The program was proposed by the Municipality and got a strong support from the Prime Minister of Bahrain as well as the Crown Prince whom were the keen to transform the municipal services by utilizing the innovation.
Thus, the unique Building permits eService has come to be the first and leading service related to Building Permits in the regional level who automats the whole process with minimum human intervention till completion.
The implementation was carried out primarily by MMAUP in collaboration with the eGovernment Authority to automate the whole process. Stakeholders included citizens, residents, Ministry of works (MOW), Civil Defense, Civil Aviation, Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) and Telecom Regulatory Authority, and Engineering offices across Bahrain.
The initiative is sustained as the building permits service is facing a high demand as construction is growing in parallel, and automation the whole process has given no better choice for the citizen but to go through the Building Permit eService.
Moreover, being the process of the Building Permit eService mandatory by the ministry, this has empowered the usage of the service and has given a sense of sustainability to the service. In addition, the initiative is aligned with the government strategy 2030 to transform the government services towards a better life.
The eService utilize different aspects of capturing customer satisfaction and feedback for the purpose of on-going improvement based on customer needs, this is through personal interviews with Engineering offices, the Ministry’s One Stop Shop, eGovernment channels (National Portal, National Call Centre, eGovernment social media tools) and the ministry’s social media tools.
As for the transformability of this service, it integrates many government agencies and their spatial data which can be easily transferable to similar services such as issuing commercial registration, way leave permission, corner plot permission, land subdivision processes etc. in local level and the whole integration process is easy to be implemented in other countries in the region.
In order to streamline the process and provide efficiency in public service, and better coordination between Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning (MMAUP) and the other entities involved in the process, the Online Building Permits eService has been launched which is a single portal to fully automate the building permit process with no human intervention in the whole process to get approval and comments (NOC) from all government agencies involved in the process through the National eGovernment portal. Thus, the service is Cross Functional Service that connects 11 entities together with zero human intervention. This service enables engineering offices to register with municipality which allows them apply for all services related to building permit. In Bahrain, any construction has more than 140sq.mtr built-up area should apply through engineering offices which covers more than 95% of building permits. The eService also enables engineering offices to apply for an enquiry information certificate, Government strategic projects, Building permits, attach missing documents, submit modified drawings, renewal of permit, track application status, download permit copies, view location details as a map with all utilities, zone and satellite image and with the facility to pay the fees online as well.
Great impact compare to before: The new process helped to maintain high quality service and reduce the period for issuing building permit dramatically from more than six months to 15 days as maximum (for the full cycle process). The eService also has great impact on the efficiency of service delivery and there is no physical office in the Ministry for the Building Permit Service as it is only through the eGovernment Channels. It also helps to analyze the period taken by each entity to process in order to re-engineer the process if necessary. There have been huge benefits for the ministry behind the initiative by having better procedure, allowing municipal staff to retrieve the data easily through the proper digital information and to helped them in the analysis to improve their efficiency.
Larger scale of beneficiaries: The service automation has great impact on serving larger number of beneficiaries; on the other hand, it has impact also on the other government agencies by enabling them to receive accurate applications with all necessary spatial and non- spatial information through the e-service.
It also helped engineering offices to track their applications with Municipalities without paying any visit to any government agency. Also it reduced hard copies as the process carried out completely in digital mode. (From A to Z)
Moreover, as the service been automated, the number and type of beneficiaries has been increased in the sense of the service has enabled the disabled, women (working in the engineering offices), and people who have minimum knowledge about the government processes to benefit from the service as well.