As part of the "Partners for Excellence" Initiative – launched by Dubai Government Excellence Programme – Dubai Customs and Legal Affairs Department have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on government excellence in the Headquarters of the General Secretariat of Dubai Executive Council in Emirates Towers. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Dubai Customs Director, H.E. Dr. Lowai Belhoul, Director General of the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department, H.E. Abdullah Al Shaibani, Dubai Executive Council's Secretary General and Chairman of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme and Dr Ahmed Al Nusairat, Coordinator-General of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme.​

The "Partners for Excellence" initiative aims to boost cooperation and partnership between various government bodies. It also seeks to improve performance through transferring expertise and knowledge of distinguished government entities throughout government, and help them develop and train their staff and cement excellence practices. This is part of the overall aim of achieving the government excellence goals as stipulated in the Dubai Plan 2021 that intends to make Dubai a pioneering and innovative government in meeting people's needs. 

The Memorandum of Understanding includes instruments of collaboration between the two parties through establishing a joint workforce to manage and coordinate the partnership within the collaborative action plan. This plan involves raising awareness of standards of excellence, assessment methodologies, and joint training processes, and then implementing a self-assessment to measure performance and developing an action plan for areas of improvement. Furthermore, the action plan provides mutual support for  plans and their periodic follow up under the direct supervision of the senior management of the two entities. The action plan then assesses the performance to measure the level of improvement in the beneficiary entity, after the implementation of the development plan relating performance and other relevant areas.

Commenting on the initiative, H.E. Abdullah Al Shaibani, Dubai Executive Council's Secretary-General and Chairman of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme, said: "In order to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, which aims to enhance the performance of Dubai's government entities and improving the quality of services provided by the Government of Dubai, and in order to support the directions of H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, which aims at achieving the number one position by making Dubai a city of excellence, creativity and quality, we launched "the partners for excellence" initiative in November 2011. This initiative seeks to foster cooperation and partnership between different government departments and improve their performance through transferring expertise and knowledge of distinguished government entities throughout government entities, to help them in their continuous efforts towards development and excellence".

Al Shaibani added: "Since the launch of the initiative we have achieved great success in building bridges of collaboration and the transfer of knowledge in different areas of government excellence in the Emirate of Dubai. This is reflected in the various memorandums of understanding between many entities signed under the supervision of the programme: Dubai Police General Headquarters with Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority with Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, Roads and Transport Authority with Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment and Dubai Municipality with Community Development Authority. After that, we conducted benchmark surveys of the performance indicators of the participating entities and how they benefited from the partnership with the supporting entities. These surveys indicated  a progress in several areas i.e. administrative and services sectors. Based on these results, we honored the participating entities at the Dubai Government Excellence Programme award ceremony of 2013".

H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Dubai Customs Director expressed his delight for signing the Memorandum of Understanding between Customs of Dubai and Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department with regards to the "Partners for Excellence" initiative in government excellence. He said "Customs of Dubai is keen on exchanging expertise, transferring knowledge, qualifying human resources and developing the skills of its employees and the employees of Dubai Government". Musabih added: "this keenness is in line with the directions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai to the government departments in the Emirate of Dubai to achieve excellence in delivering services to the satisfaction of the public and customers".

H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih stressed that this Memorandum of Understanding is set to foster collaboration among Government Entities to contribute to achieving goals of the Dubai Plan 2021. H.E. pointed out that the Dubai Customs, with all its extensive expertise and broad knowledge accumulated over 18 years of excellence and creativity, will cooperate with the Legal Affairs Department in order to improve performance, institutionalise and implement the best government excellence practices in a number of key categories of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP), such as Distinguished Government Entity, Distinguished Government Entity in Financial Performance, Distinguished E-Government Entity, Best Results in Employee Satisfaction and Best Results in Customer Satisfaction, within an atmosphere of partnership and integration among the Government of Dubai entities and departments.

"Customised training courses, workshop and mutual visits will be conducted with a view to making the best of the broad expertise possessed by Dubai Customs in corporate excellence and providing a comprehensive and adequate explanation about the criteria of the corporate excellence category of the DGEP", said H.E.

He then added that "Detailed self-assessment of the participating entity will be carried out in accordance with the requirements and criteria of the DGEP. The joint team will then prepare a detailed assessment report, indicating strengths and opportunities for improvement for each of the criteria. The report will then be submitted to the senior management of the participating entity."

