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

Public Service Reform through e‑Government: a Case Study of 'e‑Tax' in Japan  pp135-146

Akemi Takeoka Chatfield

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, ECEG 2007, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp123 - 208

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Abstract

There is a growing interest in the debate over whether or not e‑government has a transformational impact on government performance, governance, and public service, as we addressed this very issue at the 2007 ECEG. However, e‑government research results on the transformational impact are mixed. This may be an apt reflection of either the early stages of e‑government development or the newness of e‑government research field or both. Our research goal as scholars of e‑government must be to penetrate appearances to ascertain whatever lessons and meanings might lie beneath. This paper is an initial attempt toward achieving this goal. The main objective of this paper is to examine the relationship between public service reform through e‑government and actual government performance. We achieve this objective through a multi‑method approach, including a case study of Japan's National Tax Agency (NTA)`s sophisticated e‑government initiative: an integrated "e‑Tax" system networking the NTA with local tax offices throughout Japan. The "E‑Tax" provides a citizen‑centric, online income and other tax returns filing and payment services for individuals and corporations. A preliminary case analysis provides evidence in support of the transformational impact of e‑Tax on NTA performance. This paper makes an important contribution to the growing e‑government research literature on the transformational impact of e‑government particularly on service process reform.

 

Keywords: transformational impact of e-government, public service reform, electronic tax filing, case study, National Tax Agency, Japan

 

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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 Issue

Volume 7 Issue 2, ECEG 2007 / Apr 2009  pp123‑208

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Editorial

At the time of writing this editorial, I have just returned from the ICEGOV conference on e‑government and e‑governance in Ankara. In addition to excellent Turkish hospitality, the conference threw up a couple of lively debates in the parallel sessions. A good, well behaved academic argument can be one of the most productive and rewarding parts of a conference. Unfortunately good debates tend to be relatively rare as Session Chairs, armed with a “time up” card and a severe set of instructions from the organisers give each presenter their statutory 20 minutes plus five for questions before it is time for “next please”. Occasionally a discussion will continue during coffee or lunch, but sometimes debates only occur because the next speaker doesn’t turn up.

In Ankara, one of these debates was about what was meant by “e‑governance”? During the discussion, it quickly became clear that not only was there no agreement in the room on what the term meant, but also that some of those present were even unclear in their own minds what the difference was between e‑ government and e‑governance. The sight of academics disagreeing about anything and everything, including semantics, is as old as the first university seminar, but semantics matter in academia and the absence of clarity on what is meant by e‑governance was somewhat disconcerting. Rightly or wrongly, I got the feeling that many in the room had not actually given the matter much thought.

This lack of clarity is not an unknown phenomenon. Information systems have an unhappy history of relabelling basic concepts even though, in many cases, nothing fundamental in the technology has changed. Sometimes terms outlive their usefulness and have to be replaced and/or upgraded. On other occasions it seems more like an attempt to resuscitate a floundering field. Recently, even the term “e‑ government” has been under attack. At a meeting I attended last December, one of those present even suggested, I think only partially in jest, that we needed an exit strategy for e‑government. Various replacements are mooted including “transformational government”, “digital government” (popular in the US), “government 2.0” and, more recently, e‑governance. The latter is an unfortunate suggestion, because government and governance have quite different meanings. Furthermore, governance is a notoriously contentious, not to say downright slippery, subject even before putting “e‑“ in front of it.

Not surprisingly, a number of scholars have addressed the difference between e‑governance and e‑ government (including in this journal). While this is of some help, there are just too many interpretations of the expression. Definitions of e‑governance range from an information age model of governance to a “commitment” to use ICT to, inter alia, enhance human dignity and deliver economic development. Other authors more or less equate e‑governance with e‑democracy (in one article published in a leading journal a few years ago, the word “e‑governance” appears in the title and nowhere else in the text!). All this does not help when attending a conference presentation with “e‑governance” in the title although it may give a frisson of excitement as we await the definition that the presenter has in mind.

In a simple search on the web, it is possible to find quite a large number of scholarly papers on e‑ governance. Google throws up over four and half thousand of them. Prior to writing this, I scanned about a dozen of these. While a few differentiated between e‑government and e‑governance, none of them gave a satisfactory account of the material difference between e‑governance and plain old non “e‑“ governance. Such an article may be out there, but I suspect that there is a gap in the market for a really good paper on this topic.

Whatever the definition(s), it behoves academics and scholars to be clear in what they say. Muddling up two quite different concepts is not good scholarship. There is also a need to put some clear blue water between e‑governance and governance generally. ICT certainly enables us to do many things that were heretofore impractical thus reifying hitherto theoretical or abstract problems. Whether it creates new problems is not so obvious. There is plenty of scope for some further contributions to this debate.

 

Keywords: business process improvement, business process reengineering, case study, digital democracy, digital services, e-business, e-commerce, e-democracy, e-governance, e-government services, electronic tax filing, engagement, enterprise information architecture, e-participation, e-procurement, e-revenue, e-tax, e-transactions, e-transparency, e-trust, information technology, internal stakeholders, international tax strategy, Japan, local e-government, National Tax Agency, organizational (re-)design, permanent establishment (PE), public service reform, Romanian e-government, socio-technical systems design, systems architecture, telehealthcare, transfer pricing, transformational impact of e-government

 

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