MUSCAT — An agreement to develop the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s One-Stop-Shop (OSS) Project was inked with Nortal Gulf Company from Estonia by Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Information Technology Authority, at the Crowne Plaza Muscat yesterday. The pact was as part of the strategic efforts taken to bolster eGovernanace, eCommerce, the eTransformation plan and as a broader aspect of the goals envisaged in Oman’s 2020 Vision strategy. The agreement was inked in the presence of senior government officials and private sector executives. The OSS Business and Technology Transformation Project is expected to improve business processes by providing over 66 eServices available through mobile apps or the website.
It will offer entrepreneurs and investors electronic services in keeping with the Sultanate’s efforts of supporting SMEs and the private sector in general and encouraging foreign investment into Oman. Further, the project aims at enhancing the provision of high-quality, transparent and accurate eServices for investors and businesspeople, which will further contribute to the national economy. On the occasion, Nortal Gulf also signed four agreements with four Omani SMEs to allocate 10 per cent of the OSS project, as per His Majesty the Sultan’s directives at the SME’s Symposium held earlier this year. Another important aspect of the OSS project, is that it will greatly enhance the eServices offered by ROP, Ministry of Manpower, Muscat Municipality, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Secretariat General of Taxation, and the Capital Markets Authority.
It was noted, eServices provided by the project include:
• Commercial name availability, reservation and registration
• Providing a single entry-point window via the Internet to access government information and services
• Providing an appropriate degree of flexibility with regard to the place, time and method of interaction in the provision of services accessible through various channels
• Providing a safe and trustworthy environment and more transparent procedures through which customers can track the status of their request
• Provision of an easy method for the electronic payment of fees
The project agreement details include that
• It is to be implemented over two years with 6 key milestones
• Will involve launching over 66 eServices that address all aspects related to carrying out business activities in Oman
• Reduction of administrative overheads and organisational improvements and efficiency will be achieved, as a first stage, through consultancy in business change management
• The second stage will see the launch of simplified and re-engineered services using electronic Commercial Register (eCR) Portal — reducing client time and effort spent at MOCI and easing system maintenance
• Developing and launching a Mobile Application for identified services — part of the project’s third milestone to increase visibility and accessibility
• The fourth stage covers website consolidation in which a centralised gateway for content and services will be provided as a single face for all services
• In the fifth stage, work centres on cleaning the investor data in the existing OSS database — in order to provide up-to-date data and accurate client information to allow for more advanced services
• The final sixth stage will incorporate the documentation of procedures, rules and regulations.
Throughout the six milestones, Omanis working on this project will have excellent training experience and develop a fuller understanding of technology and business.
The project development involves using a Nationwide Government Licensing System, Nationwide Annual Reporting System, based on XBRL (extensible Business Reporting Language), and Business Intelligence and Executive Dashboard.
Presently, there are six eServices available for investors to submit their papers electronically without requiring their physical presence at MOCI or to their regional offices, namely: commercial name availability, reserve commercial name, renew reserved name, renew commercial registration, home business and E-application status enquiry. And two support services, namely: electronic payment, and to authorise a person to submit applications on behalf of the owner.
The user must first obtain a PIN number by registering at self-service machines provided by ITA in most commercial complexes using civil ID.
After the registration, the investor can enter and take advantage of online services, either through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry website: www.moci.gov.om and press the link one-stop-shop services, or through the Official eGovernment Services Portal (Omanuna): www.oman.om
In comments given to the Observer on the occasion, Yacoub al Balushi, Deputy CEO for Infrastructure Services, ITA, noted, “It is an integrative project that brings the ministries together to share information.
On how difficult it is to achieve, he said, “Technically not very difficult, but it is building the process, changing the work and cultural environment that is the main part.
“We started phase one a year ago with the provision of several eServices. This second phase will allow for more user-friendly online facilities,” adding that, “The ministries already had the data and the idea was to integrate this information from their individual databases.”