Tawtheeq rule can be more flexible

The glitch in the Tawtheeq property registration system has gone on for three weeks. As a result, hundreds of tenants in the capital and elsewhere in the emirate are unable to register their lease contracts. But if only it were just that. In fact, the knock-on effect is that utilities can’t be turned on, and so tenants can’t move in. This is also slowing down the process of registering children in schools, and even in obtaining a Mawaqif parking permit. It would be good, therefore, to know when this will all be resolved.

    But the authorities have not even been able to explain what happened, beyond acknowledging that there’s a problem. While technical malfunctions can and do happen, should not the relevant authorities reveal as much as possible? It might even help consumers to make alternative plans, such as delaying a move.

    Now, all this in fact brought to mind a speech on Sunday by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior,who urged openness and transparency at a conference on government communication and other things. So here’s a thought: perhaps a little bit more explaining by the good people running Tawtheeq might earn them some sympathy from tenants for the glitch in their new system. Another thing that strikes us is that Tawtheeq is designed to be one part of a larger system that is meant to make life easier. But as this episode shows, when one part of the system fails, it can have a trickle-down effect. As such, a measure of flexibility is required. So why not allow tenants to provisionally sign up for electricity and water services and then later provide a Tawtheeq registration? Also, a computer glitch shouldn’t stand in the way of registering a child for school. The point is, in striving towards gold-star services, we need to focus on end results rather than means.

      We are the first to admit that even the best of systems – especially those that involve computer programs – have a tendency to not work as expected at first try. It’s fine to admit that while offering an interim work-around.