National Manpower Records and Registration System
Public Authority of the Manpower Register

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
High unemployment and jobless youth were some of the critical factors leading to the Arab Spring in 2011 in the Middle East region. Based on 2012 statistics yearbook, 75% of Oman’s population is below 35 years old. Every year, about 20k youth graduated with a college degree. At this rate, Oman would have to generate about 20,000 jobs annually to meet the increasing workforce in order to avert any future unrest. On average, jobseekers in Oman waited between 6 months to 24 months to land a job. For those who graduated with qualifications which were not in demand, they had to undergo additional training so as to meet the industrial needs. These youth, if not handle properly, could turn their restlessness into a dynamic situation which could implode within the Sultanate. Already there were pockets of unrests among the youth groups in 2011 and 2012 in the interior regions. Parts of the reason for the long waiting period for jobseekers was the lack of easily accessible and comprehensive information (national and foreign manpower) to help the decision making process in many government agencies and to support citizens’ needs. The cost of participation for national and foreign manpower to complete transactions (renew information, recruitment process, work permit for foreign manpower…etc.) was high. For example, when there is an announcement for an employment vacancy in any entity, citizens had to submit their documents (certificates, courses, C.V, work experience, personal information ….etc.) to different places and regularly visit them to follow-up on their application status. They had to visit the Public Authority of Manpower to submit the same documents to obtain national registration card to be able to apply for jobs in the civil services. This process was complex and time consuming for citizens and Ministries. The staff had to filter the applications and select the suitable candidates. Citizens had to visit different government entities to be able to apply for that job. On the employers’ side, it was difficult for them to obtain skilled labour to support their economic growth. In Oman, economic diversification is considered as one of the main objectives for the achievement of the Vision for Oman's Economy, and is formulated as part of the various economic development plans. Oman intends to achieve the objective through providing appropriate conditions for the realization of the economic diversification and encouraging the establishment of an effective and competitive private sector. However, the lack of adequately trained labour is a major supply side constraint, reducing the competitiveness of companies and hindering development of new export sectors. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) conducted a survey in 2011 on a sample of 150 firms in Oman to ascertain the challenges in Omanisation. Four of five top biggest challenges facing the Oman economy given by the respondents of the ILO survey were related to labour legislation and skills of the labour force; these are: • Lack of skilled local workforce (difficult to recruit the right people) • Omanization laws (compulsory to hire locals, difficult to meet targets) • Labour legislation (new minimum wage, sponsorship for expatriates) • Education and training system (current system does not meet businesses requirements, poor system). The above-mentioned issues constituted major constraints for the success of economic diversification. Furthermore, without a centralised database or information system, there was no way any organisation could identify their potential jobseekers who meet their requirements. As of 2011, only statistics on the current workforce was available. Clearly, a holistic approach to the development and management of a skilled labour force is essential to realise the country’s diversification vision.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
This initiative was mooted by HM Sultan Bin Said on 22 July 2001 when he stated that the ministry should modify the names of the civil servants, those employed in private sectors and those who are entrepreneurs. It should include jobseekers, their qualification and experiences for all those registered in the Ministry of Manpower. This was the start of the manpower registry system in the country. Following the Arab Spring of 2011, a Royal Decree No Royal Decree No. 98/2011 establishing the Public Authority of the Manpower Register (PAMR) and the issue of its regulations. PAMR is a government organisation responsible to co-ordinate the human capital growth and development in the Sultanate. According to the Royal Decree, all government entities (civil, military and security) and private sector institutions should inform the PAMR with their employees’ data and any amendments of these data. There will be coordination between the authority and the military and security units with regards to the required data. These government organisations (civil, military or security) and private sector institutions are not allowed to employ any jobseeker unless he/she provides a proof that he/she is registered in the Manpower Register. With the establishment of PAMR, a comprehensive database of the national manpower and employment in the Sultanate is created which include those already working and job seekers of employable age. Now, all citizens are encouraged to register for national manpower card through PAMR web sites. Once the citizens registered their information, it will be displayed to any integrated government entities such as Ministry of Civil Service (MOCS), Royal Courts Affairs (RCA), etc. Jobseekers