Furthermore, H.E. Musabih reiterated that becoming a world leading customs administration supporting legitimate trade is part of the vision of Dubai Customs. In recognition of its efforts over the past years in developing the customs processes and procedures and providing outstanding services to the satisfaction of the public and customers, Dubai Customs  have won numerous local, regional and international awards in a plethora of customs sectors and levels including security, corporate excellence, trade facilitation and the promotion of external relations.

On a related note, H.E. Dr Lowai Belhoul, Director General of the Legal Affairs Department stated that the Memorandum of understanding is inspired by the vision of His Highness Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President  and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance government performance to a world-class level and optimise government services for the greater good of the residents of Dubai. He added: "We in the Legal Affairs Department are all looking forward to working jointly with Dubai Customs for the best interest of both entities and the improvement of their joint performance. Mutual cooperation and coordination between our entities under the Memorandum of Understanding is in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council, in "becoming number one" by making Dubai the city of excellence, creativity and quality."

Dr Belhoul further pointed out that sponsoring this Memorandum of Understanding by the DGEP affirms the relentless efforts made by the leadership to achieve excellence, advance the prestige of the Emirate of Dubai locally and internationally in all areas of government excellence, bringing about harmony and consistency in corporate performance of government  entities, raising the level of excellence criteria that established Dubai as one of the best and most successful governments in terms of government services and corporate performance. H.E. concluded by extending his thanks to the Partners for Excellence initiative team for its full support to all government entities in order to implement the initiative and foster a culture of excellence and improve the government, administrative and services key performance indicators (KPIs) to make the Government of Dubai a leading and distinguished government both locally and internationally.

The "Partners for Excellence" initiative is comprised of multiple phases including: forming a working group, participating in managing and coordinating partnerships' processes through developing a joint action plan, identifying performance indicators, providing information, following up the implementation of the action plan, measuring to what extent the performance indicators are observed and explaining the excellence principles and assessment approaches. Such phases include conducting workshops to raise awareness of the requirements of institutional excellence and providing specialised courses on the criteria of the DGEP and the mechanisms adopted in the assessment of the participating entities. The phases also include carrying out self-assessment of the institutional performance through forming a working group for that purpose, identifying challenges, analysing gaps, preparing a detailed report on the assessment results, submitting such results to the senior management and developing an action plan with a view to enhancing the areas and opportunities for improvement.

In a further phase of the initiative, training courses, awareness workshops and workplace training, may be provided from one government entity to another,  therefore assisting in the implementation and follow up of  participating entities  development plan's.  Other aspects of the initiative  include providing assistance in designing and implementing systems, undertaking institutional visits for education and comparative analysis, as well as following up on the implementation of the development plan through developing regular reports on challenges and achievements and submitting them to the senior management of the participating entities. The final stage of the initiative requires a detailed  self-assessment of the institutional performance of the participating entity conducted within the parameters of the program requirements.   The results of the self-assessment will form the basis of a report on the strengths and improvements noted and commented on, by  the joint assessment team.

Dr. Ahmed Al Nusairat, Coordinator General of the DGEP added: "The DGEP team seeks to fulfil the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai aimed at achieving a world-class and distinguished government performance and providing people with a better quality of life by means of dedicated Government services. The DGEP team provided all means of support to the Government entities to undertake the initiative for the purpose of disseminating the culture of excellence, creativity and quality as well as improving the Government performance indicators on the administrative and service-based levels. Together all of which contribute to making the Government of Dubai a distinguished and pioneering government locally and globally".

He also noted that the DGEP is striving to develop the government performance and support the Government entities adding that: "We extend our thanks to Dubai Customs and the Legal Affairs Department for adopting the items of the initiative with whom we shall be committed to work jointly to upgrade the institutional performance and achieve excellence. We are pleased with the current cooperation between Dubai Customs and the Legal Affairs Department and will be always keen to provide the necessary support for both entities in implementing their joint plans. We are confident that participation in this initiative will lead to opening new horizons of joint cooperation in different and diversified fields". 

Dr. Ahmed Al Nusairat added: "We all work to fulfil one vision and common goal and so all the Government entities shall cooperate as one team to fulfil the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai.