Skip to the content

KRG continues progress with reforms and digitalization

Since the Ninth Cabinet assumed office in 2019, conducting reforms in the different sectors of the Kurdistan Region has been at the top of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani’s agenda. Among the priorities of the reform process was the digitalization of government services in a way that facilitates people’s work and reduces bureaucracy.

Three years into the Cabinet, the digitalization process has already taken a great step forward with a number of government services already digitalized and many other services ready for launch. In addition, Prime Minister Barzani inaugurated the Region’s first data center in early September 2022, meaning the Kurdistan Region has taken the most vital step towards data sovereignty and establishing a top-down approach to data centralization for the first time in the history of the Kurdistan Region.

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Information Technology (DIT), consisting of a number of Kurdish youth who earned their degrees from the Kurdistan Region’s various universities, has for three years taken charge of the digitalization drive, creating exclusive software for different government services.

Systems that DIT team has developed include the Population Information System, the Kurdistan Financial Management System (KFMS), a digital payroll system, a company registration system, a citizen complaint system, and an entry control system which includes e-visa capabilities conforming to modern international standards.

The DIT also supports government organizations in their efforts to digitalize their services by providing consultancy and hosting services for these systems. Recent examples include the digitalization of the driving license system and the new Smart Grid system. Further, the DIT manages and maintains the .krd domain, a vital infrastructural service underpinning government services.

Of these systems, some have already been deployed while others are ready for deployment.

While the digitalization of the driving license renewal process has reduced bureaucracy and the digital company registration system has reduced the amount of time needed to register a company to only 24 hours, while it took weeks for a company to be registered before the digitalization of the company registration system, they are only part of a far larger process.

The KFMS makes it easier for financial units to work in a centralized manner. The digital payroll system is among the most crucial parts of the whole process, through which accounting units can easily generate pay sheets, review them, and send them to treasuries.

The digital payroll system essentially paves the way for a digital economy, and in coming phases of the process, the DIT will be working on a digital payment system as well.

In conjunction with digital payments are the Population Information System and the Citizen Application, through which citizens will receive authentic UPNs that will differentiate between citizens and prevent flaws.

Thanks to the Population Information System, citizens will receive digital IDs and the Citizen Application will be used for all digital services such as the Smart Grid system, through which citizens will use a specially designed app to not only make it easier for citizens to check their electricity bills, but also to pay them digitally upon the introduction of digital payment.

The KRG has already provided over a million people with their authentic biometric IDs and over 500,000 people have already received their UPNs.

As digitalization is not an overnight process, the DIT has ensured citizens who still wish to receive government services manually will still be able to do so. The plan is for government offices to have kiosks where citizens who struggle with the systems can seek assistance.

In an attempt to prepare the community for this digital shift, the DIT has taken on the responsibility of training government employees on these new systems.

Overall, 2,035 government employees have been trained to use the KFMS system across 1,146 financial accounting units and 1,304 laptops have been distributed to KFMS users.

The last training event took place from 23rd May to 7th July 2022, during which 1,836 government employees were trained across 889 Accounting units.

One hundred and sixty other government employees have also been trained on other systems such as the Biometric Registration System, Population Information System (PIS), Document Management System (DMS), and the Citizen Complaint System (CCS), through which citizens will be able to file their complaints digitally.