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Call for setting up ‘geo-info’ system ‘Civil associations should take part in enacting legislations’

 KUWAIT CITY, March 18, (KUNA): Sheikh Ahmad Al- Abdullah Al-Sabah, the group head of geographic information systems’ users, has called for setting up such a network in the public sector. Civil associations should take part in enacting legislations “that concern the society, so that such a task would not be restricted to the two (legislative and executive) authorities, said Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah in a statement he made at “the second informatics diwan,” held by Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Informatics Award, late on Monday.

This call is intended to ensure enactment of “realistic and applicable laws,” he opined. The group, which had organized seven conventions, planned an eighth conference, expected to group 500 officials from North Africa and the Middle East. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah pointed out that his call for such a network is necessary to guide 60 percent of the population, using the advanced electronic media and communication means. It is very much necessary for it contributes to making sound decisions and help centralize data and information of the government departments. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah also indicated that the establishment of such a system would help in trimming bureaucracy, noting “less bureaucratic measures make transparency proportion higher.” “We also need to educate the officials and citizens about necessity of such networks.

The media can play a role in promotion of such education for sake of sparing effort and boosting our practical life.” For his part, Director General of the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) Abdul-Latif Al-Suraye’, indicated that 56 governmental departments are linked to the network that contains geographical information. Infrastructure of such an electronic service is available and some departments have begun to depend largely on it — namely Kuwait Municipality and Ministry of Finance, Al-Suraye’ said.

The electronic gateway project provides 850 governmental services, and fees are paid via the network reach as higher as KD 15 million. Compelling the government departments to use this electronic infrastructure constitutes a major step, he said, cautioning that some legislations are also necessary to attain this objective. Meanwhile, the municipal assistant undersecretary, Walid Al-Jassem, touched on the aspired transformation of the basic data infrastructure into a geographic data system, noting that the municipality posted an integrated map on the internet, namely its website. “However, the problem lies in citizens’ non-interaction with this website,” he clarified.

Kuwait Municipality has won three excellence awards, one granted by His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah. Moreover, it has proven to be ahead of other governmental authorities in dealing and making use of electronic and online services.

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