The number of electronic services offered under the Yesser e-government program will be doubled in the next five years, the official in charge of the initiative said in Riyadh on Monday.
"The Yesser program which was commissioned in 2006 has put in place more than 700 electronic services by 100 public sector agencies," Ali Al-Soma, director general of Yesser, said at the inauguration of the e-government summit in the capital.
He added these services would increase by 100 percent because of the support and assistance given by the government to develop e-government services in the Kingdom.
"The government attaches high significance to the e-government concept and the transformation process that leads to its realization. It strongly believes in the huge benefits such a concept entails for the national economy, " the director general said, describing Yesser as a journey toward an information society.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology established the e-government program in 2005 in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC).
The objectives of Yesser is to raise the public sector's productivity and efficiency and provide better and more easy-to-use services for individuals and business customers and to increase returns on investment.
Spelling out Yesser's future programs during the next five years, Al-Soma said it would soon set up a unified national e-government contact center where expatriates and nationals could easily access online services provided by the ministries and government departments throughout the Kingdom.
"The public could avail themselves of the services of this center on a 24/7 basis," he said. He also noted that Yesser would also introduce self-service machines similar to bank ATMs to provide the public with needed information on all public sector agencies. "Besides these electronic services, we also have plans to set up centers where citizens and residents could walk in to get information on the functions and activities of the various government agencies," he said, adding that the government would also launch more than 50 initiatives to develop the scheme over the next few years.
Enumerating the achievements of the Yesser program over the past five years, he said an e-government center has been established in accordance with the highest technical and security specifications.
It handles the intermediate operations and common national e-applications in order to facilitate transmission and integration of data between government agencies, which helps streamline e-government service delivery.
"The center is one of the infrastructure projects on which the program depends on as a link between computer centers in various government agencies that are going to be gradually linked with this center according to the program's operational plan," he said. The center utilizes the latest techniques, programs and storage solutions as well as possessing the ability to meet the needs of future growth.
The center uses alternative means for each of its components to ensure continuity and quality of service and avoid interruptions.
The center is one of three distributed among a few cities to guarantee protection of all e-government services and data against possible disasters or threats.
The center ensures continued operations by maintaining its self-resources facilities including redundant power sources, UPS, power generators, power distribution panels, a biometric access control security system, video cameras, motion detectors, redundant air-conditioning, water leakage monitoring system, temperature recorders, high speed data line equipment, internal cabling and raised floors.