OUTLOOK — By Salem Al Jawhary — It is been so many years since the people have been waiting in anticipation for a better performance by the government departments. One can say that the expectancy has been there since the dawn of the seventies of the last century, which is equal to the age of renaissance that carried on its shoulders the great responsibility that has resulted in the establishment of the modern country.
It is been years since the government agencies have stepped up their performance by providing better services to citizens wherever they may be in Oman. There were simple measures that could have been taken to accomplish a lot in a short period and the achievements expanded to larger and larger areas of the country. As much as the sincere intentions that were at work day and night to serve the citizens in the first twenty years, which has resulted in the building stages of development in the governorates, these were achieved through simple procedures. The motivation was high at the beginning because the single-minded goal was to build Oman and nothing else.
After all these years the enthusiasm has gone down among some of the staff. The confidence of the common citizen as well as the employee fell as well. All this has happened due to the cloud of delay and inaction that has overshadowed the government ministries in implementing their various projects. These delays would prolong from one week to a month and then to a year, and then on to years. The number of achievements that were to take place in the interests of people retreated and the expectations increased in numbers from a million and a half to three million.
In this time when the world is witnessing a boom in communication between individuals and institutions, it was supposed that the size of the achievements would increase in great proportions. Citizens now have to go up and down a number of times to various institutions to follow his or applications dozens of times to finally avail of the services that could contribute to some of the improvement in his life. The bureaucracy in government departments have increased, not to mention the long list of correspondence and communications between the many units in various ministries.
It is unreasonable that today, in light of the modern means of communication between people and nations and the rapid movement of life all over the world, that we are still prisoners of the paper mails and transactions that are kept in shelves of the ministries. It is quite unreasonable that these papers have to travel at a slow pace between governorates for the signatures of the official concerned in the ministry. At the same time we are ignoring or failing to understand or evaluate the high costs of fuel and vehicles, apart from the danger of accidents they face on the roads. Thus, we are impatiently waiting for the e-government to make up for the shortfalls of the traditional functions of the governments.