The Electronic Journal of e-Government publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Government

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Journal Article

The Changing Nature of Archives: Whose Responsibility?  pp68-78

Mari Runardotter, Christina Mortberg, Anita Mirijamdotter

© Sep 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 92

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Abstract

The implementation of eGovernment and the increasing amount of e‑services leads to the production of huge amounts of digitally recorded information. In turn, this raises a demand for well‑functioning e‑archives, considering the laws and regulations of public and citizens’ rights and obligations. However, we find that there are difficulties in public organisations in dealing with the complex and challenging issue of digital preservation. Not only does eGovernment transformation change productivity, governance and governmental coordination and collaboration, it also transforms the everyday work practices of many public sector employees. A vivid example is archivists and archival work. The matter of e‑archives is often left to the archivists, who have limited power and influence to be able to deal with digital preservation to the extent needed. The research question we address is therefore: who should be held responsible for the changing nature of archives and digital preservation in an organization? Our aim in this paper is to analyse and discuss plans for, and layers of, responsibility for digital preservation as configured and reconfigured in archivists’ stories and Swedish national policy documents. We use a model that covers three arenas: political, organizational, and practical (or individual). Our findings suggest that to conduct good governance and create properly‑functioning e‑archives there is a need to spread the responsibility for these e‑archives and to plan for cooperation, coordination, and communication around digital preservation. This should happen in interplay between the various actors which hold the practical responsibility, technological responsibility and strategic responsibility. Additionally we note that the view of archivists as keepers of information is moving towards the role of facilitators, who support access to information rather than merely keeping it intact for future. Moreover, as a result of technological developments we find that issues to address in further studies are the present laws and regulations that govern archives, change of work practices and ways of dealing with digital preservation.

 

Keywords: digital preservation, eGovernment, digital archives, participatory design, actors, and agendas

 

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Journal Article

Success Factors of Geneva's e‑Voting System  pp71-78

Michel Chevallier, Michel Warynski, Alain Sandoz

© Dec 2006 Volume 4 Issue 2, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp49 - 94

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Abstract

In eight official votes between January 2003 and April 2005 authorities in Geneva invited up to 90 ,000 citizens to test a remote e‑Voting system as a complement to traditional voting methods. Multidisciplinary teams composed of legal, political, PR, security and computer science specialists, strongly supported by the Government, participated in creating the system which will be appraised by the Geneva Parliament en 2006. This paper reports on the project, its results in terms of numbers and socio‑political profile of e‑Voters, and its success factors. All three authors were directly or indirectly involved in the project from the beginning and are currently working on the deployment of Geneva's e‑ Government platform.

 

Keywords: remote e-voting, direct democracy, project success factors

 

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Journal Article

Factors Influencing Citizen Adoption of SMS‑Based e‑Government Services  pp55-70

Tony Dwi Susantoand Robert Goodwin

© Mar 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 82

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Abstract

This paper identifies the factors that determine citizens' acceptance of SMS‑based e‑government services. It reports on a web‑based survey, paper‑based questionnaires, and phone‑call interviews that collected 159 responses from 25 countries. The results indicate that there are fifteen perceptions toward using SMS‑based e‑government services that may influence citizens to use or to reject the services: perceived ease of use; perceived efficiency in time and distance; perceived value for money; perceived usefulness; perceived responsiveness; perceived convenience; perceived relevance, quality and reliability of the information; trust in the SMS technology; perceived risk to user privacy; perceived reliability of the mobile network and the SMS‑based system; trust in government and perceived quality of public services; perceived risk to money; perceived availability of device and infrastructure; perceived compatibility; and perceived self‑efficacy in using SMS. Whether or not a citizen adopts an SMS‑based e‑government service is influenced by these perceptions. To increase the acceptance of SMS‑based e‑government services, the systems should address all of these belief factors. An intensive advertising campaign for the services in all mass media channels is critically important to make citizens aware of and to provide detailed knowledge about the services. The advertising campaign should involve people who influence individuals' decision making. These people include friends, family, teachers, experts, public figures, and government officials. This study found that Notification services are the most frequently used followed by Pull SMS, Listen, and Transaction SMS services. Notification services could be an appropriate starting point for governments who want to establish SMS‑based e‑government services.

