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A Triple-Helix Model of Sustainable Government Information Infrastructure: Case Study of the eProcurement System in the Indonesian Public Sector

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Information Systems Development (ISD) Conference 2012, Prato, Italy, 29-30 August 2012

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A Triple-Helix Model of Sustainable Government Information Infrastructure: Case Study of the eProcurement System in the Indonesian Public Sector

  1. 1. A Triple-Helix Model ofSustainable GovernmentInformation InfrastructureCase Study of the eProcurement System inthe Indonesian Public SectorFathul WahidDepartment of Information Systems, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway andDepartment of Informatics, Universitas Islam Indonesia, Yogyakarta, Indonesiafathul.wahid@uia.noPresented at the 21st International Conference on Information Systems Development (ISD2012)Monash University, Prato, Italy, 29-30 August 2012
  2. 2. Introduction• In developing countries: • Implementation of eGovernment initiatives (or in general information systems [IS]) has had to confront many serious challenges, and generally has had a poor record of success (e.g., Sein, 2011; Walsham & Sahay, 2006; Heeks, 2002) • One of the main challenges relates to their sustainability (Braa et al, 2007; Heeks, 2002)• In Indonesia • The problem of sustainability is often caused by uncoordinated initiatives • Most of the local governments developed and maintained their own ISs • As results: fragmented and incompatible ISs 2
  3. 3. The context and research question• The context • eProcurement system is among the successful eGovernment initiatives • Since its inception in 2008, the system has provided service to 650 government agencies • The system has saved 12% of the national INDONESIA procurement budget• An intriguing question • Why some eGovernment initiatives are sustainable, while some other are not?• Research question • How can the sustainability of the Yogyakarta Sragen eProcurement system be understood in the Jembrana context of Indonesia? 3
  4. 4. Why important?• As in many other developing countries, corruption is believed to be one of the main barriers of development• eProcurement has been adopted as part of efforts to combat corruption• 10-50% of the public procurement budget was misappropriated• Public expenditure accounts for 30-40% of total national spending 4
  5. 5. Research framework• Sustainable IS • Sustainability is conceptualized as an attribute of an IS (and/or the impact of IS)• Various perspectives of sustainable IS (e.g.) • Financial, social, technological, political/institutional, environmental sustainability (Kumar & Best, 2006) • Supply vs. demand sustainability (Furuholt, 2010)• An essential premise • To be sustainable, a system must survive in the long term• What this study offers • One way to address this issue is by conceptualizing an eProcurement system as information infrastructure (II) 5
  6. 6. Information infrastructure• Various definitions of information infrastructure (II) can be found in the literature.• “It is a fundamentally relational concept. It becomes infrastructure in relation to organized practices” (Star & Ruhleder, 1996:113)• When defining infrastructure, the notion of when is more important than the notion of what. Something is an infrastructure only in relation to some practices (Star and Ruhleder, 1996) 6
  7. 7. Dimensions of information infrastructure (II)Dimension of II DescriptionEmbeddedness It is sunk into, inside of, other structures, social arrangements and technologiesTransparency It does not have to be reinvented each time or assembled for each taskReach and scope Its reach and scope beyond a single event or one-site practiceLearned as part of New participants acquire a naturalized familiarity with an II as they become members. Themembership adopters see an II as an object about which they will learnLinks with As a socio-technical artefact, it both shapes and is shaped by the conventions of aconventions of community of practice. Thus, an II is enacted, reproduced, and changed through daily use.practiceEmbodiment of The standards allow an II to be plugged into other structures in a standardized fashion.standardsBuilt on an An II does not grow de novo, from scratch; but it is built on an installed base.installed baseBecomes visible An II, which normally possesses an invisible quality when it is working, becomes visibleupon breakdown when it breaks.Fixed in modular Since II is large, layered, and complex, changing it takes time, negotiation, and adjustment,increments and hence it is evolving Source: Star & Ruhleder, 1996; Star, 2010; Hansenth & Lyytinen, 2010 7
  8. 8. Research method• An interpretive case study• Data were collected through: • Informal and formal interviews with 22 people (30-150 minutes each) from various levels • Written documents/reports/presentation slides • News in the media and official websites • Field observation in three local governments • Participation in a three-day national meeting of eProcurement officers attended by more than 600 participants• Data analysis • The dimensions of II were used as template when coding the data • Axial coding strategy was adopted to identify technical and non-technical factors emerged from the data 8
  9. 9. Summary of the findings 9