need only to submit their application online using the job reference to the integrated entity and a reply will be displayed to them either application rejected or accepted based on their information in PAMR database. By September 2013, the PAMR holds a comprehensive database of some 404k Omani workforce comprising about 300k male citizens and about 104k female citizens for both the private and public sector. Through the use of IT solutions, National Manpower Records and Registration System (NMRS), PAMR keeps records of Omanis personnel and work information. The system helps PAMR keeps track of national manpower work movement and training in private institute's information. This application assists the Omanization percentage calculation and produces a report about the available vacancies in different occupations in different companies. This application also manages national manpower that work in the GCC region. A total of 153,326 jobseekers have registered with the PAMR by November 2013. The database includes about 55,164 male and 98,162 female jobseekers. About 68% of these jobseekers are between 18 to 27 years old, denoting that they are fresh graduates with limited job experience. By September 2013, about 60k of these jobseekers have been employed. The database also provides information about expertise in various sectors in the Sultanate, which could be easily referred to when needed and benefited from for various national assignments. With concrete data and information about jobseekers, PAMR can focus on enhancing HR planning policies and maximising the benefit derived from them by implementing them in the local market. It facilitates e-Participation which enables governments – policy makers and public officials – to better interact with the public, particularly individual citizens, and allows citizens, provide feedback on government services (on and off-line services); and file complaints. With accurate information on human resources in the country, the government is now able to strategically invest in human capital that responds to the needs of priority economic sectors. Thus creating an enabling environment that provides the conditions for the growth of the public and private sector.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The establishment of a central authoritative body on manpower register is first of its kind in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). As a G2G eService, ministries utilize jobseekers information provided by the Authority for their human resource requirement and capacity building programme. For example, the Royal Courts Affairs (RCA) accessed some 80,000 applicants’ records from PAMR database in 2012 in order to verify applications’ profile and experiences. Private companies having vacancies would upload their vacancies electronically to the NMRS. PAMR reached out to all jobseekers through various channels such as through a Mobile Employment Center which visited citizens in the rural regions and create awareness of any regional-based vacancies to the jobseekers. With accurate jobseekers’ data, it facilities the government and private organizations in strategic planning and capacity development programmes. Thus, providing a platform for greater participation of citizens in policy-making decisions, particularly for those living in the interior regions. Through the NMRS, PAMR implements new processes and institutional mechanisms to channel the demands and views of jobseekers and government entities. It includes statistics for government networking, and consultation mechanisms leading to more effective policymaking and implementation as well as holistic and “horizontal” approaches to public service delivery and management.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
a. The manpower register was implemented in 2001 under the former Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The database comprised information about jobseekers, employed and self employed citizens in Oman. b. In 2003, in collaborations with the former Ministry of National Economy and statistics on Oman population, they were able to develop and maintained the database. The achievements include eServices through the Ministry of Civil Services (MOCS) in 2003. In 2006, the Royal Court Office started using SMS services to carry out eEmployment. In 2008, the eEmployment module was included in the MOCS recruitment services which ease the job application process for more than 1 sector. This initiative was also adapted by other government entities. In 2009, recruitment procedures were released via eEmployment for MOCS and RCA. This time the recruited drive was divided into 2 sectors, government (civil services), private sector, and others. c. Subsequently, it was transferred and maintained by the Ministry of Manpower in 2002 until 2011. d. Royal Decree No Royal Decree No. 98/2011 establishing the Public Authority of the Manpower Register (PAMR) and the issue of its regulations. e. eTranformation plan was developed with the assistance of the Information Technology Authority. Leveraging on ICT, the eTransformation plan outline the improvement and the processes to enhance electronic services with PAMR so as to effectively foster active government and private sector participation in policy-making decisions through innovative mechanisms. The 5 year eTransformation plan covers from 2011 to 2015.