 

Keywords: e-government, SMS, acceptance factors, six Level model of SMS-based e-government, technology adoption, users' behaviour, public services

 

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Journal Article

A Model of Success Factors for Implementing Local E‑government in Uganda  pp31-46

Robinah Nabafu, Gilbert Maiga

© Oct 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 94

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Abstract

Local e‑government enables citizens at all levels to interact with government easily and access services through electronic means. It enables electronic transactions between government departments and the private sector to take place easily and cheaply. Despite these benefits, its implementation in economically and technologically transitioning countries remains problematic. This is largely due to the gap between the existing e‑government implementation models and the local context for these countries. This study attempts to address this problem by describing a model for local e‑government implementation in a transitioning country, Uganda. A field study was used to gather requirements for the model. The results are used to extend an existing model in order to describe a suitable one for Uganda. Basing on the results collected from the field, the research recommends that the extended model for local e‑government implementation should address the dimensions of financial Resource mobilization, ICT infrastructure, training, sensitization, trust and social political factors. The model was validated in a questionnaire based field study

 

Keywords: Electronic government, Local government, success factors, Transitional country, developing country, Traditional local government, e-government implementation models.

 

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Journal Article

Electronic Tax Filing in the United States: An Analysis of Possible Success factors  pp20-36

Sonja E. Pippin, Mehmet S. Tosun

© Nov 2014 Volume 12 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 125

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Abstract

Abstract: This study summarizes and analyses the demographic, socio‑economic, and geographic factors affecting electronic tax filing (e‑filing) in the United States for the years 1999, and 2004…2007 and the growth in e‑filing between 1999 and 2007. Beyo nd the descriptive analysis, two issues related to electronic tax filing are target of further analysis: First, the variables having a positive impact on e‑filing rates and e‑filing growth are analysed. Second, because a more detailed look at state and co unty data indicates high variability within and between states, some demographic, socio‑economic, and geographic variables are examined in more detail. This second question addresses the possibility that e‑filing … just like other initiatives involving el ectronic media … could increase the digital gap. We use zip‑code level e‑filing information and county level demographic, income and unemployment data for each of the years in question. Our findings indicate significant variation in e‑filing rates across and within states, and rapid growth over time. E‑filing rates are found to be lower in rural counties, counties with low population size, counties with a lower share of females, counties with a higher share of Hispanics and Asians, and counties with a hig her share of the elderly population. Surprisingly, educational attainment is negatively correlated with e‑filing rate and growth in e‑filing.

 

Keywords: Keywords: e-government, electronic tax filing rates, electronic tax filing growth, technology acceptance, socio-economic, demographic, and geographic factors

 

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Journal Article

A Model of Fundamental Components for an e‑Government Crowdsourcing Platform  pp141-156

Kevin Cupido, Jacques Ophoff

© Dec 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECEG 2014, Editor: Frank Banister, pp95 - 207

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Abstract

Abstract: Most e‑Government implementations have resulted in failures with many implementations being one‑way (government‑to‑citizen) and mainly informational (Dada, 2006; Cloete, 2012). However, advances in technology provide governments with the opp ortunity to engage with citizens using new methods, such as crowdsourcing. Successful commercial and open source software implementations of crowdsourcing have sparked interest in its potential use in the public sector. Brabham (2009) advocated for the use of crowdsourcing in the public sector to increase public participation and for governments to access citizens as a source of ideas and solutions. However, crowdsourcing lacks a theoretical and conceptual foundation (Geiger, et al., 2011; Pedersen, et al., 2013). Within e‑Government there is also a lack of knowledge regarding the implementation of crowdsourcing platforms (Koch & Brunswicker, 2011). The main research questions is: How are crowdsourcing initiatives able to motivate citizen participat ion in e‑Government? A conceptual model of critical success factors for an e‑Government crowdsourcing solution is presented, based on a comprehensive review of relevant literature. The model uses Self‑Determination Theory as a basis to examine citizen mo tivation and the influence of incentives or rewards. The model also addresses system factors such as task clarity and types, management, and feedback. In addition it also examines effort and performance expectancy, and behavioural intention to use crowdso urcing through the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology. The results of a questionnaire‑based survey (n=295) testing the model indicated that some crowdsourcing concepts may not necessarily translate well when applied in public sector init iatives. System management and support, rules and feedback as well as the UTUAT constructs were identified as important factors. This research benefits future work by building a conceptual foundation for a potential e‑Government crowdsourcing solution.

