Bahrain launches key e-security system
Manama, April 9, 2012
Bahrain has become the first country in the Gulf to launch an e-key system to enable citizens to securely access electronic services in the public and private sectors.
It has been introduced as part of a new vision to prepare the country for the "digital future", said Deputy Premier and Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa.
"The e-key system is the first of its kind in the region that offers three levels of security, including passcode, smart card and fingerprint for identity verification and enables users to use an integrated e-key to access government services offered through all available channels," he said during the opening of the fifth Bahrain International eGovernment Forum.
As part of the system, users will have to create a personal account on the e-government portal (bahrain.bh) to be able to use e-services.
eGovernment Authority chief executive Mohammed Ali Al Qaed said included in the project's pilot stage would be e-services for the Health Ministry (immunisation and vaccines for school students and health sector staff), Human Rights and Social Development Ministry (applications for social assistance) and the Electricity and Water Authority (records of electricity and water bills, inquiries and payments).
Shaikh Mohammed also launched a national e-government strategy, which will be fully implemented by 2016, to enhance Bahrain's position in e-government services internationally.
"It comprises more than 90 new initiatives that will be launched throughout the next four years," he said.
"These will be extended to include setting necessary legislation and regulations to maintain a secure electronic environment and developing advanced infrastructure and technology capabilities in all government entities."
The initiatives also include strengthening service procedures through one-stop shops, effective use of social media networks to communicate with citizens, creating open data platforms to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and develop many new applications and services.
He revealed Bahrain had launched new mobile phone applications (available on bahrain.bh) based on GPS technology. They are compatible with Android and iTunes systems, BlackBerry devices and include an NGO Directory, Health locator, Gasoline Octane Inquiry service, e-Gov SMS Generator, Electricity and Water e-billing and flight information.
Other new e-services included a new vehicle registration service developed by the Interior Ministry and the General Directorate of Traffic, issuance of insurance policies at King Fahad Causeway developed by United Insurance Company and Report Road Fault service by the Works Ministry.
Shaikh Mohammed said the launch of hundreds of e-services helped Bahrain get the first rank in the region in online service delivery, according to the UN e-Government Development Readiness Index 2012. It has also risen from 62nd to seventh rank worldwide in the Global Information Technology Report.
More than 500 local and international visitors and industry experts are attending the four-day event, at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa.
It will feature 24 experts who will conduct four specialised workshops on the sidelines, covering cyber laws, social media, e-content management and security.
The Bahrain IT Expo, taking place alongside of the forum, will continue until Wednesday. – TradeArabia News Service