According to a survey conducted by the Information Technology Authority (ITA) on the individuals’ satisfaction with eGovernment services in Oman, 81 percent use the government eServices.
The survey, which was conducted in the period from 1 to 24 March 2018, focused on measuring the satisfaction of individuals with eGovernment services of Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Royal Oman Police, and Ministry of Health. The survey targeted citizens and residents aged 18 and above.
The study found that showed that 94 percent of the survey respondents were satisfied with the availability of eServices of ROP through various channels such as phone applications and the website, while 90 percent were satisfied with their ease of use. 75 percent were satisfied with the availability of support for the user while the satisfaction with the ease of payment procedures was 78 percent of the total beneficiaries.
The satisfaction percentage of the availability of the Ministry of Manpower electronic services through different channels such as telephone applications and the website reached 69 percent of the total beneficiaries, while 62 percent are satisfied with ease of use and 54 percent are satisfied with the ease of payment procedures. The satisfaction of the support and help service was 47 percent of the total beneficiaries.
Satisfaction with the availability of eServices at the Invest Easy portal was 72 percent of the total beneficiaries, while 63 percent were satisfied with the ease of using the portal, 63 percent with the ease of payment procedures, and 50 percent satisfied with the support and help while using the service.
On the electronic services of the Ministry of Health, 71 percent of all respondents expressed their satisfaction with the availability of eServices through different channels (such as smart phone applications, the website, etc.), and 63 percent expressed their satisfaction with the availability of support. However, 59 percent are satisfied with the ease of use and 58 percent of the total beneficiaries were satisfied with the ease of payment procedures.
Commenting on the survey, Sharifa bint Mohammed Al Maskari, Director of International Relations and Information at ITA, said, “This survey was conducted to enhance government efforts aimed at developing eServices and identify the challenges facing users of government eServices in order to facilitate these challenges and streamline procedures. We at ITA conduct surveys periodically to measure the awareness and satisfaction of individuals with regard to the use of eServices. The results of the surveys are shared with the concerned entities to benefit from them and to use them in taking appropriate decisions to achieve eGovernment. These results also serve the international reports of eGovernment surveys, particularly those issued by the United Nations.”
The survey results showed the challenges faced by the users of government eServices: 19 percent of the total users faced challenges related to the telecommunications sector, that is the frequent interruption of Internet service. Whereas 13 percent of the total users reported difficulties in tracking the status of the requested service or application when applying to the service electronically. The survey also found that 8 percent of users faced difficulties in downloading the required files to complete the service, 7 percent were unable to make mobile transactions and 6 percent complained from the unavailability of required devices to use digital certification “Tam to complete the service request”.
Some of the respondents also expressed the existence of other challenges including, lack of announcements on apps/software updates made by government entities, incomplete eService process in most cases so that it requires the completion of the remaining procedures at the headquarters of the entity. In addition to lack accountability and responsibility is held by government entities when users of eServices faced with any difficulties. Some of the survey respondents also said: We do not have a printer to complete the procedures later. Additionally, some respondents complained about the large number of documents required by government entities to obtain the service, besides not mentioning the documents and procedures required so that applicants can prepare them before visiting the entities or starting applying for the service electronically.