 

Keywords: Keywords: e-Government, Crowdsourcing, Critical Success Factors, Self-Determination Theory

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 8 Issue 1 / Mar 2010  pp1‑82

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Editorial

e‑Government is, like many a term in technology before it, suffering from verbal inflation. Actually that is something of an overstatement, terminological proliferation would be a better way of putting it. Now we have e‑governance, t‑government, i‑government, etc. It seems that picking a new letter and sticking it in front of ‘government’ is becoming quite the fashion.

However e‑government is still alive and well and in this issue we have a rich variety of articles covering different aspects of the topic. Joseph Bwayala is (I think) the journal’s first author from Botswana. In his paper he uses the Technology Acceptance Model as a starting point for looking at ways of reducing the risk of failure of e‑government projects in southern Africa and specifically how an adoption model has been used in Zambia and Botswana to foster e‑inclusion. This is a tale of two countries with Botswana having a developed e‑government strategy whilst Zambia is still at a much more basic level with its services. The model he proposes is a complex one and it is interesting to compare it with other models of e‑government acceptance. Of particular interest is the inclusion of local culture in the mix.

Another African country, Uganda, is the locus of Edgar Asiimwe and Nena Lim’s article in which they address another important theme in e‑government research, namely website usability. As they point out, only limited research has yet been done in this area in Africa. As the authors point out, Uganda currently does not score highly on e‑readiness criteria, but there is a steady growth in web usage. Looking at a range of major ministry web sites in the country, the authors consider various aspects of design layout, navigation and legal policies. They use a coding scheme to construct a simple, but effective model for rating each ministry. This is a model which might prove useful to other researchers, especially those in Africa.

There are two papers from Malaysia in this issue, both looking at different problems. Erlane K Ghani and Jamaliah Said look at the use by local authorities in Malaysia of the Web to disclose financial information. The Malaysian government has set itself the target of making Malaysia a fully developed country by 2020. eGovernment is one of a number of pillars in their approach to this. One of their findings is that a factor affecting how local authorities use the Web to disclose financial information is their sense of social obligation. Performance is another factor. Size, it would appear, does not matter. Their research suggests opportunities for others to replicate in different environments and compare what they find with the Malaysian results.

Also in Malaysia, Anna Che Azmi and Ng Lee Bee investigate the factors which affect adoption of e‑filing for taxation. Their approach is based in what has become almost a tradition for acceptance models as their review of the literature shows. They show that for Malaysian taxpayers at least, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and perceived risk all influence the intention to use and usage of the e‑filing system. These findings are in line with those found in other countries and are a useful addition to the growing body of knowledge about user take‑up of on‑line taxation services.

In a different part of the globe, Hyun Jung Yun and Cynthia Opheim analyse the diffusion of e‑government take‑up by the populations of different States of the Union in America. West has shown that there are quite dramatic differences in state e‑government rankings in the USA with the top states achieving double the scores of the weakest. A wide variety of explanations for these discrepancies have been proposed from topography to economic resources. Yun and Opheim suggest that a more useful explanatory factor is emulation and examine four explanatory hypotheses about diffusion: emulation, imitation, citizen demand and accumulation of time. They conclude that leadership is influential and that states will be motivated to copy innovations which they perceive will lead to greater efficiency and cost savings. This gives a greater impetus to reforms.

