On 13 August 2023, the Saudi Digital Government Authority (DGA) launched a public consultation on the Licensing Regulatory Framework for Digital Government Services. This framework is binding for all licensees offering digital services on the government’s behalf, detailing provisions and mandates for technology firms. Any commitment under this framework carries legal implications.
Newly listed licensee obligations include: (i) notifying the DGA before concluding any new agreement that includes the provision of digital government services; (ii) informing the DGA of any changes in the licensee’s administrative structure within five days of any change; and (iii) maintaining up-to-date records of services and products carried out on behalf of government entities.
It is worth noting that Article 10.9 states that licensees must “cooperate in exchanging data according to the mechanism specified by the Authority”. Moreover, according to Article 10.15, the services must be provided and operated from within Saudi Arabia only, unless prior written approval has been obtained from DGA. Licensees are also required to establish a department/office to receive reports and complaints submitted by users of the services provided (10.19).
Conditions for applicants
The conditions for applicants include a requirement for the provider to establish its headquarters in Saudi Arabia. This further solidifies the foundations laid by the previously introduced Regional Headquarters Program, establishing more rigorous standards for the provision of digital services to the public sector.
The DGA invites stakeholders to submit their consultation responses by 28 August 2023.
If you are interested in learning more about the DGA’s consultation, the categories of licences that allow the development and operation of government platforms or services on behalf of government entities, or require support in engaging the DGA, please contact Dana Ramadan at email@example.com or Nada Ihab at firstname.lastname@example.org.