The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning
Qatar Municipality, which was established in 1963, is the oldest municipality in the country. Its overall aim is to aid in the progression and comprehensive development of Qatar in general. To further focus on this objective, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) was established in 1972.
Through its various departments, centers and sub-municipalities, the MMUP offers numerous services to the citizens and residents of Qatar. These include maintenance of local roads, general public cleaning, pest control, monitoring of markets and retail outlets, issuance of building and advertisement permits, commercial licenses, and food control in terms of sale locations, storage and exchange.
Additional services, such as the management of public parks and promenades, planting of trees and the promotion of greenery all over the State of Qatar, also fall under the MMUP. Their full list of services can be viewed on their official website.
The MMUP’s recent efforts to promote awareness of its capabilities and outreach has led it to extend the provision of electronic services to the public for all of its services. The Ministry’s drive towards ultimately reaching a paperless electronic government in Qatar is an objective shared with Qatar Digital Government (QDG).
As part of its strategy of keeping pace with the latest developments in the information technology field, and in pursuit of its vision to provide modern electronic services, the Department of Information Systems at the MMUP has recently introduced the Smart Office System. Established via smart phones, the Smart Office System enables the Ministry’s officials, directors and higher ranking managers to easily engage in business outside their offices, allowing them to have access to information anytime, anywhere, thereby providing support to colleagues and the public around the clock.
The main challenge prior to the implementation of the Smart Office System was the lack of access the Ministry’s personnel had to critical information and documentation whilst on the move, as well as the inability to oversee their departmental projects in real time. This resulted in delays in progressing necessary paperwork and required more effort to manage projects due to the necessity of the personnel’s presence in the office.
The Smart Office System provides a number of independent auxiliary systems. These include ‘My Files’ that allows officials to download important files whenever required. Also, the ‘Project Follow-up’ system allows directors and managers to oversee and assess the progress of each project being undertaken in their department. This is accomplished by communicating with their team through mobile text messages. It also offers the ability to check the department’s budget, remaining balance, expenses, and reserved funds.
The specifications of the Smart Office System are individually adjusted to meet the needs of each official according to their position and the nature of their work, thereby providing necessary and accurate information that assists them in decision-making and performing their daily duties in a quick and efficient way.
The MMUP understands the importance of transforming both office and municipal services within the Ministry that are geared toward the public into smart, accessible and efficient online services in line with the Qatar Digital Government Strategy 2020.
The potential for these online services is vast, as they allow institutions and authorities to exchange expertise through immediately available documentation, and are a significant step toward achieving transparent and efficient services. Through its contribution to the transformation of the Ministry into a paperless office by 2018, the system is expected to have a positive impact on Ministry employees, and ultimately on the public themselves.