Iran unveils new e-government components as digital ID importance grows
Iran’s Executive Council of Information Technology unveiled the newest platforms in its ongoing e-government initiative, writes CITNA. Among these new digital platforms are two pilot programs for the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. In addition to this, another trial for digital business licensing services will be launched in the Khuzestan and Bushehr provinces. If approved, the e-government platform would launch in June 2021.
The council also announced the addition of the Ministry of Cooperatives Labor and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, the Iranian Health Insurance Organization, the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security, and the Central Insurance of Iran as agencies selected for the next phase of the digital government and transparency initiative. Iran’s e-government program is part of a series of efforts to digitize services such as public safety and justice and establish biometric digital identity.
President Hassan Rouhani chaired the meeting and charted Iran’s path to digitization. The meeting’s agenda also included Iran’s e-health initiative and preparations for the e-government platform’s nationwide rollout by the end of the current administration in June 2021. The council examined the requirements that need to be met before the program’s approval and roll out.
The president highlighted the need to accelerate the planning and implementation process for the e-government platform to support businesses and individuals. Rouhani also noted that the initiative will increase much-needed oversight and transparency that are vital to combatting corruption and fraud. He added that the e-government will allow citizens to gain access to information and government benefits more easily with their digital ID.
Rouhani also praised the country’s efforts in providing electronic health services with digital identity amid the ongoing pandemic, as part of Iran’s health transformation initiative. Patients can now visit hospitals and instantly access their health information using only their national ID number.
While he acknowledged common concerns regarding digitization, Rouhani emphasized that risks can be mitigated through proper training and management. “Life in the new world is becoming smarter, and smartening is becoming more widespread every day. Cyberspace makes life easier, speeds up processes, and eliminates corruption,” Rouhani added.
He also lauded Iran’s digitization process to date and said, “According to statistics, last year alone, one billion face-to-face and paper transactions were replaced by the electronic system. The expansion of e-government eliminates the risk of corruption that may otherwise occur in these face-to-face transactions.”