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

Transformational aspects of e‑Government in Ireland: Issues to be addressed  pp22-30

Orla O'Donnell, Richard Boyle, Virpi Timonen

© Mar 2003 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 62

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Abstract

Drawing upon Irish experience, this paper explores some of the key issues to be addressed in using e‑Government effectively to transform public sector organisations. Two case studies are detailed:ROS (Revenue Online Service) and Integrated Service Centres (County Donegal). Policy implications of developments to date and remaining challenges are discussed

 

Keywords: Ireland, e-Government, Concepts, Organisational Transformation, Policy

 

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Journal Article

From e‑Government to e‑Governance? Towards a model of e‑Governance  pp52-62

Matthias Finger, Gaelle Pecoud

© Mar 2003 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 62

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Abstract

This paper is conceptual in nature: in it, we seek to identify the current trends of State transformation, combine them with the changes in the new information and communication technologies, and extrapolate this combination into the near future. More precisely, the goal of the paper is to analyse how the New Information and Communication Technologies shape the newly emerging governance mechanisms at local, regional, national, European, and global levels. It furthermore aims at developing a conceptual model in order to understand the evolution towards e‑governance, as well as assessing its positive and negative implications for the State and the society at large. Finally, it compares our model with the currently existing definitions and conceptualisations of e‑governance and e‑government.

 

Keywords: State transformation, e-governance, e-government, e-regulation, e-democracy

 

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Journal Article

Information‑and Communication Technology (ICT) and Local Power Relationships: An Impact Assessment  pp231-240

Philipp Zimmermann, Matthias Finge

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

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Abstract

This paper is grounded in the empirical reality of a growing use of information‑ and communication technologies (ICTs) in public administrations. Generally, ICTs are being introduced in an organization in order to increase operational efficiency, quality, and transparency. But, besides these intended effects, the introduction of ICTs also leads to substantial changes in the power relationships among all involved actors. As a result of ICT‑enhanced operations, some of the actors will increase their power, while others will loose some of their power. This paper therefore studies the implications of ICTs on the power relations in local administration settings.

 

Keywords: Information and communication technology, ICT, local administration, power relationships, stakeholder theory, state transformation, electronic governance

 

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Journal Article

Transformation by Design: An Innovative Approach to Implementation of e‑Government  pp8-13

Dan Swedberg, Judith Douglas

© Mar 2003 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 62

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Abstract

A new approach is emerging for implementing e‑Government. That approach draws on lessons learned by both “dot.coms” and brick‑and‑mortar (government and commercial) institutions in addressing challenges of the Digital Economy to enable “transformation by design”. “Transformation by design” marries a step‑by‑step approach to changing existing business infrastructure with innovation to accelerate progression toward transformation in the Digital Economy. In doing so, it addresses the competing requirements facing government institutions for simultaneous incremental and radical change posed by e‑Government implementation.

 

Keywords: transformation, incrementalism, digital economy

 

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Journal Article

Using the New Institutional Economics in e‑Government to deliver transformational change  pp127-138

Andy Ellis

© Oct 2004 Volume 2 Issue 2, ECEG 2004, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp75 - 146

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Abstract

e‑Government puts demands on government organisations which may require new management frameworks. This paper presents interim findings from a doctoral research study exploring how a framework based on the New Institutional Economics leads to greater understanding and new insights. This paper, which outlines the theory and shows how it has been applied as a practical business tool in an e‑government context, updates the paper presented at the 2004 European Conference on e‑Government.

 

Keywords: Institutional economics, e-Government, transformational change, ICT, education

 

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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

Examining the Potential for Channel Shift in the UK Through Multiple Lenses  pp203-213

Darren Mundy, Qasim Umer, Alastair Foster

© Dec 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ECEG, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp93 - 222

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Abstract

As we globally enter a period of shifting economic fortunes and austerity measures, public service bodies continue to look to make provision more effective and efficient. In this context, such organisations look at service provision, making judgements on the value, type, and location of such provision. Inevitably questions arise as to whether particular aspects of provision can operate differently or be served through different channels at lower cost (saved either through cost of service or efficiency sa vings from doing things better). Questions arise about whether savings are possible, and what opportunities are offered through revision of service. Citizens are also becoming more demanding over service provision, recognising government wastage and dema nding service reform that best makes use of the public purse. The aim of this paper is to detail research findings from a project designed to discover the scope for channel shift (principally migrating users from mediated to self‑help solutions) within local government services. The research was carried out on behalf of a group consisting of regional and local governmental public bodies including nine councils and the local area police force. The research consisted of four defined stages: identification from within the public sector bodies of scope for shifting provision; collection of case studies related to successful switches of provision; sampling of customer groups in relation to perspectives on changes to provision; and the creation of a framework to support a business case for strategic decision making regarding channel shift. In terms of project findings, within the initial stage of the project there was no shortage of ideas related to the potential for change to provision linked to a channel sh ift. The issue was explored through Customer Service Managers with all identifying services with clear scope for change from the automation of different elements of environmental services, through a more comprehensive linking together of benefits services , to simple customer data collection. However, one of the underlying issues is the lack of accessible management data that can easily be aggregated together to support a business case for provision reform. This initial data provided a starting point for t he discovery of case studies linked to channel shift and service migration. Thirteen case studies were highlighted from the research linked to the areas identified by Customer Service Managers where reform may make a difference. This case study material p rovided a range of information about key benefits and issues with service reform in the identified areas. Following case study identification, customer perceptions on service reform were canvassed (n=197 customers at six locations) through the use of a detailed questionnaire. The results suggest that: there are concerns regarding access to e‑service provision (brought about through either lack of technology or knowledge); that there is a demand for system reform (focused on doing things the right way for the right cost); finally, that at present the most valuable local government service offered on the web is access to local information with this sometimes being difficult to find. In the final stage of the project a business case template was design ed. The business case was to better enable strategic decision making regarding channel shift. The business case is designed to enable the evaluation of requests for service channel growth with critical examination of potential success factors for the shif t of government services. Research around successful case study data also identified cases wherein success had not been achieved. Development and implementation of a business case template should enable teams to develop a better understanding of the poten tial for success or failure and indicate clearly measures needed to best support channel shift occurring.

 

Keywords: eGovernment, channel shift, transformational government, citizen requirements, e-services

 

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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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