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

For general enquiries email administrator@ejeg.com

Click here to see other Scholarly Electronic Journals published by API
For a range of research text books on this and complimentary topics visit the Academic Bookshop

Information about the European Conference on Digital Government is available here

 

Journal Article

Stages of Growth in e‑Government: An Architectural Approach  pp193-200

Marijn Janssen, Anne Fleur van Veenstra

© Feb 2006 Volume 3 Issue 4, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp157 - 240

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

Governmental agencies from all over the world are in various stages of development to migrate their traditional systems architectures to more horizontally and vertically integrated architectures. In this paper a stages of growth model for the development of information architectures for local governmental agencies is presented. By analyzing discontinuities in the architectures coordinating back and front office applications five stages are derived. The five‑stage model consists of 1) no integration, 2) one‑to‑one messaging, 3) warehouse, 4) broker and 5) orchestrated broker architecture. Public decision‑makers can use these stages as a guidance and direction in architecture development, to reduce the complexity of the progression of e‑government initiatives, to communicate changes to the rest of the organization and to provide milestones to evaluate and control cost of architecture development.

 

Keywords: Information architecture, local government, stage models, coordination, information broker, web service orchestration

 

Share |

Journal Article

Business Process Improvement in Organizational Design of e‑Government Services  pp123-134

Ömer Faruk Aydinli, Sjaak Brinkkemper, Pascal Ravesteyn

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

This paper describes a business process and organizational re‑design and implementation project for an e‑government service organization. In this project the initial process execution time of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection request has been reduced from some 60 days to two days. This has been achieved by the use of a new business process reengineering (BPR) implementation approach that was developed by the Utrecht University. The implementation approach is based on a combination of Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA), Business Process Modeling (BPM), Knowledge Management and Management Control methodologies and techniques. The method has been applied to improve the performance of a Dutch e‑ government service department (DeGSD). DeGSD is an e‑government service department that supports and promotes electronic communication. It can be described as an electronic mail office for consumers that provides the ICT infrastructure to communicate with the government. The goal is to reduce administrative activities for both the government and consumers. Supporting technology and part of the process is outsourced. In our approach we used EIA as a starting point because it describes all relations and information exchange with all stakeholders. This is different compared to more traditional approaches which tend to have a main focus on the internal processes (when it comes to automation) whereas our approach aligns the processes and systems across different participants, such as suppliers and customers, in the supply chain. Also included in the implementation approach are management control design mechanisms to ensure that the organizations strategy is in sync with its processes and activities that are performed by the employees. Management control is crucial in enabling the continuous measuring and improving of the organizational performance. Although the proposed BPR implementation approach worked in the project at DeGSD, further validation is necessary. Therefore we suggest that more case studies are performed at both government and profit organizations.

 

Keywords: business process improvement, organizational design, business process reengineering, enterprise information architecture, knowledge management, e-government services

 

Share |

Journal Issue

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

Editor: Frank Bannister

View Contents Download PDF (free)

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

 

Share |