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The stakeholders of the PAMR and the NMRS initiative includes the government, citizens especially jobseekers, employers and potential foreign direct investors to Oman. • Government stakeholders include many government entities such as Royal Court Affairs, Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI), Ministry of Civil Services, Ministry of Social Development, and Muscat Municipality, Directorate General of Passport and Residence, National Registry System, Secretariat General of taxation, Tender Board, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through the PAMR, these entities are able to obtain and exchange information relating to national and foreign manpower for their respective purposes. • Private companies can upload their job vacancies and obtain suitable applicants for their posts. • Jobseekers can easily register on the PAMR system online and get the opportunities to seek suitable jobs in the Sultanate and the GCC. • Foreign Direct Investors (FDI) - As Oman diversifies its economy, more FDIs are establishing companies in Oman to boost the private sector. The existence of skilled and technology savvy workforce is critical for such FDI projects. Through the PAMR database, all public and private organisations are able to obtain synthesised data for strategic planning and capacity building programme. With accurate data, PAMR is also able to identify critical posts and rehabilitate jobseekers for new hi-tech industries and joint-venture FDIs.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
With the establishment of PAMR and the implementation of the national manpower register, all recruitment and capacity building programme of the government entities are transformed. Instead of silos approach, the PAMR integrates all the job opportunities in every sector and provide transparent approach for both job seekers and potential employers. Based on the national manpower requirements, PAMR is able to initiate specialised training to meet the needs of the burgeoning economy. PAMR successfully transforms the way recruitment for public and private sectors are done and accurately stipulate the Omanisation target for each sector effectively. The entire initiative including the eTransformation plan for the whole PAMR is developed at a cost of about OMR 4.5 million (USD$ 11.7 million) and it is still ongoing for at least the next 5 years. The development of the technical infrastructure is outsourced to proficient international vendors while maintenance is done in-house by the IT Department at PAMR.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
a. Clear mandate from the government through Royal Decree No 88/2011 with the establishment of the Public Authority for Manpower Registry. With a clear mandate, PAMR was able to enforce that all public and private entities declared their manpower resources and records. Thus, a more accurate database of all jobseekers is available for strategic and economic planning by every sector in the country. Most importantly, the targets for Omanisation in each sector can now be established with accurate facts and figures. b. Job creation for more than 150k jobseekers. The government and private sectors alike are now able to seek their potential employees from a centralised database. This helps to streamline and shortened their recruitment process. In 2013, at least 60% of the jobseekers were emplaced in private and public sector and the rest about 59k are being up skilled to enhance their competencies to meet the needs of the workforce. c. Monthly unemployment aid, in 2011, just after the Arab Spring, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said had ordered RO150 (USD$ 400) grant for 50,000 job seekers. The grant is currently dispensed to the unemployed registered by the Ministry of Manpower (MoM). However, Manpower Register previously covered only workers in the public and private sectors and that there was no link between the organisations. Consequently many of those who registered after the Royal Directives on monthly aid were students, retirees or employees from different sectors. Through the establishment of the PAMR, the grant is now given only to those who deserve it and aid has been removed for those who are ineligible. Today about 33,265 jobseekers received this grant to tie them over till they gain employment. d. With a pervasive and accurate database and leveraging on technology, PAMR also becomes one-stop-shop integrated platform for both national and foreign human resources within the sultanate. Through a G2G eService, PAMR covers all types of services to the government sectors or the citizens as well as private sector. It is integrated with many government entities and exchanges information related to national and foreign manpower depending on that entities need. This information checks the national manpower and their current job status of social benefits. In addition, MOMP and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) also utilise the database to check the foreign manpower work status for Omanisation target and visa application purposes.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The jobseekers and manpower registry established by PAMR in 2011 is critical to the success of economic planning in the sultanate. The workforce and jobseekers statistics are published regularly and reported on monthly basis to the Council of Ministers. The integration with government entities has a great impact in enhancing customer satisfaction. These entities utilize PAMR database to provide services through the web for the citizens. This integration reduces their time, effort, and resources that they were consuming in the past. For example, Ministry of Civil Service uses the integration to accept jobseeker applications for any employment vacancy and send them electronic message about the status of the application. In addition the jobseekers can view private sector job vacancies and can update their contact details, activate their job status and view their CV through PAMR website and