Crown Prince unveils e-darussalam portal
By Azlan Othman

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday unveiled the e-darussalam portal, a portal that integrates all e-government services that are provided online.

With the portal, the public could deal with government agencies through the Internet regardless of where they are and at whatever time. The public should only remember the portal address, which is, to access all online government services. Besides, all information on services by government agencies can be obtained efficiently.

The portal facilitates the public to deal with the government, enhance the effectiveness of government agencies in providing services to customers, to speed up the process of completing an application and avoid duplication of information and relevant processes among the government agencies for the delivery of services to be effective and cost effective, as well as to modernise the public service administration machinery in line with the present development and increasing customer expectations.

At this stage, this portal is inside the existing service which is the payment of electrical bills, while the renewal of driving licence and road tax will be carried out as a pilot project first. Also available is car inspection booking. And it would not stop there.

The e-Government National Centre (EGNC) with the cooperation of different ministries will enhance and readjust the services in line with the current needs and would continue to add more services to the portal in stages, such as services related to business licensing.

The e-darussalam portal would benefit all levels of the community. To register, one should go to the portal at and press 'register', fill in the form, press 'send' and visit the Department of Electrical Services for verification and obtain username and password. People should also bring along their identity cards.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary (IT & e-Govt) at the Prime Minister's Office, Awg Hj Azhar bin Hj Ahmad said the portal is a gateway to all services provided electronically through online. With the portal, one of the core missions outlined in the e-Government Strategic Plan 2009-2014 is fulfilled.

In the future, he hopes that there could be an increase in the number of services that could be handled online. Customers would only need to remember the portal address for any matters related to the government.

He welcomed constructive feedback from the ministries and public to jointly enhance the effectiveness of the portal. The two-way communication would ensure more customer friendly exchanges in the near future.

The Director of e-Government National Centre, Adi Shamsul bin Hj Sabtu told the media that the public no longer need to go to the various ministries' websites. They only need to go to where the government online services are available and also information on Brunei for tourists.

He said all the government services are integrated in the website and the listing of all 30 government services are available.

As the renewal of road tax and driving licence online is being carried out as a pilot project, the public still has to go to relevant counters to renew them, he said.

"We are also fine-tuning the processes in terms of payment and collection. The full end-to-end process will be implemented in six months when it will be fully online including delivery to your house. We are taking it step by step. In the end, we want to make everything online through the portal and reduce visits to the counters.

"We will be actively engaging the ministries to identify which services they already have online and to integrate them fully with e-darussalam. Any services that have not been provided will be included.

"We are looking for simple things, something that is easy to develop. During the road show, the ministries and departments showed interest. We have got the infrastructure in place to provide it online. The supporting business process needs to be in place. It is not a matter of developing a website but developing a 'service'."

The Director of Land Transport Department, Hj Khalid bin Hj Mustafa said at this stage, not all applications can be done online because there are certain requirements. For the renewal of driving licence, only Class 1 and Class 3 holders can go online, while only private vehicles and not commercial vehicles can book for inspections.

With regards to collection time, it can be obtained at LTD counters from 9am to 11am and 2.30pm to 4pm. For online booking, the inspection can only be made on Friday from 8am to 11.30am and from 2.30pm to 4pm. It is the first stage. If there is a need to extend the timings, it will be implemented.

To deliver driving licences processed online, LTD will strive to have a system to send the licences directly to the houses of applicants by post, he added.

Meanwhile, Acting Director of the Department of Electrical Services, Awg Musa bin Metali said this service will be promoted in a road show scheduled to take place from July 15-17 at Times Square in Berakas. - Borneo Bulletin (14th July 2011)