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Central Informatics Bureau (Under the aegis of The Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation)
Central Informatics Bureau>Towards e-Government

Towards e-Government

 
What is e-Government?
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Electronic Government or “e-Government” is defined as the use of information and communication technologies in Government to provide public services, to improve managerial effectiveness and to promote democratic values; as well as a regulatory framework that facilitates information intensive initiatives and fosters the Knowledge Society (International Telecommunication Union, 2008).  Often, the introduction of e-Government services goes along with a change towards a more customer friendly culture. Thus Governments use ICT for the exchange of information with citizens and businesses on topics such as tax compliance, public utility services, as well as voting registration.
 
Key Principles for e-Government are as follows:
-       Needs of citizens and businesses are at the centre of e-Government.
-       Public services delivered through the most appropriate channels.
-       Reduction of administrative burden to citizens and businesses.
-       Projects should reflect business process improvements, demonstrable efficiency, effectiveness and value for money.
-       The online channel to be the most attractive option for transacting with Government.
 
Applications and e-Services
e-Government is often associated with Government web portals because most Governments, national or local, have created web sites and umbrella portals, operating as gateways to information and services. Some Governments have moved forward by introducing personalized e-Government services that go beyond the provision of general information to allow interaction with citizens / businesses.
The introduction of e-Government applications has been beneficial to Governments and also provides for a valuable development tool. By introducing e-Government services, Governments can dramatically reduce transaction costs and improve internal planning mechanisms. Moreover, the introduction of e-Government and the integration of services usually require Governments to streamline their administrative processes. Streamlining improves efficiency, reduces costs and generates savings, lowering the cost of Government services. In some cases, generated revenues may be used to reduce or abolish service fees, or can be reinvested into more sophisticated e-Government applications and services (International Telecommunication Union, 2009).
 
 
E-Government services are categorized according to targeted audiences and their respective needs. The usual categories are:
1)    e-Government services to citizens (G2C);
2)    e-Government services to businesses (G2B); and
3)    Interagency e-Government services (G2G).
Each of these categories varies on the type of needs they respond to and the e-Government services used to satisfy them.
 
G2C services refer to provision of bundled services to provide value to different groups of citizens who find themselves in life-events cycle. Examples include persons who are looking for jobs, newly married couples or people receiving social benefits. G2C services allow citizens to keep abreast on Government information, ask questions, request services, complete transactions, submit comments, report problems, request emergency assistance and access data.
 
G2B services cover service interactions between Government and the private sector. Typical areas include customs, tax and revenues, procurement and company registration. G2B services might be easier to implement than G2C services because the private sector tends to have access to a wider range of advanced technological infrastructure than the average citizen.
 
ICT can be used as an enabler for a connected Government. G2G services are those that a public institution offers to other public institutions. A good example is the Treasury Department, which has regular process interactions with other departments. Some of these processes, such as the compilation of financial reports with respect to expenditure and or revenues, are better supported by or executed through online systems. These processes also include less interactive ones, such as the provision of information concerning human resource matters regarding civil servants, union activities or other topics of common interest, which could be shared through G2G services.
 
e-Government brings about better delivery of Government services to citizens and contribute to their empowerment (G2C), improved interactions with business (G2B), efficient relations with other Government agencies (G2G), enhanced performance of  employees (G2E) (Lanvin, 2008). The resulting benefit of e-Government success is numerous. For example higher productivity, improved efficiency and transparency, citizen satisfaction, economic growth, cost saving, enhanced access to information, creation of Knowledge Society, better access to Government services, eradication of poverty and many more.