  10. 10. 1. Embeddedness• Legal • Presidential Decree No. 80/2003 concerns the public procurement • Presidential Degree No. 106/2007 concerns the establishment of National Public Procurement Agency (LKPP) • Local regulations were enacted to legitimate and guide implementation of the system• Managerial • The system was attached to the existing public procurement practice both at national and local levels • Budget allocation to support eProcurement initiative• Technical • The system has been developed and maintained by a permanent in-house IT team • The system has been and will be integrated with the existing IT infrastructure 10
  11. 11. 4. Learned as part of membership• Legal • LKPP issued regulations concerning the adoption of the system in other government agencies • The adopters made a letter of intention• Managerial • The adopters of the system established their eProcurement team • The team attended an eProcurement management training • The vendors attended a training on how to use the system• Technical • The eProcurement officers/administrators attended technical trainings and annual meetings held by LKPP 11
  12. 12. “The government agency should assign a person in chargeas an official contact to LKPP. The agency should also senda letter of intention … [and] assign a team of 5-10 people as eProcurement officers. The team should attend a 4-day eProcurement management training held by LKPP.” – Taken from LKPP’s consultation website 12
  13. 13. 6. Embodiment of standards• Legal • PD No. 80/2003 • PD No. 54/2010 • PI No. 11/2011 • LKPP issued a set of regulations concerning various standards• Managerial • The officers should be certified by LKPP • The eProcurement processes followed the standards set in the national regulations• Technical • The system was equipped with a standard auditing and data encryption mechanism • The configuration and installation of IT infrastructure to support the eProcurement system followed the standards set by LKPP 13
  14. 14. Main findings• In addition to technical factor that determined the sustainability of the eProcurement system, other two factors emerged: legal and managerial• These three factors emerged in almost all dimension of II• The intensive link between the three factors provide evidence that in order to ensure or to improve the sustainability of the system, we should consider both technical and non-technical factor• A change in a factor lead to changes in other factors 14
  15. 15. A triple-helixmodel of agovernment II 15
  16. 16. Practical implications• From a legal viewpoint, although regulations provide a coercion power, taking specificity of the context into account could smooth their enactment.• From a managerial standpoint, involvement of the community of practices, in the development and improvement of II can ensure its sustainability and serve as a way to create a collective awareness and cultivate legitimacy.• From a technical perspective, a continuous incremental development of II was proven to be a successful strategy to make it sustainable. This was made possible mainly by the establishment of a permanent in- house IT team that was attuned to the real practice and responsive to the system breakdowns. 16
  17. 17. “Sustainability as a movement only happens with a massive participation. This participation needs an approach that provides a room for all the parties to play their role. There is no dominating role in this kind of movement, although it needs a ‘bond’, to prevent it from an undirected movement. This is perhaps the factor that has been driving the movement so far.” – The Director of eProcurement in LKPP in a personal communication 17
  18. 18. The (expected) contributions of the study1. It offers a new perspective from which to understand the sustainability of an eGovernment initiative (eProcurement here), by applying II dimensions.2. It extends or re-interprets the concept of II in the context of eGovernment studies, or more generally in the context of the public sector, by introducing three factors that go hand-in-hand during the development and implementation of the eProcurement system.3. It offers a set of practical suggestions that may inform both eGovernment researchers and practitioners. 18
  19. 19. Limitations (and further research)• As an II is often context-specific, generally this single-case study may not capture all the variability that may emerge during the process of implementation of an II. • A similar assessment of other national IIs, both successful and unsuccessful, could be conducted.• The sustainability of the II under study was judged based on its short history (i.e., four years). • A question about the time frame or the duration emerges here. For how long must an II be in place before it can be considered sustainable?• Although the eProcurement system is considered sustainable, the study has not assessed its impact and the sustainability of the impact. • Some impacts can be easily measured, such as budget savings, but other impacts (e.g., public procurement transparency, SMEs empowerment) are intangible and difficult to measure. 19
  20. 20. Comments and questions?Fathul Wahidfathul.wahid@uia.no 20
  21. 21. An illustration• On November 2011 • No implementation target set by the regulation • Government agencies set their own target by enacting local regulations• In an opening speech on a national gathering, the head of LKPP stated “I propose that we should interpret ‘some’ tenders [in PD No. 54/2010] as ‘all’ tenders. Let us start campaigning that ‘all’ tenders in 2012 should use the eProcurement system, not ‘some’.” • This statement was only an interpretation, or to be precise, an expectation• December 2011 • A new presidential instruction was enacted; a clear target was set. • In 2012 at least 75% and 40% of the total procurement budgets at the national and the local levels, respectively, should use eProcurement. 21

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