Electronic government is defined as government functions performed through electronic communications on all levels of governance, citizens, and business community. In other words e-Government is the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to government activities and procedures with the aim of promoting transparency, efficiency and citizen participation.
The definition shows the way e-Government utilises ICTs as a tool that supports the development of decent governance. The proper application of e-Government enables high degree of efficiency and effectiveness in government tasks, enhancement of procedures and processes, increases the quality of public service, also enhances the utilisation of information in decision-making processes and enables better communication between various government offices. The activities include gaining and providing services and products; placing and receiving orders; offering and getting information; and finalizing financial transactions. In a broad sense, e-government uses (ICTs) to improve performance of government services and functions
E-Governance isn’t about business-as usual, but it focuses on utilising digital technologies to change the structures, processes, and most significantly, the culture associated with government. E-Governance is value-driven rather than being technology driven. The guaranteed e-government benefits never come merely from digitizing information and putting it online. Instead, they arise from leveraging the latest ICT tools to offer improved services to citizens and ensuring governments are more responsive and effective. E-Government is never a single event or even a short project, but rather a continuing evolutionary process of changing government to pay attention on citizen services. Therefore, having high-level e-government roadmap is essential that entails (top-down design) coupled with a bottom-up meticulous implementation plan. The top-down design for the roadmap must incorporate long-term deliberate plans, as well as analogous annual plans. The bottom-up meticulous implementation plan must focus on providing services that have a basis on business and citizen needs. It is essential that services are listed and incorporated in roadmap tasks.
Information communication technologies (ICTs) have infiltrated almost every section of the modern life; thus, it is reasonable that ICTs reach extends to government services. Normally, online accessibility as well as widespread utilisation of e-government services have a greater impact. E-Government needs a critical e-citizens mass and e-businesses to be sustainable beyond internal government efficiency and transparency. The success of e-government relies on strong support and demand from majority of the citizens.
Municipalities have a direct interaction with their residents. The relation between municipalities and residents is unavoidable; for instance: auto registry, business registrations, real state development or school subscription for a child require resident to interact with the municipality. The aim of e-Government is to develop a fresh dynamic relationship between citizens and governments: a cycle that is going to be simpler and very participative for residents. To achieve it, introduction of technology within the traditional municipality tasks and the public sector management is important, with focus on public citizens and the needs they have being the focal point of innovation. The facilitator of this public service administration revamp are ICTs.
A substantial rise in the use of ICTs in the last few years, has significantly affected different aspects of the society and the economic functions by making daily procedures much easier and efficient. Government IT infrastructure is built up through connecting all departments via core government backbone network. In addition, common applications and services are offered to departments to promote efficient delivery of public services, government communication network, central cyber government Office and Internet services that integrates major improvements in design to enhance government service to the public.
Some actual problems
Some of the e-government deployment challenges mainly include:
- Absence of agreement in public administration i.e internal government resistance
- Inadequate strategies and plans e-government is brought about in unsystematic fashion
- Lack of sufficient human resources; lack of institutional and human capacity development
- Lack of investment plan
- Inadequate IT and system providers
- Undeveloped technologies and exaggerate technology or technology-based deployment
- Quick implementation without proper testing and preparation, and without proper input from main local stakeholders
As further development and adoption of technology continues in such areas and in intelligent and cloud computing, the progress in future will be more remarkable. IBM works with many countries as their governments develop digital capabilities that evaluate, and apply machine learning across huge data streams and sources, quickly and in scale. As the governments develop they further improve program outcomes, develop knowledge, recognise hidden patterns and use insights that improve people lives, secure systems, mitigate threats and improves economic well-being and vigour of their citizens. In my view, many governments are propelled by significant technology momentum to better protect and serve citizens, transform service delivery, defend against threats and digitize procedures.
Critism & Controversies
It is broadly believed implementation of e-government in most countries has been unable to meet the high expectations.