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

Remodelled and Restyled e‑Procurement — New Power Relationships Down Under  pp183-194

John Douglas Thomson

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

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Abstract

This paper analyses the way in which a major public sector organisation undertakes its high tech e‑ procurements and its power relationships at the interface with its private sector suppliers. This is undertaken by examining the corporate governance of significant high tech e‑procurements by the Australian Department of Defence. Comparative case study data of 106 e‑procurements were undertaken by the author over the key client development period from concept to contract award, with a view to determining 'best practice' e‑procurement process. The best practice model links technological developments with e‑procurement power frameworks, and provides a public sector client with knowledge to realize new power relationships at the publicprivate interface through the remodelling and restyling of its e‑procurement arrangements.

 

Keywords: e-governance, e-transactions, e-procurement, e-transparency, e-trust, e-project management

 

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Journal Article

Online Transparency for Accountability: One Assessing Model and two Applications  pp279-291

Rui Pedro Lourenço

© Dec 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp181 - 322

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper proposes, in the context of Open Government, a model to assess how public sector entities are taking advantage of the Internet as an information disclosure tool and a means to promote transparency, specifically in what concerns the us e of public resources (input transparency for accountability). The assessment model and resulting Transparency Index gives particular attention to the disclosure of detailed (disaggregated) data according to the principles of Open Government Data, nam ely by valuing data visibility, adequate format for further processing, and the autonomous presentation of individual information items. Subsequently, the paper demonstrates the applicability of the proposed model by carrying out two assessment exercises on two subsets of Portuguese and Italian municipalities. Results show that, all in all, the municipalities analysed do not yet disclose enough information useful for accountability processes and they do not take advantage of the Internet potential to make the data provided more visible and re‑usable by citizens and local stakeholders. Alone, high‑level policy directives, governmental requirements and national legislation guaranteeing access to information are not enough to ensure public entities (municip alities in particular) disclose all the relevant data, and therefore specific guidelines are needed.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Accountability, Input transparency assessment, Internet, Open Government

 

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Journal Article

Designing Public Service Process Models for Understandability  pp95-111

Priscila Engiel, Renata Araujo, Claudia Cappelli

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

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper discusses the use of process models as an instrument to promote transparency and communication between public organizations and their clients (citizens). It depicts a way to design public services process models aiming at increasing their understandability. The design is based on a catalogue containing characteristics, operationalizations and mechanisms for designing understandability on public service process models. The use of the catalogue by process analysts and the level of und erstandability acquired by the generated models were evaluated through case studies at a public educational organization. The results show that the proposed catalogue is applicable ‑ process analysts were able to apply it in a reasonable time ‑ and that more simple process models can be obtained, adequate for process explanation for citizens/users.

 

Keywords: Keywords: understandability, desigining public service, organizational transparency, electronic government and democracy

 

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Journal Article

Conundrums in Benchmarking eGovernment Capabilities? Perspectives on Evaluating European Usage and Transparency  pp169-177

Michaelene Cox

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

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Abstract

Abstract: This study examines three popular instruments used to assess good governance in response to initiatives promoting digitally‑provided public services. It provides a comparative analysis of e‑capabilities and trustworthiness in EU member states fr om benchmarks established by the European Commission, Transparency International and the United Nations in order to answer three questions: How do EU members stand when eGovernment capabilities are measured by multiple instruments? Does citizen online use and government website usability reflect user perceptions about transparency? And finally, is an overall ranking of eGovernment development associated with different measures of usage, transparency and public corruption? Comparing average scores between East and West EU member states, and conducting bivariate correlations of these various features, demonstrate that the demands placed upon member states to meet goals of the EU 2020 Digital Initiative are met to varying degree. This paper thus offers a uni que perspective of eGovernment trends in Europe by integrating public and expert opinions on citizen interaction with government officials and completion of forms online, user centricity of national government websites, perceived levels of transparency in eGovernment and political corruption, and overall status of eGovernment development.

 

Keywords: Keywords: benchmarking, user-citizen perceptions, transparency, corruption, eGovernment capabilities

 

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Journal Article

E‑Availability and E‑Accessibility of Financial Documents: A Cross‑State Examination of U.S. County Websites  pp73-86

David Baker, Roger Chin

© Jun 2016 Volume 14 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 134

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Abstract

Abstract: This article examines the e‑availability and e‑accessibility of financial documents through county websites in the United States (U.S.). E‑availability and e‑accessibility of financial documents supports a stakeholder‑centric approach for eval uating performance and fiscal conditions of county governments, while also promoting democratic values of transparency and accountability. Previous research addresses e‑availability and e‑accessibility for cities, only one analysis reviews popular reports in both cities and counties, and only one study exists that exclusively focuses on the 100 most populous U.S. counties. Our review extends earlier research by examining 237 U.S. counties, up to five in each of the 48 states with county governments. Addit ionally, this research makes a limited comparison with an earlier study to indicate changes in the e‑availability and e‑accessibility of financial documents over a four‑year period. Using systematic sampling and content analysis, this study contributes t o fuller understanding of the significance of financial documents as a feature of e‑government, while reviewing more counties and highlighting variations among counties of differing population sizes. This research also conducted Chi‑square tests to examin e the relationship of the variables, and the value of Cramér's V was calculated to measure the strength of the relationship between the variables. In addition to finding variations in the e‑availability and e‑accessibility of financial documents among cou nties of different population sizes, this analysis also demonstrates dramatic e‑availability improvements for two of the three selected financial documents while noting a modest decrease in the overall e‑accessibility of financial documents on county webs ites. After reporting and analyzing the findings, research limitations are disclosed, and recommendations are offered to advance the state‑of‑practice and for further studies. This form of benchmarking may assist other local governments in the U.S. with i mproving their websites, while internationally this analysis supports developing countries with refining their e‑government strategies by improving online information disclosure.

 

Keywords: Keywords: E-government, e-availability, e-accessibility, financial documents, state-of-practice, transparency, accountability

 

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Journal Article

Experiences with Video Streaming of Norwegian Local Government Meetings  pp49-54

Lasse Berntzen

© Jan 2007 Volume 4 Issue 2, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp49 - 94

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Abstract

Video streaming of local government meetings offers transparency. After an experimental phase, video streaming has now become a regular service in several Norwegian municipalities. This paper describes the design, development and implementation of one such video streaming service for a consortium of twelve municipalities. One important goal of this project was to deliver rich user experience without putting additional workload on municipal administrators. Our solution is able to deliver multiple video streams originating from different video sources (cameras), and the user may choose which video streams to view. Video streams are stored and made available for later viewing. An administrative application facilitates linking items on the agenda to relevant video content. A search engine makes it possible to search for video content across municipal borders. The paper also reports on a recent survey conducted among initial users of the video streaming service. The results are discussed, and some areas of future research are proposed.

 

Keywords: transparency, accountability, e-democracy, video streaming, webcasting

 

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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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