Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive Mohammed Ali Al Qaed chaired the 1st ICT Governance Committee (ICTGC) meeting following a decision to reform it issued by Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa.
Al Qaed welcomed the members and congratulated them on their appointments noting this national committee is one of the most important committees through which policies and standards are set and IT spending is rationalized. He also thanked the former members of the committee for their efforts during the previous round.
The committee reviewed a number of items, including strategic projects and purchase requests submitted by government agencies valued at BD7 million. Notable among them is a project to develop communications and networking systems at the Ministry of Education. One of the most important projects supporting the Kingdom’s digital empowerment program, it covers IT upgrades, improved networking, and doubling of Internet speeds at government schools, public libraries and education centers in support of higher level plans to upgrade the quality of education services provided to the public.
The committee also discussed laying ICT infrastructure for the Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalid Al Khalifa College of Islamic Studies in order to meet the technical requirements necessary to operate the college and help it to provide services in line with current standards. Also discussed was continued support of the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA), including enhacements to its customer service system, geographic information system modeling tools, and the national water network.
The Chairman and committee members discussed projects and purchase requests related to enhancing data security and government systems at a number of other agencies. The meeting also discussed digital policies approved by the Cabinet last year, which aim to enhance eServices across a range of sectors, with the aim of meeting international standards and practices, and encouraging innovation and economic development
The committee reviewed a draft ‘backup policy’, which aims to safely and reliably manage and organize backups of important government data, ensuring they are available for recovery in the event of data corruption, system failure, or disasters. The committee concluded its meeting by reviewing the decisions approved during previous meetings, and following up on their progress.
The ICT Governance Committee was established in 2011 through a decision issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed. Including the Chairman, the committee currently consists of representatives of eight government agencies. The other members are: iGA Deputy CE, Electronic Transformation Dr. Zakareya Ahmed AlKhajah (Vice Chairman); Ministry of Education Assistant Under Secretary for Planning And Information, Nawal Ebrahim Al Khater; Deputy Prime Minister's Office Committee Affairs Coordinator, Dr. Aref Abdulrahman Abdulkarim; Ministry of Health Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health, Dr. Maryam Ibrahim Al-Hajri; iGA Deputy CE, Operations & Governance, Dr. Khalid Almutawah; Ministry of Finance and National Economy Director of Financial Systems Development, Abdulla Dhaif; Economic Development Board (EDB) Director of Corporate Operations, Linda Mohammed Janahi; Prime Minister's Office Director of Services and Information Technology, Ahmed Al Qayem; and University of Bahrain Dean of the College of Information Technology, Dr. Hessa Jassim Al-Junaid. The meeting was also attended by IT Consultant, Dr. Ali Al-Soufi and members of the committee support team.