Former US president Bill Clinton delivers a keynote address at the Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in e-Government in Oman. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Muscat: Former US president Bill Clinton has urged Oman to make prudent use of Information Technology (IT) for a brighter future of the children.

Delivering a key note address at the Sultan Qaboos Award for Excellence in e-Government on Monday, Clinton said: "Use IT to make government more responsible and in the process to empower the citizens of your growing nation to make more of their own life and to give their children a brighter future."

 "A government that is excelling in information technology services is more productive, more efficient and alternately less costly leaving more money to invest in education, more technology and economic development," he pointed out.

Clinton also stressed that IT was critical to the success of the efforts by the country's ruler to modernise and diversify the economy.

"In an inter-connected world we can more rapidly than ever before share what we are good at, make trade something that benefits broad masses of people and create jobs and opportunity and give education to people," he said.

"This is how I see the eGovernment efforts in Oman. You are knitting together the people of Oman in their shared opportunity - first access to government, then to improve their education, then to diversify and strengthen their economy, and then to reach the rest of the world," said Clinton.

The patron of the awards and Personal Adviser to the Sultan, Sayyid Shihab Bin Tarek Al Saeed, said the award was a clear evidence of Sultan Qaboos' interest in promoting the government performance to push forward the wheel of development and upgrade the e-government services.

He added that the award plays an important role in enhancing the efforts to promote e-Oman strategy and promote the e-government services rendered for everyone. The Sultan's Personal Adviser also pointed out that the public organisations which won the award had to play a role in bridging the gap, opening communication links among the different categories of society, therefore providing the high quality service aspired by the government.

Ali Bin Masud Al Sunaidi, Sports Affairs Minister and Chairman of ITA, pointed out that the Sultanate had developed a national strategy for the building of digital Oman society and the e-government.

A total of 44 e-projects, representing 23 government institutions in the Sultanate, participated in this year's edition of the award.

The Ministry of Manpower's portal won the Best eContent Award and Muscat Municipality bagged the Best eReadiness award. Oman Education Portal by Ministry of Education won in the Best eProject (individual) category. The Award for Best eProject (collaborative) was given to the project employment collaboration project by the Ministry of Manpower. The award for the eEconomy category was granted to ‘One-Stop-Shop' by Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The award of the Best eService Government to Government was granted to Integrated Financial System of Ministry of Finance.

The project which won the award of the Best eService (Government to Citizens) was students evaluation report of the Ministry of Education. The award of the Best eService Government to Employees went to eOffice: Ministry of Housing. The winner in the category of the Best eService for Mobile Service was iMuscat by Muscat Municipality Portal. The award of the Best eService Government to Business was withheld, as no submitted project met the award criteria.