The e-Government Act defines “electronic Government’ as “the use by the Government of web-based Internet applications and other information technologies, combined with processes that implement these technologies, to—‘‘(A) enhance the access to and delivery of Government information and services to the public, other agencies, and other Government entities; or ‘‘(B) bring about improvements in Government operations that may include effectiveness, efficiency, service quality, or transformation.”
In this article, we are trying to reflect on this definition of E-Governance, its effectiveness and whether it defines the real E-governance.
I am more or less in agreement to the definition provided by the E-Governance Act, in the light of the fact that there is always social shaping of technology and that a more to-the-point definition that focus on definite transformation, is not evident. I was looking at the second part of the definition and it says ‘may’ bring about transformation – are we not sure? – this ambiguity clearly reflects what Homburg explains in his chapters for this week – that application of ICT’s and its effect to improve the socio-political structure (eg: Government-To-Citizen) is severely hindered by the inherent institutional powers, rules, norms, procedures and policies.
Analyzing first part of the definition, I am happy to see that it points to one of the major goals of e-Government setup – i.e easy access to government information. This is one of the widely accepted and bench marked aspect of an e-governance system (even though Homburg strictly restricts any benchmarks due to localization aspects). The transparency factor of this definition piece is again controlled by localized structures.
So, in essence – I would say that the definition is clearly framed considering the similar points of socio-political impacts on ICTs as Homburg has derived. The definition, thus is in line with the truth / fact that e-Government setups are really shaped by inherent socio-political setups.
Bibliography:1. Homburg V. (2008). Understanding E-Government -Information Systems in Public Administration. Routledge