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E-Government

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The World Bank has embraced e-government in it's efforts to modernize public sector and improve public sector delivery. For this reason, e-government initiatives are present in most projects in the Sector. E-government is considered a key facilitator to achieve the proposed reforms supported by the rest of the core areas, from public financial management to anti-corruption, including the improvement of service delivery for citizens . In numerous projects, it has been demonstrated that e-government has had a remarkable impact on improving the efficiency and integration of public sector.

What is the LAC Region doing in this area? 

Traditionally, e-government components have focused on the internal operations of the government, especially on improving public expenditure management of the public sector. In this respect, during the last decade, the region has witnessed several projects aimed at building integrated financial management systems to support improved public financial management. In judicial reform projects, e-government has also been identified as a key facilitator for modernization. For instance, case management information systems have had a considerable impact on enhancing the performance of the judicial sector. Also, through these components, IT infrastructure of public sector has been built, training of civil servants provided and number of high-impact applications developed.However, during the last years, the focus of e-government initiatives has shifted to directly address public service delivery. While improving public sector internal operations is still considered crucial e.g. human resources, public procurement and financial management systems, components of recent projects have supported internet applications that offer a number of services to the citizens, ranging from electronic tax payment systems where citizens are able to file and pay taxes on-line, to public sector electronic procurement and public financial information websites and systems for the judicial sector, where citizens can find out the stage in which a case is.

Challenges ahead

There are a number of challenges to the successful implementation of e-government

  1. How can new initiatives, e.g. support for the design and governance issues of e-government, infrastructure and ICT strategies, revision of legal frameworks, simplification of processes, change management strategies, personnel training development of window government, be delivered at a lower cost and higher value to the public sector, private sector and citizens? To overcome these challenges, a new strategy is being developed - based on input from all the interested Bank Group units. We are also active participants in the e-Government Effectiveness Task Force, a multi-donor coordination body established in 2005. The main objective of this coordination is to improve the Region's services through the incorporation of new ideas and guidelines to ensure that public services delivered through e-government initiatives are implemented effectively and complement the work of other agencies in this field.

     

     

  2. How to ensure sufficient transfer of ownership of the e-government projects once they are developed?
  3. How to achieve sustainability? As projects close, a number of countries have encountered problems maintaining the pace of reforms and sustaining their achievements.
 
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