Business Bureau, Gulf Today
The Smart Dubai Department has launched the ‘100 per cent Paperless Stamp’ initiative as part of its contribution to the ‘Government Development Track’ – one of the six tracks announced by the Dubai Council, which was inaugurated at the beginning of 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.
The ‘Stamp’ is awarded to government entities that have fully implemented the Dubai Paperless Strategy as a symbol reflecting their complete transition into entities that offer digital, paperless services. The initiative recognises entities that made outstanding efforts to implement the strategy, offering their services via fully digital mediums backed by an efficient internal digital infrastructure.
Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai, noted that “the ‘100 per cent Paperless Stamp’ is one of a series of initiatives and projects that Smart Dubai has planned as its contribution to the Dubai Council’s ‘Government Development Track’. It is in line with Smart Dubai’s commitment to expedite the Dubai Government’s digital transformation and achieve the objectives of the Dubai Paperless Strategy, which consists of transferring all government transactions – internal and government-to-customer – to digital mediums, transforming the Dubai Government into a fully digital administration by December 2021.”
“The ‘100% Paperless Stamp’ initiative also allows us to evaluate the efforts made by trailblazing entities that were instrumental in implementing the Dubai Paperless Strategy within all their respective departments,” Dr Aisha added. “These entities have shown commitment to efficiency in their operations, embracing digital solutions, enhancing customer happiness, and cementing the emirate’s lead in the integrated digital government sector. This will undoubtedly encourage other government entities to implement the strategy, which, in turn, helps accomplish our ultimate goal to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city on Earth.”
The ‘100% Paperless Stamp’ initiative classifies government entities by order of their paper consumption into three categories: Large, Medium, and Small Entities. Results are set to be announced every six months, and the ‘Stamp’ is awarded to entities that have transferred 100 per cent of their services and internal operations to digital mediums, as per the Dubai Paperless Strategy.
According to Smart Dubai’s statistics – which are based on reports from government departments – certain ‘Large Entities’, have registered an entity-wide digitisation rate of more than 60%. These include the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), Dubai Police General Headquarters, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai.
In ‘Medium Entities’ category, the Department of Land and Property in Dubai recorded a similar completion rate, while the Department of Economic Development, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and the Community Development Authority had similar results in the ‘Small Entities’ category.
Overall, 14 entities joined the strategy in its first and second phases and have so far registered tremendous progress in their digital transition. These are the RTA, Dubai Police, Dewa, the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the Department of Land and Property, Dubai Courts, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Public Prosecution, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Community Development Authority, Dubai Customs, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai.
Phase three of the strategy welcomed nine new entities, namely, the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai Media Inc., Department of Finance – Dubai, Dubai Government Human Resources Department, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children, and the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department. These entities are working to cut their paper consumption by half by April 2020.
Meanwhile, phase four is currently being launched with the Dubai Statistics Centre, Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, Dubai Women Establishment, Security Industry Regulatory Agency, Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment, Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Sports Council, Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), and the Dubai Air Navigation Services. The fifth and final phase of the initiative is scheduled to be launched in May 2020.
The Dubai Paperless Strategy aims to transform the government services and operations into 100 per cent digital and cut paper consumption by more than a billion sheets of paper across the Dubai Government each year. This, in turn, would save 130,000 trees, allowing Dubai’s residents and visitors to economise 40 hours per person per year, as well as save more than Dhs900 million that would have otherwise been spent executing paper transactions.