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

Enhancing Public Sector Service Efficiency by Electronic Commerce  pp37-48

Anna Sell, Erkki Patokorpi, Pirkko Walden

© Dec 2006 Volume 4 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 48

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Abstract

In December 2000, the city of Turku, Finland, outsourced its open care grocery shopping to an online grocery retailer. The city officials expected that an outside e‑commerce player would among other things bring time savings so that the open care service would be able to focus on caring for the elderly and the disabled at home. This paper examines the expected and realised effect of electronic commerce on the efficiency of the grocery shopping service from the viewpoint of the three main stakeholders: the customers, the employees and the management. The findings are based on employee and customer surveys as well as interviews with the open care management. The research combines both quantitative and qualitative methods.

 

Keywords: Open care, efficiency, electronic grocery shopping, e-government

 

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Journal Article

E‑government and Technological Utopianism: Exploring Zambia’s Challenges and Opportunities  pp16-30

Kelvin Joseph Bwalya, Saul Floyd Zulu, Balulwami Grand, Peter M. Sebina

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

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Abstract

This article presents an empirical study that was conducted in three towns (Lusaka, Livingstone and Kitwe) in Zambia to ascertain the awareness of citizens about the anticipated value that e‑government adds to public service provision. Awareness entails that citizens are able to identify the opportunities that e‑government has to offer in the delivery of public services. Using a Mixed Methods Research (MMR) approach, the study measured the perception of citizens on the overall e‑government agenda. Spearman’s rho was used to determine concurrent and construct validity of the data collection instruments. Restricted factor analysis with Kaiser Normalization identified eight predictor factors explaining 23 percent of the variance in the model indicating acceptance and/or awareness of e‑government applications. The results of the research indicate that with the likelihood of a majority of citizens aware of and utilising e‑government once it is globally rolled out, there are chances that e‑government may positively impact on the bureaucratic nature of government and ultimately improve public service delivery in Zambia. Further, this research suggests there are encouraging indications for effective development of e‑government in Zambia. The limitation of the study is that the sampled population may not be statistically representative of the general population in Zambia and therefore it is not possible to generalise the outcomes of this research.

 

Keywords: e-government, Zambia, service efficiency, corruption, technology acceptance, e-Participation, e-Inclusiveness

 

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Journal Article

E‑SmartBox: A Decent Software and Hardware Tool to Enhance Public Service Efficiency and Sustainability  pp199-207

Choompol Boonmee, Jirasuk Sugandhajati

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

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Abstract

Abstract: The Ministry of Labour (MOL) is responsible for labour‑related public services. The services include employment promotion, skill development, social security, the worker compensation fund, labour protection and welfare. These various services have been mandated to several departments and divisions under the MOL. Service receivers must know where to access a specific service since each service is provided in a different location. Especially in the countryside this becomes a significant difficul ty since people do not know where to access a specific labour service. To enhance labour service accessibility MOL service counters had been established. The counters perform as a single window to access all kinds of labour‑related public services. The se rvice procedure starts from the service request, filling out a request form, providing required documents, finishing the service, and a satisfaction survey. This procedure takes averagely 20 ‑ 30 minutes for each service access. Additionally, since more t han 130 types of labour‑related services have to be delivered, working staff have to be intensively trained to be able to deliver these services. Unfortunately, some working staff do not stay in their jobs long. They tend to quit their jobs for better one s. Training new staff to provide such a wide variety of services becomes an obstacle to delivering continual good services. E‑SmartBox is a new concept designed by the MOL to solve the problems. It consists of two parts: a hardware part and a software par t. The hardware part is a plastic box with a smartcard reader, a web camera and a key pad inside, and can be procured anywhere at low cost. All Thai people aged from 7 to 70 have citizen ID cards which are electronic smartcards. The software has been desi gned to retrieve personal data from the ID card, to fill and print request forms automatically and to provide a rapid satisfaction survey via the key pad. This greatly reduces the service procedure to less than five minutes. Additionally the software has been designed to assist the staff by providing

 

Keywords: Keywords: labour-related public service, smart card, web cam, efficiency, sustainability, service counter, one stop service

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 4 Issue 1 / Nov 2006  pp1‑48

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Editorial

The number of e‑government events in terms of conferences, mini‑tracks, special issues of journals and books continues to grow at a pace which is, on the one hand, enormously encouraging, but on the other vaguely depressing. Encouraging because it is great to see so much interest in the subject and the steady increase in both the variety and quality of research; depressing because it has become well nigh impossible to keep up with everything that it happening. Still, it is probably a good complaint to have. As a journal editor, it is healthy to receive an increasing number of articles arrive in my in‑tray. Whether or not articles are eventually published, there is always something to learn from them.