the short message services (SMS). This information can be viewed and updated by the citizen himself to ensure that the jobseeker information is not exposed to everyone. In addition any business organizations can follow their transaction and check their national and foreign manpower information and print a report. The integration with other entities was measured by customer satisfaction of both the governments and the citizens. • Government satisfaction was measured by reducing the time, effort and resources during employment vacancies announcement. They only query the jobseeker information and it will be displayed for them immediately. Then they send the application result to the jobseeker through SMS based on PAMR database. This process reduces the crowed in these entities during employment vacancies announcement. • Citizens either companies owner or individuals can view their information through the website, toll-free, and SMS. • Companies can check the permit application current status, national and foreign manpower information. • Individuals are not visiting the government entities to apply for a job vacancy. They only send the job reference to that entities and get reply either application rejected or accepted based on their updated information in PAMR. They also can update their active status information to enable the Authority offer them a job because Authority policy is the jobseekers must update their active status every three months.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
a. Many job seekers are keen to work for the public sector and show an unwillingness to fill up vacant positions in the private sector. The public sector has the largest workforce in Oman about 194k in 2012 while the private sector employs about 172k. The government also raised the minimum salary from 150 to 300 OMR (USD$ 400 to 800) in 2012 for all Omanis in the private sector to ensure that they are on par with that of the civil service. b. eServices for jobseekers - The Authority has also created a website and a call centre to eliminate the need for travel to its various branches. New branches of the authority will also be opened in each governorate to provide the same services provided at the main headquarters in Muscat. c. Jobseekers’ attitude – with the establishment of PAMR, local jobseekers had the opinion that now it is the onus of the authority to get them suitable jobs. PAMR is set up to facilitate recruitment of both public and private sector with its large database of jobseekers. Its vision is to provide ample opportunity for registered job-seekers to have a chance at suitable jobs. The authority does not guarantee jobseekers their idea job. Hence, PAMR embarked on active public awareness programme to eradicate this mindset and correct jobseekers expectations. d. One of the toughest challenges faced by PAMR is a group of illiterate jobseekers living in the remote regions. Though this group is quite small, specialised programme focusing on the local crafts industry was introduced to equip them with handicraft skills leading to the establishment of small cottage industries in the various regions.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
a. More effective G2G eServices - service offered contributes to service delivery of other governments. Royal Court Affair, Ministry of Social Development, and Muscat Municipality use PAMR national manpower registration application to query jobseekers information. This service give value to PAMR database, reduce these entities paper work and time. It also improves the quality of the services provided by these entities to the citizens. Directorate General of Passport and Residence also uses the PAMR visa application to enter visa information for PAMR approved work permit. PAMR foreign manpower monthly statistics add a great value to ministry of national economy statistics. All these are available online, electronically. b. PAMR also benefits the national development of information society through: i. Integration with other government entities by providing national and foreign manpower information which simplify the work process in these entities and support their decision makers regarding employment. ii. Integration with citizens by allowing them to view and update their information through the website and SMS. Also by direct interaction with Authority staff in the counters, mobile employment and KIOKS. iii. Integration with business organizations by allowing them to see the current status of work permit, their national and foreign worker. iv. Integration with SANAD offices in renewing the foreign manpower information. (The SANAD Programme was set up in 2001 by the government to help promote and foster the development of small-scale enterprises in Oman. Young men and women from 18 – 40 years of age are encouraged to start their own business and are given a maximum loan of OMR5,000 (approximately US$13,000).) i. In addition to above the Authority information can be found in the website, electronic blackboard, and toll-free (Integrated Voice Response System). c. Since its establishment in 2011, PAMR has consolidated data of more 404K Omani employees in both private and government sectors. Through such data, statistical analysis could be done accurately which assist significantly in promulgation of economic planning. In addition, in 2013 alone, PAMR is successful in getting employment for about 60% of the registered jobseekers which is a boost not only to the jobseekers but also the economy. d. With the implementation of PAMR, jobseekers no longer need to apply to various agencies to get suitable employment. By registering to PAMR, they will be given the opportunity to seek suitable job. In addition, they can also