UAE Cabinet reshuffle: Emirates Post, pension authorities and service centres focus of new mergers

Many local and federal government departments were brought under the direct control of ministers

DUBAI-APRIL 29,2009 - A worker manuaaly sorting mails  at Emirates Post office in Umm Ramool Dubai. ( Paulo Vecina/The National )
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Government departments across the UAE, including Emirates Post and various financial authorities, will be merged as part of a new efficiency drive.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, outlined the move on Sunday as he selected a new Cabinet.

He said there was a need for a more agile government and a public sector to serve in “a new phase in history”.

Most of the targets were local and federal departments that will be brought under the direct control of ministers. These include:

– Half of all government service centres that serve the public will be closed in the next two years and their services transformed into digital portals;

– The Federal Electricity and Water Authority, Emirates Post, Emirates Transport and Emirates Real Estate Corp will be attached to Emirates Investment Authority;

– The National Qualifications Authority will merge with the Ministry of Education;

– The country’s Insurance Authority will be merged with the Securities and Commodities Authority and led by the Minister of Economy;

– The General Authority for Pensions and Social Security will be brought under the Ministry of Community Development, which will provide “modern services for retirees”. In addition, a National Social Security Fund will be overseen by Obaid Al Tayer and come under the umbrella of Emirates Investment Authority;

– Sultan Al Jaber will be appointed President of Emirates Development Bank;

– Zayed Housing Programme and the Federal Authority for Land and Maritime will come under the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, led by minister Suhail Al Mazrouei;

“Constant changes will remain the slogan of the coming period until we reach the best government model that keeps up in this new era and achieves the aspirations of the Emirati people,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Sunday.

Emirates Post came in for criticism by Sheikh Mohammed last year after persistent complaints of inefficiency. The National