In this edition we have five articles which illustrate the diversity and richness of electronic government as a field of research. Sell et al’s paper is an examination of the practical outcomes of an initiative in Finland to assist members of the community who might have difficulty accessing the grocery markets in the city of Turku (I have actually had the pleasure of wandering around a grocery market in Turku so this paper had a personal resonance for me). This was, in the authors’ words, a bold initiative and their paper compares what the sponsors of the project expected to happen with what actually occurred.

Dillon et al look at developments on the other side of the globe with a longitudinal study of local e‑government in New Zealand. Their study looks at how the use of web based services evolved over a four year period. Their findings about the development paths followed by the local authorities leads them to suggest that there are still plenty of opportunities for using the web strategically in New Zealand local government and provides a platform for comparative papers from other countries.

e‑Government is a broad church. Government activities can range from managing the nation’s finances to running the national airline. One big area of public sector expenditure is healthcare. The article by Khoumbati and Themistocleous examines the use of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) in healthcare services. They identify six common factors that are found in a variety of different integration approaches including EAI, EDI, ERP and web services and propose a conceptual model for the adoption of EAI in healthcare service providers. They suggest that there is much scope for further research into this approach to integration.

The article by Andersen is at a more conceptual level than the others in this issue. He asserts that there are five significant challenges facing e‑government today and explores each of these in turn. He tracks the major shifts in the use of IT in government over the past four decades and argues that there are dangers in current approaches such as a focus on defining boundaries rather than defining services. The author examines the problem of confronting the ‘demand paradox’ and explores some interesting byways, such as the use of IT to avoid work! All in all, this is a thought provoking contribution to the field.

Finally, Henriksen’s paper explores the demand for electronic services in Danish local government at the level of municipalities. The research approach use, examination of log files is an interesting one and there are several informative analyses including the types of services offered and the ratio of users to potential users of these services – a graph which, at a glance, tell the reader a great deal. Like Dillon et al, Henricksen concludes that there is still much to be done in developing the use of IT in local administration.

 

Keywords: electronic journal, papers, articles, eGovernment, electronic government, eGovernment methods, eGovernment studies, e-Government, open care, efficiency, electronic grocery shopping, e-government, strategy, management, demand, entities, gate-keeping, labor intensity, readiness, competence, local government, policy, electronic citizen services, supply and demand, healthcare, adoption, Enterprise Application Integration

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 4 Issue 2 / Dec 2006  pp49‑94

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Editorial

What’s in a name?

One of the fascinating phenomena in marketing is re‑branding. Often the effect of something as simple as a name change can have a significant effect on market perception and sales. Sometime companies spend millions on coming up with a new name complete with corporate logo. Several leading companies have acquire new monikers over the years: Exxon, Diageo and Accenture to name but a few.

The rationale for changing name varies. Sometimes it is necessary to provide a common identity to a conglomerate that has grown by acquisition. Sometime is it because of a split or spin off. Sometimes a company may re‑name itself after a highly successful product or to distance itself after a split off from another organisation.

As in corporate life; so in academic. I was recently listening to a paper at a conference where the speaker opined that e‑government was dead and that we should now be talking about transformative government. My immediate reaction was why stop there? If e‑government is dead, what about digital government (a preferred term with many US academics) or informatization, a term with a much longer pedigree than e‑government or how about sounding the death knell for i‑government or virtual government or technology enabled government? The expression ‘transformative government’ is a good example of what might be called verbal inflation, i.e. the propensity to think of ever more grandiose words to describe the same thing. All e‑government is, at some level, transformative but there is little evidence so far that the use of ICT in government, which recall now goes back nearly 50 years, is actually seriously transforming the processes of governance itself except at the margins. To apply the word ‘transformative’ to what is going on in e‑government at the moment is to overstate, by a large margin, what is actually happening. It may well be that the incremental impact of e‑government will be seriously transformative or that some major change will suddenly occur, but let’s keep our heads. So far there is little to suggest that government structure, bureaucracies, balances of power or decision making is significantly affected. There are straws in the wind, but no radical changes as yet.

Often, when academics in a field feel that they need to change the name of what they are doing, there are good reasons for this. Unfortunately, there are also times when a change of name is little more than fresh coat of paint for old ideas. Knowledge management is one good example of this. We don’t need to do this for e‑government which remains as good a name as any for what is still an expanding and exciting field of research. When we do get genuinely transformative government, which I hope will be soon, maybe we can re‑badge our field. In the meantime, the name of this journal at least will remain unchanged.

 

Keywords: electronic journal, papers, articles, eGovernment, electronic government, eGovernment methods, eGovernment studies, e-Government, open care, efficiency, electronic grocery shopping, e-government, strategy, management, demand, entities, gate-keeping, labor intensity, readiness, competence, local government, policy, electronic citizen services, supply and demand, healthcare, adoption, Enterprise Application Integration

 

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