submit their application through PAMR electronic online service without having to travel to the Muscat office. e. Talented Omanis are created through a unified pool of experts. Through the information from the database, the government will have access to local talents and would be able to deploy them effectively to meet the economic needs of the country. f. Gender equality and the promotion of women in the workforce. Through a central manpower register, PAMR is able to facilitate job opportunities for Omani women in the country. This ensures that they are not discriminated due to gender and have equal opportunities to seek suitable employment matching their qualifications and experience. This is essential as Oman since ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDW) May 2005, has been working towards the empowerment of women. From PAMR records, about 60 per cent of all new appointments to civil servant posts in 2011 were women – that was a qualitative leap. In Government jobs women made up over 50 per cent.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
PAMR successfully integrate jobseekers, potential employers from government and private entities in a common platform. With the implementation of eServices (G2G and G2C), PAMR is also able to streamline their processes to provide quality services to its customers both the jobseekers and government entities using its data and information. PAMR works as the defacto national Human Resource Director, not only providing job opportunities but also recommending suitable specialised training to rehabilitate jobseekers and upskilling them to meet the demands from the industries. This initiative is essential for Oman to meet the human resource requirements to meet the Omanisation targets in each industry. It has been effective in placing some 60% jobseekers in jobs matching their quality. PAMR has recommended specialised training for jobseekers and placed them in the industries. Such efforts are not only sustainable it is also transferable to other GCC countries planning to nationalise their workforce. In addition, PAMR commissioned studies by international body to monitor and measure the effectiveness and impact of its policies, initiatives and services. One key example is the commissioning of study by Boston Investment Partners to find out what are the needs and necessity of each department depending on the location and purpose for Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), which are the leading oil and gas industries in the Sultanate. This study helped to distinguish the important needs and requirements from PDO to support their capacity building and recruitment efforts.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
1. Job opportunities in various new national projects -Through an integrated jobseekers database, PAMR able to analyse data from jobseekers and recommend jobs in the regions to match with the industrialisation plans in special economic zones such Duqm, Sohar and Salalah. As Oman diversifies its economy, it is developing new industrial cities in other regions outside of the capital city such as in Sohar, Duqm and Salalah. These 3 new economic zones boost new port facilities, airports and massive industrial areas serving the oil and gas as well as ship maintenance and repair facilities, etc. As new opportunities and skills are required by such developing economic zones, PAMR works in collaboration with the various economic zones to support such new ventures by providing skilled human resources to meet the needs of each zone. This would also reduce reliant on expatriate workforce and provide job opportunities for local jobseekers. 2. Jobseekers in the various regions- Through the Jobseekers relocation programme, PAMR is able to register manpower in each region to facilitate job opportunities in the regions and promote job specialisation in each region. This will support the allocation of human resources in the new economic zones. 3. With the establishment of PAMR, jobseekers instinctively thought that the authority is responsible to get them a job. With such jobseekers’ attitude, PAMR had to draw up clear guidelines and policies so that such initiative is not subjected to abuse by jobseekers who frequently rejected the job opportunities provided to them. In addition, active public awareness programme is also conducted to jobseekers in national level events such as the Muscat Festivals and Khareef Salalah to educate them of the role of PAMR. e. Geographically, Oman is a vast country. Reaching out to jobseekers in the rural regions posed a challenge to PAMR. By leveraging through the use of mobile connectivity, since Oman mobile penetration rate is about 190%, PAMR was able to connect to jobseekers. The use of social media network sites also offer another channel in which PAMR could reach out to the jobseekers especially the young school leavers. PAMR also reached out to all jobseekers through a Mobile Employment Center which visited citizens in the rural regions and create awareness of any regional-based vacancies to the jobseekers. By reaching out to jobseekers and directing them to job opportunities in various public and private organizations, PAMR is creating pervasive and accurate records of the workforce in Oman. With accurate data, it facilities the government and private organizations in strategic planning and capacity development programmes.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Public Authority of the Manpower Register
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Ibrahim Al Hinai
Title:   Mr.  
Telephone/ Fax:  
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Postal Code:  
City:   Muscat

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