In terms of the typical EJEG paper, Andrew Power’s article is not in the mainstream, but it is the type of article of which I would like to see more and I invite readers to take up similar themes. Power’s article is about the positioning of ICT in the question of the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. Reflecting on a wide range of ideas, he examines how the EU uses ICT in general and in particular used ICT in the European Parliament elections of 2009. He also examines how our politicians see the role of ICT in democracy at European level. The article provides a rich vein of material for thought, discussion and further research. If any reader would like to pen a response or reflection on it, I would be pleased to consider it.

Finally in this issue, Tony Susanto and Robert Goodwin explore the use of short messaging service (SMS) technology by government. Despite the enormous popularity of this technology, the authors point out that there has as yet been no significant study of its use as an e‑ (or more accurately m‑) government tool. Using a multinational telephone survey which threw up some intriguing findings including that perceived efficiency in time and distant was the second most influential factor in take‑up after perceived ease of use, the authors observe that this suggests that citizens are cost conscious about such services. Another interesting finding (which may have wider implications) is that people like SMS because they perceive that they are dealing with people; they do not like talking to machines. There are other findings in their work, too many to summarise here, but this article also provides a trove of further research possibilities.

 

Keywords: acceptance factors, adoption model, Botswana, cyberparliament, democratic deficit, digital reporting, eConsultation, e-democracy, e-filing, e-Government, emulation, e-service European Union, feature inspection method, internet technology, leadership, legitimacy, local authorities, Malaysia, perceived risk, policies, professional networks, public services, SADC, Six Level model of SMS-based e-government, SMS, taxation, technology acceptance model, technology adoption, Uganda, users’ behaviour, web usability, websites, Zambia

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 8 Issue 2, ECEG Conference Issue / Dec 2010  pp83‑235

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Editorial

The 2010 European Conference on e‑Government was held in the University of Limerick, Ireland and hosted the second highest number of papers and participants in the ten years that the conference has been running (the largest attendance was in 2004 when it was part of the Irish EU Presidency programme). Selecting the best papers from the conference for publication is a time consuming, though far from uninteresting task. Not the least of its virtues is that enables me to get a good overview of what is going on in the e‑government world, at least in Europe.  

This year we have selected twelve papers from the conference. The main criteria that have been used in selection are that the authors have something interesting to say and that they say it in a well researched and argued manner. I have a personal preference for papers that make me think or which approach a problem in an innovative manner. The first of this year’s papers by Nitesh Bharosa et al meets the latter criteria particularly well as it uses a role playing game to look at service delivery principles. This is not a research method that I have encountered before in the e‑government literature. From their research, the researchers derive eight principles of which my favourite is that “the customer is innocent until proven otherwise”!  Christian Breitenstrom and Andreas Penski’s papers is quite a technical paper for EJEG, looking at certain aspects of ensuring trust in the use of electronic safes. e‑Safes have been considered by a number of governments, but I am not aware of any government having implemented a widely used system as yet (somebody please correct me if I am wrong about this). This paper focuses on just one small part of this complex problem, but an important one.  Jessica Clancy et al describe how the Irish Revenue (tax authority) is using customer segmentation techniques such as cluster analysis (worthy of A.C. Nielsen) to analyse behaviour in their pay‑as‑you‑earn taxpayer base. This kind of practitioner paper often provides insights which it is difficult for external researchers to achieve, not least because there are often innovative things going on in government ICT of which the academy is unaware. Some of the behaviour patterns they unearth are quite surprising, even quirky. This work helps the Irish Revenue to improve their customer service and focus.  Ambiguity of definition can be a plague in government generally and is a problem in interoperability. It is all very well getting the computers to talk to one another, but this is of value if the users are speaking different languages. In their paper, Fred Freitas et al start from Tim Berners‑Lee’s concept of the semantic web to consider how the concepts of semantics can be used to check for consistency in government documents.  David Landsbergen’s paper on using social media to achieve public goals is refreshingly clear of the hyperbole that has surrounded this subject since Friendster was launched a little under a decade ago. We are in the early stages of getting to grips with the impact of social media (and some social commentators are suggesting that phenomena like Facebook are fads that will fade in time) so this is a timely piece. Making the point that we should not get over excited about SNS, David suggests that the question to ask about this technology is not how will this revolutionise democracy, but rather “How can social media provide us a way to do things in way that we have not done before?”

