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Introduction to e-Government


1. What is e-Government?.......

E-Government refers to the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of government.

E-Government can be seen simply as moving citizen services online, but in its broadest sense it refers to the technology-enabled transformation of government - governments’ best hope to reduce costs, whilst promoting economic development, increasing transparency in government, improving service delivery and public administration, and facilitating the advancement of an information society.

  • Reducing Costs: Putting services on-line substantially decreases the processing costs of many activities compared with the manual way of handling operations. Efficiency is also attained by streamlining internal processes and by enabling faster and more informed decision making.
  • Promoting Economic development - Technology enables governments to create positive business climates by simplifying relationships with businesses and reducing the administrative steps needed to comply with regulatory obligations. There is a direct impact on the economy, as in the case of e-procurement, which creates wider competition and more participants in the public sector marketplace.
  • Enhancing Transparency and Accountability: E-Government helps to increase the transparency of decision-making processes by making information accessible - publishing government debates and minutes, budgets and expenditure statements, outcomes and rationales for key decisions, and in some cases, allowing the on-line tracking of applications on the web by the public and press.
  • Improving Service Delivery: government service delivery, in the traditional process, is time consuming, lacks transparency, and leads to citizen and business dissatisfaction. By putting government services online, eGovernment reduces bureaucracy and enhances the quality of services in terms of time, content and accessibility.
  • Improving Public Administration- e-government administrative components, such as a computerized treasury, integrated financial management information systems, and human resource management systems, lead to greater efficiency in public administration. Features include the integration of expenditure and receipt data, control of expenditure, human resources management, intelligent audit through data analysis and the publishing of financial data.
  • Facilitating an e-Society: One of the main benefits of an eGovernment initiative consists of the promotion of ICT use in other sectors. The technological and management capacities required for eGovernment administration encourage, in turn, the development of new training courses and modules in schools and universities trying to supply the required skills and capabilities to the market

E-Government usually describes relationships across 3 modalities:

1. Government to Citizen: deals with the relationship between government and citizens. G2C allows citizens to access government information and services instantly, conveniently, from everywhere, by use of multiple channels.

2. Government to Business: consists of e-interactions between government and the private sector. The opportunity to conduct online transactions with government reduces red tape and simplifies regulatory processes, therefore helping businesses to become more competitive.

3. Government to Government: Governments depend on other levels of government within the state to effectively deliver services and allocate responsibilities. In promoting citizen-centric service, a single access point to government is the ultimate goal, for which cooperation among different governmental departments and agencies is necessary. G2G facilitates the sharing of databases, resources and capabilities, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of processes.

Many World Bank client countries are in the process of designing and implementing e-government strategies, programs and projects, for which assistance in this area, both in terms of knowledge and financial support, is increasingly demanded. Many countries have already requested Bank support and several projects are under preparation or implementation.

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