Kuwait to digitise 85% of municipal work as some lay-offs expected

Kuwait to digitise 85% of municipal work as some lay-offs expected
Kuwait Municipality is adopting smart technology.
Published: 8 April 2019 - 11:45 a.m.
By: Neha Bhatia

Kuwait Municipality’s ‘Smart Municipality’ digital transformation programme, part of its contributions to the New Kuwait 2035 economic diversification mandate, will see digital licenses issued for architectural, land plot, and construction tasks, with a small number of lay-offs expected as part of the drive.

Fahad Al-Shu’la, Kuwait’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, said the effort would continue to transform New Kuwait 2035’s aims “into reality”.

So far, the municipality has applied technology to facilitate its operations, make “law enforcement easier”, and support Kuwait’s ambition to become a financial and economic hub.

In collaboration with the private sector, Kuwait Municipality is issuing architectural licenses, in addition to those for construction and for the “rapid placement of power installations”, according to a report by state news agency, Kuna.

Speaking at the launch of Phase 2 of the programme, Al-Shu’la added that the municipality’s smart goals had also “contributed to spurring domestic businesses”.

A new digital system is also on the way for Kuwait Municipality as Phase 2 of its digital transformation programme. While health announcements and general inquiries will continue to be managed by telephone, around 85% of municipal works will be performed electronically.

Ahmad Al-Manfouhi, director general of the municipality, said that updating electronic systems “does entail laying off personnel”, adding that the move was “aimed at Kuwaitising jobs related to the new electronic programmes”.

“More important was the praise by HH the Amir for the municipality’s role, [and so] our responsibility has doubled,” he continued.

New electronic facilities at Kuwait Municipality will incentivise foreign investors, who will, through the new system, be able to obtain licenses from outside Kuwait, where a number of construction projects are under way.

Humoud Al-Enezi, member of Kuwait’s Municipal Council, said the new system had already reduced paperwork, contributing to the department’s role as a ‘smart municipality’.

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