e-Government is the Future of Democracy and Governance [1020]


żby: S. Maurer

e-Government is in principle nothing new. The Internet is primarily a communications medium, not a space to do things, other than buy the odd book, CD or bottle of wine. And yet there are hundreds of projects up and down the country, online communities, pressure groups and learning centres where e-Government is happening.

e-Government might enable a citizen to access the form they need to fill out to order a copy of their birth certificate without needing to know that the Health Department handles the request. Other services that citizens want online include renewing a driver's license, voting on the Internet, filing taxes, and obtaining park information.

Governments were among the first users of computers. But the global proliferation of the Internet, which effectively integrates information and communications technology on the basis of open standards, combined with the movement to reform public administration known as New Public Management, has for good reason generated a new wave of interest in the topic.

The implications of IT for the future of government are as yet dimly perceived, notwithstanding a stream of speculation and informed commentary on the future of democracy and governance.

Where then have e-Government benefits already been felt by the public? The sharing of information between services, and making it available to front-line staff in call centres and one stop shops makes one think that, to date, the main benefits felt by the public have been indirect, rather than direct.

Finally an e-government key factor... is the implementation phase. Usually governments underestimate this phase focusing instead mostly on design and development.

About The Author

S. Maurer is a 53-years old college graduated IT professional, with 30 years of experience in the computer & technology business. Now is the Correspondence Courses Director of the Abet Open University.

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