Economic development council unveils transformation initiatives

Updated 26 December 2015
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Economic development council unveils transformation initiatives

RIYADH: As part of the Kingdom’s National Transformation Project, the Council of Economic and Development Affairs is currently working in coordination with government authorities to set in place a strategic implementation plan to increase national economic outputs and launch a series of economic regulations soon.

Officials met for eight consecutive hours at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh last week to discuss proposals and recommendations for initiatives of the National Transformation Project, which will be launched in the Kingdom in 2020.
The project will include programs for the evaluation of the performance of ministers, including execution of plans and meeting requested outputs.
During the meeting, ministers explained different sides and ideas related to the programs, while Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Prince Mohammed bin Salman responded to questions from attendees and described elements of the program.
The project will focus on implementing successful plans to limit the Kingdom’s economic dependence on oil alone, supporting long-term projects for the Kingdom, as well as increasing the performance of government, fighting corruption, increasing employment of Saudis, re-establishing priorities, equipping cities with the appropriate environment to realize national goals, and developing the health and municipal sectors.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman emphasized the Kingdom’s keenness to attract investment in mining by easing restrictions and obstacles, and dealing fairly with investors to find alternatives to the decreasing price of oil, as well as benefiting from the economies of Haj and Umrah by improving the basic infrastructure in the Kingdom to accommodate visitors.
Saudi authorities, in cooperation with experts from the United Nations, also worked on drafting 1,000 key performance indicators to monitor the performance of goals and policies in the 10th five-year development plan (2015-2019), with these indicators focusing on governance, bad practices and corruption.
A dashboard was also prepared to display statistics and reports to disclose the level of ministerial performance, as well as their level of compliance with realizing goals and policies set by higher authorities.
As for whether key performance indicators may involve any loopholes that allow for manipulation of information, a high-level source confirmed that the system is based on a “a higher state decision, not a sectoral one, and thus cannot be controlled by any implementing body,” noting that the dashboard will be a real challenge because it means ministries must improve their performance.
Meanwhile, other sources revealed higher authorities are taking a decision to form a national council to follow up on the performance of ministries, agencies, or authorities tasked with implementing the development plans. The key performance indicator regulations will be followed up by the prime minister via the dashboard display to address any faults in the performance of ministers, organizations, or authorities tasked with implementing developmental plans.
Key performance indicators will display and clarify data at the national level related to economic development, inflation, unemployment, and good governance, as well as the performance of ministries.


Saudi Arabia’s first ’smart’ pharmacy inaugurated

Updated 2 min 47 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s first ’smart’ pharmacy inaugurated

TABUK: Prince Fahd bin Sultan, governor of Tabuk region, inaugurated the Kingdom’s first smart pharmacy — operated by a robot — at King Fahd Specialist Hospital on Thursday, following his meeting with the province’s director general of health affairs, Ghurmallah bin Abdullah Al-Ghamdi.
It is hoped that the smart pharmacy — which can dispense 1,500 packages of medicine per hour, store over 20,000 packages of medicine, reject expired drugs, and deal with 240 prescriptions per hour — will save the time of patients and pharmacists, ensure better control of drug stocks, provide the highest safety standards, and reduce medication errors.
The pharmacy has six outlets, one of which is dedicated to serving disabled people.
Prince Fahd congratulated Tabuk Health Affairs on this achievement, which he said would contribute to better health care services.
He stressed that serving citizens was the main objective and praised the role of young men and women in meeting the requirements of the future.
He also thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for the health care sector in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Ghamdi thanked Prince Fahd for his support for the health care sector in the province.