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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice has been named the fastest agency in the race to go digital, taking top spot in this year’s official measurement of services.

The achievement was announced at the Digital Government Forum in Riyadh, which has been organized by the Saudi Digital Government Authority.

Each ministry was graded on its commitment to transforming the way it does business, the development of its digital capabilities and its provision of e-services. 

Minister of Justice Dr. Walid Al-Samaani told the forum that only 15 percent of the judicial services were digital seven years ago. That figure had now jumped to more than 90 percent.

“All judicial hearings were conducted by attending in person, but now the courts have held more than five million remote hearings, issued more than two million digital judgments, 12 million e-powers of attorney, and property e-conveyance can now be completed in less than an hour,” he said.

He added that Saudis would no longer need to visit the notaries public in person from next year as all major services will be provided remotely.

Majed Al-Salloom, the ministry’s deputy minister for digital transformation, told Arabian Weekly that the award was the result of good services and user satisfaction.

“The ministry will continue this journey during the coming period and deepen its experience in digital transformation, as it is one of the pillars of developing the judicial institutions and upgrading its services, taking into account the guarantees and reliability of all the various judicial sectors,” he added.

Government agencies have made progress this year, with the average score increasing from 68.8 percent last year to this year’s 80.96 percent.

The Ministry of Energy was meanwhile highlighted for its own fast transformation, with a progress rate of 70.14 percent after adopting a digital transformation strategy and training its staff in new e-services.

The forum heard that licenses and permits for trading in petroleum products and energy allocation have been moved to a digital service, and the ministry had been certified internationally for its ability to respond to and recover from service disruptions.

Digital Government Authority Governor Ahmed Alsuwaiyan told the forum that the Kingdom would continue its transformation to meet the goals of Vision 2030.

“Enabling all government agencies to raise the efficiency of digital services contributes to improving the beneficiaries’ experience, improving the quality of life and increasing competitiveness,” he said.

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