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Intro to e gov

Intro to e gov

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Intro to e gov

  1. 1. Chapter V Introduction to e-Government
  2. 2. Overview
  3. 3. Concepts: Government & Technology Governments' use of ICTs is now well established:  from the use of mainframes for mass- processing tasks,  to email, WWW and the full-range of enterprise IT technologies. Governments adopt new technological solutions. Governments facilitate the development of ICT industries. Governments benefit from embracing ICT.
  4. 4. Concepts : Government & Society Governments are under pressure:  from globalisation  from fiscal demands  from evolving societies  from citizen expectations They are expected to be responsive to social change, to address public concerns, to manage public funds efficiently, etc. The expectations on governments grow as IS is more widespread.
  5. 5. Concepts: Response Public reform:  customer orientation  business-like management  citizen engagement and trust, etc. ICT on governments' agendas:  e-government strategies  e-government development targets  e-government coordination offices and structures
  6. 6. Concepts: Resistance At the same time:  governments adapt slowly  they tend to regard e-government as only one among many challenges they confront
  7. 7. Concepts: e-Government Different definitions:  Internet (on-line) service delivery and other Internetbased activity by governments – front-office only  All uses of ICT by governments, on-line and off-line, frontoffice and back-office  Capacity to transform public administration through the use of ICT or new forms of government built around ICT They reflect different priorities in government strategies, and shift as priorities change and progress is made.
  8. 8. Concepts: e-Government Definition Definition : e-Government refers to the use of ICT, particularly the Internet, as a tool to achieve better government.
  9. 9. Concepts: e-Government as a Tool  e-Government is not an aim in itself.  It is a tool to enable:  better policy outcomes  higher quality of services  more efficient use of public funds  more efficient government processes  greater engagement with citizens and businesses  improvements in other selected performance indicators, etc.  e-Government is more about government than about “e”!  What starts as a technical exercise at developing more responsive public services becomes an exercise in governance.
  10. 10. Reasons
  11. 11. Reasons for e-Government  The main reasons to embrace e- government:  e-government improves efficiency  e-government improves service quality  e-government helps achieve policy outcomes  e-government contributes to achieving economic objectives  e-government can be the major contributor to reform  e-government builds trust between citizens and government
  12. 12. Reasons for e-Government  Until now, the main drivers for e-government have been efficiency gains and effective delivery of policy outcomes.  Recently, the focus has shifted to other objectives: improving services, increasing accountability, facilitating engagement.
  13. 13. Efficiency  Cost reduction is the major driver for ICT use by governments:  replacing paper-based application processes with Internet  applications – cut down costs of data re-entry and checking  improved booking arrangements – more efficient use of  scarce resources: skilled staff and facilities  greater sharing of data within government – eliminate costs  of multiple collections, data reconciliation and checking  reduce government publication and distribution costs by relying more on on-line publications, etc.  Greater efficiencies are generated from ICT projects that involve transformation of business processes.
  14. 14. Efficiency
  15. 15. Customer Focus  Adopting customer focus is the main part of the countries' public reform agendas and e- government strategies.  Definition: Customer focus is about providing citizens and businesses with a coherent interface with government which reflects their needs rather than the structure of the government.
  16. 16. Customer Focus Initiatives  e-Government initiatives to improve customer focus:  on-line portals focused on particular topics or groups,  bringing together relevant information and services  targeting of on-line information to specific groups of citizen  so that relevant information can be found more readily  e-mail lists to push customised information to specific groups,  whenever the information becomes available  allowing identified users to carry out routine transactions with the government as on-line government services
  17. 17. Efficiency
  18. 18. Improve Policy Outcome  e-Government can help achieve better outcomes in major policy areas, such as:  taxation policy - improved collection of taxes through increased sharing of information by agencies  health policy - reduced demand for health services through better use of health information and scarce health resources  fiscal policy - reduced unemployment payments owing to better matching of the unemployed and vacancies  social policy - promoting the use of native languages and awareness of indigenous people  environmental policy – through better sharing of information between national and sub-national governments  It is expected that all policy areas will be affected by e-government.
  19. 19. Economic Objectives  Through reduced corruption, greater openness and increased trust in government, e- government contributes to economic objectives.  Specific measures:  improving business productivity by administrative simplification and on-line support for small and medium-size businesses  business portals providing access to economic information - market trends, export opportunities, assistance programmes  reduced government calls on public funds through more effective programs and operations  direct consumption of ICT goods and services by government is significant and more stable than by private sector
  20. 20. Public Management Reform  Public management reform has been on the agendas of many countries long before e- government emerged.  Reform and e-government are mutually dependant:  reform is necessary for e-government to deliver  e-government is an enabler of the reform
  21. 21. Reform for e-Government  Reform is necessary for e-government to deliver:  The promise of e-government will not materialise by simply digitising government information and placing it on-line.  Instead, e-government is about the use of ICT to transform the structures, operations and the culture of government.
  22. 22. e-Government for Reform  e-Government is an enabler of the reform:  • it serves as a tool for reform:  simplifies administrative processes  makes such processes more transparent  helps to deliver services in more efficient ways  facilitates the integration of services and processes  enables seamless government
  23. 23. e-Government for Reform  e-Government is an enabler of the reform:  • it serves as a tool for reform:  it renews public interest in the reform  Captures imagination of political leaders and civil servants.  Raises citizen expectations, creating pressure on government.  it highlights internal government inconsistencies  it underscores commitment to good governance objectives
  24. 24. Citizens Engagement  Building trust between government and citizens is fundamental.  In the absence of trust:  the rule of law  legitimacy of government decisions  support for specific government reforms  may be all called into question.  ICT is an enabler to build trust by engaging citizens.
