According to Oman’s Information and Communication Technology Authority (ITA), Oman seeks to build a knowledge-based society by using ICT to improve the quality of service delivery and empower the country’s population (Rose & Grant, 2010). In line with the recent trend of public service reform and the consequent adoption of information and communication technologies and other electronic platforms in government-related activities, the Royal Oman Police (Directorate General of Civil Status) made a major headway in the adoption of e-governance. This study seeks to determine the extent to which e-government in the Oman police department has attained its intended objectives. Other underlying objective of this study will be to find out those factors serving as major promoters or impediments to the successful implementation of e-government in Oman, with a specific emphasis on the Royal Police Directorate general of Civil Service division.
In this research, data will be collected through an interview, a set of open-ended questionnaires, and an observation.
An interview will work well in this study because it will enable the researcher to gather the experiences, and personal views of the interviewees who are involved in the e-service strategy implementation regarding the OPD e-services. I will conduct the interview during working hours and will be approximately 45 minutes long. Prior to the interview, I will provide the respondent with a brief document summarising the purposes of the research and a consent form to sign to indicate his agreement to participate. The interview questions will focus on the topics of the difference between e-services and regular service, the objectives of e-service and its advantage, the extent to which people use the service, steps taken to develop an information security, challenges facing ROP to achieve its goals and ROP’s strategy for technological development.
Open-ended questionnaires will also aid in the collection of first-hand information directly from the participants. I will randomly select thirteen members of the citizens and foreigners, who are the potential users of OPD services to participate in the survey. The questionnaire will consist of open-ended questions where the respondents will have an opportunity to express their opinions about the ROP e-service without being constrained by pre-selected choice of answers. The questionnaire will ask the respondents to reflect on what they intend to achieve in both the short term and long term through the implementation of e-service. I will also ask the respondents to provide an analysis of how these service started, its growth and where they see it in the near future and the long-term future. They will also give an approximate number of people using this service. Participation in the survey will be entirely voluntary and I will inform the survey participants that once they fill out the questionnaire they can requires to withdraw it from the project at any time before the submission of the assignment.
Observation will supplement interviews and questionnaires by providing me with information on how ROP services work in reality. The observation will last for one full working day. I will observe real-time transactions between the ROP officers and the public in both the e-service and traditional service delivery at ROP offices. For instance, I will observe the traditional and e-service-based registration of a migrant worker visa. I will then compare the two modes of service delivery. The observation will provide me with more detail on the workings of the automated services and on such matters as the time it takes to complete transactions. In addition to observing the transactions, I will also converse with the participants. I will record the observation data by hand-writing notes during the observation process.
The people whom I will observe will be aware that I am observing them. I used several methods to inform them: In cases of ROP employees, I spoke to their supervisor who then informed them about the observation and the fact that if anybody did not want to be observed the observation will not take place. I also spoke to several ROP employees myself prior to the observation. All ROP employees agreed to participate in the observation. To obtain consent of ROP customers who will use ROP services during the observation, I will personally speak to each myself, informing them that they are under an observation for a small research project. I will inform them that the purpose of the project is to collect information that relates to them personally but to observe the process of service delivery. If anyone does not feel comfortable with being observed, I will not observe the service transaction in their case. It is not possible to inform the service-users prior to the commencement of the observation as it is not possible to know in advance who will be using ROP services on any given day.
Personal identities of all research participants in the data collected through all three methods will be protected. I will not include the names of any participants in the interview transcripts, observation notes or in the final dissertation report. Other information that may identify individual respondents such as particular title will also be excluded from the final report.
The analysis of the data will not focus on the individual research participants (e.g. I will not examine how individual ROP employees perform their jobs or collect personal data such as immigration status from the ROP service users), but on the processes of ROP service delivery.
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