Three of the papers in this edition are concerned with Africa. One of these is Darren Mundy and Banda Musi’s exploration of a framework for e‑government in Nigeria. Taking UK local government as a starting point, they look at some of the challenges facing a country like Nigeria when it comes to implementing e‑government. They itemise a formidable list ranging from electricity supply to adult literacy. There is an opportunity for countries like Nigeria to learn from others’ mistakes and this framework can help achieve this. On the other side of the continent, Nixon Ochara‑Muganda and Jean‑Paul Van Belle examine the evergreen question of what governments think e‑government will achieve and what actually happens. The start from the observation that e‑government often fails in developing countries (and elsewhere one might add). In a quite complex piece of research they found that practice does not match well onto what the literature suggests should be the case. Their findings, other than the not unexpected over emphasis on the supply side, are too complex to summarise here, I urge you to read the paper for yourself. Kenya’s southern neighbour Tanzania is the subject of where Jim Yonazi, Henk Sol and Albert Boonstra’s research where look at a related question, that of the factors underlying citizen take‑up. To do this, they look at three bodies in Tanzania, National Examinations Council of Tanzania, The Tanzania Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. Their results suggest that five factors: government preparedness, citizen preparedness, services intrinsic issues, access limitations, and organisational context are the main influences on adoption and suggest that there are broader lessons here for take‑up of e‑government in other African countries.

Finally we have four papers on other aspects of e‑Government. Identity management has been a intermittent topic at ECEG, but as Kamelia Stefanova et al point out, it is an important research challenge within the EU e‑government development. In their paper the describe the design and development of the Open Identity Management Architecture for European e‑Government Development (somewhat strangely called GUIDE – maybe that is a meaningful acronym in French or Bulgarian?). This is a particularly complex and technical area and reader may find the summary of eEurope initiatives described in the paper a useful overview of this rather specialized topic, indeed the whole paper is a useful introduction to this area as well as lively description of the authors’ own continuing research. An rather different piece of research is reported by George Stylios et al who use data mining to try to establish public opinion on government decisions using social media sites as a data source. The system used to do this has the wonderful name of AMAZING (which is a word that can often be used to describe government decisions). More seriously, this is an innovative piece of work which, who knows, may be an alternative, or at least a supplement to, the traditional opinion poll. Provision of government services via multiple channels is a challenge of the Internet age and the difficulties this presents are explored by Anne Fleur van Veenstra and Marijn Janssen in their paper. The problems to multichannel service provisioning gives rise are more complicated than they might, at first, seem. Using four case studies, the authors abstract out a variety of migration strategies and analyse them using a series of spectra (e.g. channel by channel – all at once, project – process, etc.). Migration to multichannel service provision is, they conclude, a complex undertaking usually requiring significant reorganisation.  Last, but not least, Pieter Verdegem, Jeroen Stragier and Gino Verleye use e‑government development in Belgium and structural equation modelling to explore the problem of e‑government measurement. They use a database with 160 key indicators and over 800 (!?) indicators in total.  Their research is not intended to be the last word on this and, as they point out, this is an area where much more research is needed.  


Frank Bannister
December 2010

 

Keywords: acceptance factors, adoption model, Botswana, cyberparliament, democratic deficit, digital reporting, eConsultation, e-democracy, e-filing, e-Government, emulation, e-service, European Union, feature inspection method, internet technology, leadership, legitimacy, local authorities, Malaysia, perceived risk, policies, professional networks, public services, SADC, Six Level model of SMS-based e-government, SMS, taxation, technology acceptance model, technology adoption, Uganda, users’ behaviour, web usability, websites, Zambia,

 

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