  25. 25. Citizens Engagement  Ways of engagement:  consultation and feedback by service users – web logs, questionnaires and feedback contacts  citizen engagement in policy making – consultation and active participation to better address constituents' needs  helping individual's voice be heard
  26. 26. Challenges
  27. 27. Challenges to e-Government  Implementation of e-government can face a number of challenges.  The following have to be addressed on a whole-of-government basis in order to be overcome:  legislative barriers – e-government processes must have the same standing as paper-based processes  financial barriers – funding arrangements should account for the agencies working together on e-government projects  technology change – adoption of whole-of-government standards, software integration and middleware technologies  digital divide – large differences in the level of access to the Internet and therefore ability to benefit from e-government
  28. 28. Legislative Barriers  Governments must ensure that a proper legal framework exists before e-government initiatives and processes can take up.  What is needed:  Recognition of electronic processes and services as equivalent with paper-based processes and services. The legal recognition of digital signatures is necessary!  Clarification of requirements on the agencies implementing e-government: what they can and cannot do. Attention areas: data security, technical standards, existing ICT regulations, agency cooperation frameworks.
  29. 29. Legislative Barriers  What is needed:  Overcoming collaboration barriers: • accountability rules designed to ensure responsible use of public resources by clearly identifying who does what Who is responsible for the shared project? • performance management also follows clear distinction of who does what How to evaluate shared project?  Legislations designed to protect the privacy and security of data, to balance free access with society's expectations.
  30. 30. Budgetary Barriers  Traditional public management funding:  vertical funding structure  agency is held accountable for achieving its mission  agency receives the resources to accomplish its mission  the resources are budgeted on the annual or bi- annual basis  This principle does not act in favour of e- government projects that involve long-term funding and collaboration across agencies.
  31. 31. Barriers to e-Gov Funding  Factors acting against e-government funding:  e-government is unlikely to win out in competition with other public policy objectives e.g. health, education, security  it is difficult to measure costs and potential benefits of e- government, so to develop funding cases for projects  if not treated as capital investment, e-government has to compete with other pressing recurrent funding proposals, and will seem to involve comparatively large expenditure  governments are reluctant to commit expenditure beyond budgeting horizons, and yet many e-government projects are of multi-annual nature
  32. 32. Barriers to e-Gov Funding  Factors acting against e-government collaboration:  the vertical nature of traditional budget arrangements do not encourage shared funding of collaborative projects  difficulties to assess the extent to which agencies benefit from (and should contribute to) shared projects  performance-based budgeting rewards independent projects  at the expense of collaborative projects  no framework for benefit-sharing, so no incentives to eliminate redundant systems by sharing systems with other agencies
  33. 33. Measures to e-Gov Funding  Measures to assist e-government funding:  classifying major e-government projects as capital investment with up-front capital outlays and subsequent benefits  separate approval by the e-government coordination office to ensure no duplication of inconsistency with broader strategies  public-private partnerships to overcome: capital limitations, budget-time horizons, disincentives for collaboration  central funding for innovation for high-risk demonstration project that wouldn't receive funding otherwise  a government-wide approach to the assessment of costs and benefits of e-government  ability for agencies to retain savings created by e- government
  34. 34. Measures to e-Gov Collaboration  Measures to assist e-government collaboration:  central register of e-government initiatives seeking funding  central funds to encourage certain initiatives e.g. collaboration  lead agency model – an agency funds a project that benefits other agencies as well as itself  several agencies coordinating their approach to obtain funding  pooled funding – several agencies share funding for a common project, under a semi-contractual arrangement  agency payment model – co-ordinating agency funds the project, other agencies then pay to use the service  a mandatory levy on agencies to enable some joint projects
  35. 35. Technology Change  Technology-related barriers to e-government:  legacy systems  lack of shared infrastructure  too rapid technological changes, etc.  Complex technical issues arise.
  36. 36. Legacy Systems  Legacy systems can be a major barrier to e- government.  Integrating back-office information systems with Internet to provide on-line access to clients, has occupied many e-government projects.  Common solutions:  middleware and web services  data-exchange standards relying on XML  Also, promotion of government-wide frameworks, standards and data definitions by e-government coordinators.
  37. 37. Lack of Shared Infrastructure  Technology-related barriers to collaboration between agencies and the uptake of e- government:  lack of shared standards  lack of compatible infrastructure between agencies  Infrastructure development is too expensive for a single agency.  Shared development faces budgetary and collaboration barriers. What can be done?
  38. 38. Shared Infrastructure & e-Gov  Governments can provide a technological, legal and organizational framework for delivering electronic services:  common technical standards  common technical infrastructure  whole-of-government approach to lower the legal and technical barriers for inter-agency cooperation  whole-of-government approach to reduce redundancy, e.g. by adopting common back-office processes
  39. 39. Technology Change  How to plan development of e-government facing uncertainty over the fast-moving technological change?  Public-private partnership is one solution, provided they are in the areas where established standards already exist in the market.
  40. 40. Technology Change  Other approaches:  technology neutrality in legislation and regulation  flexibility within broad regulatory frameworks  adaptation of current laws to a digital world  involvement of all stakeholders in the regulatory process  international cooperation to harmonise approaches  performance requirements rather than technical specifications when procuring new technologies
  41. 41. Digital Divide  e-Government can indirectly improve services to citizens with no Internet access - back- office improvements, however:  Advantages of on-line services cannot be replicated off-line, so people without Internet access will be unable to benefit.  The groups in society with lower level of access are already disengaged - the target of government intervention. Such groups have higher level of interaction with government: • establishing identity • entitlement for assistance • complex medical or social intervention Some, but not all, suited for on-line provision.  Many governments pursue policies to reduce digital divide.

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