring efficiency of service provision, which is key to facilitating increased public usage. Without efficacy and constant follow-up to receive and act on feedback, such services will fall short of their purpose.

E-governance has increasingly become an essential component of public sector reform and is a key pillar for improved transparency and accountability.  

Services are being dramatically transformed by rapidly changing technology. Efficient e-public services are not only cheaper, but also faster and more convenient. 

Another factor that needs to be taken into account for the e-services’ success is financial inclusion, as those without bank accounts and credit cards will be unable to use them. According to the Central Bank of Jordan, financial inclusion is around 42 per cent, and increasing this percentage is vital for maximising the package’s impact.

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