DUBAI: Fourteen government entities have reported significant progress in implementing the Dubai Paperless Strategy, revealed Smart Dubai as part of its efforts to enhance government efficiency and transform the emirate into the world’s happiest and smartest city.
The Strategy was launched in February 2018 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. It seeks to eliminate the use of paper from all internal operations and customer facing services. The strategy identifies two types of paper: first, paper used in processes and services, which can be eliminated through digital alternatives and second, paper printed selectively that is not process related, but printed and used due to current habits and culture.
To provide further details, 14 government entities have successfully reduced their paper consumption by 64.9%, now eliminating the annual use of 169.3 million sheets of paper(out of the 261 million they normally consumed every year).The reduction in use of paper has led to savings of more than AED725 million to date, while also saving 7.7 million hours of labour across government sector. This, in turn, has also had a positive impact on the environment, saving 20,325 trees from being cut down to make paper.
More than 250 customer services were enhanced by reducing the use of over 91 million sheets of paper which were either requested from customers or used by government entities to process services. Examples include passport copies,which is digitized by using UAEPASS and substituting paper receipts for digital ones. Additionally, more than 500 internal processes were streamlined, reducing paper consumption by 56 million sheets. This covered automating internal operations at the entity level such as using Dubai’s Government Resource Planning System (GRPS) and using digital documents instead of paper documents to enhance the efficiency of internal processes.
In March 2020, Smart Dubai launched the ‘100% Paperless Stamp’ initiative as part of 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, Ruler of Dubai. The ‘Stamp’ is awarded to government entities where the Dubai Paperless Strategy is 100% implemented,as a symbol reflecting remarkable achievement of their complete transition into entities that offer digital, paperless services and processes.
Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai, said: “These results would not have been achieved without close cooperation between Smart Dubai and government entities implementing Dubai Paperless Strategy. Smart Dubai is reaching out to more entities, engaging them to implement the strategy in near future, by digitizing their services and internal operations, leading them to completely forego paper use for any internal or external transactions after 2021.”
“Furthermore, Smart Dubai is working to achieve the strategy’s objective in line with our wise leadership’s directives and vision, and in following our mission to establish Dubai as the world’s happiest and smartest city,” H.E. Dr Aisha added. “We are committed to enhancing the emirate’s international standing and support its efforts to transform itself into a role model for smart cities of the future. What we started now, will guide present and future generations in line with this year’s national objective of preparing for the UAE’s 50th anniversary – ‘2020: Towards the Next 50’.”
“Our objective from employing advanced technological solutions to develop services is to build an integrated system for government operations in Dubai, allowing our institutions and departments to go completely paperless after 2021. We are working to achieve this in stages,in accordance with carefully calculated plans and agendas.Our main goal is to ensure people’s happiness, develop the community, and improve the government’s work environment, in line with the requirements of the cities of the future,” H.E. explained.
“The coming few months will see new groups of government entities enter the race to implement Dubai Paperless Strategy, bringing us one step closer to eventually eliminate any paper use across all entities,” H.E. concluded.
Large entities (that use more than 10 million sheets of paper annually) managed to cut their paper consumption by 65.2%, saving nearly 153.2 million sheets of paper. This includes Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Police, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Municipality, Dubai Courts, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
Meanwhile, medium-sized entities (that use more than 5 million sheets of paper annually) reduced their paper consumption by 59.1%, or 12.7 million sheets of paper per year. These entities include Dubai Land Department, Dubai Customs, and Dubai Public Prosecution.
Last but not least, small entities (that use less than 5 million sheets of paper annually) managed to cut their paper consumption of paper by 74.7% or 3.3 million sheets. These include Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Department of Economic Development (DED), Community Development Authority, and Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
As per Dubai Paperless Strategy, the third group of government entities will reduce their consumption of paper by 50% by the end of April 2020. This group includes 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, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Legal Department and Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children.
Furthermore, Smart Dubai has also announced groups four and five of government entities participating in Dubai Paperless Strategy, whereby group four has pledged to cut their paper consumption by 50% by November 2020, and group five will cut paper consumption by 50% by January 2021.
The Dubai Paperless Strategy seeks to make sure that no employee or customer of Dubai government will need to print any paper after 2021. Dubai Government entities will stop issuing or requesting paper documents for main or supporting operations.