finance & economy

Sanad offices in Oman welcome return of online services

January 24, 2021

Muscat: Sanad offices in Oman that provide essential government services to people in the country have welcomed the resumption of online services that will help them assist customers faster.

The Ministry of Labour needed to temporarily halt some online services, owing to a malfunction on the network.

However, services will now be gradually restored, with the government confirming that no data has been lost or compromised while efforts were made to bring them back online.

In a statement, the ministry announced the “gradual return of electronic services. Those looking to use these services can now complete their transactions. The technical operations have been completed and the electronic facilities will now continue to resume requests.”

“The electronic services on the Ministry of Labour website began to gradually return after noon on Saturday, after they’d been unavailable for about three weeks,” said Ahmed Al Junaibi, the owner of a Sanad office in Wilayat Duqm in the central Wusta Governorate.

“These services usually include a number of facilities used for expatriate workers, including the renewal of work cards, transfer of sponsorship while changing companies, name change services, provisions for recruitment of new non-Omani manpower whether for an individual employer or a company, filing a missing persons report for absconding workers, and departure services foreign workers use before leaving the country,” he added.

Al Junaibi admitted that the services were still very slow, but he hoped normal service would resume over time. “It is difficult for customers to pay their charges electronically, because sometimes, the payment does not go through but the money is still deducted from him during the transaction,” he explained.

“The renewal of residence cards costs OMR316, which is a large sum to recover in case it is lost. On other occasions, we are not able to process payments at all, while in other cases, transactions take very long to complete,” he further added.

Al Junaibi asked government authorities such as the Ministry of Labour and Royal Oman Police to waive the late fees associated with delayed renewal of expatriate documents, owing to the problems they face.

“These technical problems lasted for about three weeks, and the process of completing these transactions online is still very slow,” he revealed.

“Delaying the renewal of a labour card by even a month, for example, will cost the employer OMR 40, owing to an OMR10 fine from the Ministry of Labour and an OMR30 fine from the Royal Oman Police. Applications cannot be submitted to the ROP before they are processed by the ministry. The employee may have chosen to renew his labour card a month ago, but he would not have been able to do so because of the faults in the electronic services,” he said.

“Likewise, we also request an extension for the transfer of employment statuses of expat workers. The deadline for this was previously January 6, which was later extended to January 21, but the time during which these faults were present coincided with the extension provided,” he added.

The Ministry of Labour did acknowledge the difficulties the lack of online services caused.

In a statement, it said it “apologised to all beneficiaries of the ministry’s services for the interruption that occurred due to the technical failure that negatively affected their work and led to a delay in completing their transactions. The ministry will take this delay into account and endeavour to complete the necessary transactions as soon as possible.”

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