The amount of information being shared and sent electronically between government agencies, businesses and citizens is rapidly growing each day. Much of this information is private or confidential. To address the need for a safe and reliable network, the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) is creating a secure Government Network. The Government Network initiative, being implemented by ictQATAR’s i-Gov program, will allow for Qatar’s government agencies to be directly linked together over a secure communications platform, allowing for improved data sharing and enhanced security for e-services.
“The Government Network is a major step in improving the data communications across the government sector and making Qatar a networked nation. Not only will the government be able to work more efficiently with this network in place, but it will also allow the government to better serve its customers – the people who live and work in Qatar each day,” said Hassan Al-Sayed, Executive Director of Government Information Management Office (GIMO) at ictQATAR.
“The Government Network will standardize the connectivity between government agencies and allow them to utilize higher Bandwidths than are currently available and will also allow them to select the service levels they receive for various programs and initiatives,” said Eng. Ahmad Al-Kuwari, Government IT Platforms Manager, GIMO, at ictQATAR. “By providing a single connection to each government agency, the Government Network will reduce the multiple connection costs. A general Government Network catalogue of services is being developed for agencies to review and determine their requirements.”
Some of the primary sectors that will benefit from the Government Network are the health and education sectors. Information between hospitals and from doctor to doctor will be sent much faster through the network, allowing for critical time to be saved when treating patients, while maintaining patient confidentiality. Schools will also be better connected to each other and to parents through the Network. Additionally, many of the e-government services currently available through Hukoomi and other government websites will be hosted on a common network infrastructure, allowing for a more responsive and cohesive online government. All e-services will be delivered in accordance with ictQATAR’s Government ICT Standards.
ictQATAR recently signed an agreement with Qtel to build and host the Government Network. Project kick-off is expected in June 2009. Operations and management of the Government Network will be controlled and monitored by ictQATAR.
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