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E-governance: Public Policy Perspective Basir Chand NUST Institute of Management Sciences National University of Science & Technology, Pakistan Basir_Chand@hotmail.com Abstract: The emergence of the Internet in our day to day life and development of information communication technology (ICT) and social acceptance of electronic-commerce has fundamentally altered the mind set in which government delivers services to citizens, businesses or even within intergovernment agencies. Citizen‟s expectations that government should meet the offerings style of services, as provided by private sector. The concept of efficiently, direct, roundthe-clock, 7/24 access to information and services are compelling reasons for the demand of “e-government”. The public sector in developing countries should explore the opportunity of information technology (IT) applications and associated technologies in governance to engaged broader range citizenry and develop more responsive, efficient, and corruption free government operations. In one aspect it present the opportunity to transform to good governance and on other hand implementation of IT and use of ICT are challenging too. The challenging task of transforming of governance to good governance and increasing demand form citizen for efficient delivery of services are compelling reasons to modernize

administrative practices and management systems. It has become a major goal of the governments, worldwide, especially from last one decade, to implement good governance with optimal use of technology. In this paper, E-governance will be viewed form the policy perspective: desirable objectives, especially with the reference of developing countries, burning issues of daily concern of civil society. In most of the cases, especially in developing nations, the cost of delivery of services to citizen is either too high or process is too slow. The challenging task of e-governance, a strategically conjunction of “governance and technology”, offers new opportunities. If we translate these opportunities from the public policy perspectives, these can be classified as good governance and public access. And policy objectives will; citizens trust on government, efficient and cost effective delivery of services, and citizen involvement in parliamentary process. These concerns of government or public policy objectives:  

Good Governance: Trust, Transparent, Efficient Cost Effective


Public Access: Participation and Involvement

can be achieved by implementing egovernance: 1. Introduction The concept “Government” is vast in its scope. Its covers the governance of the whole country and deals with the relation to international community, to a local government and regulatory intervention into your personal day to day life. The footprint of e-governance is not that big, it might cover a subset of the regular government‟s functionality. The concept of E-government emerges as public sector managers indulge themselves to use more technology in their business as “Service Providers”. The idea of E-governance or Digital Government is not simply use or merge of technology with government.

Government

concerns politically initiatives concerning IT use, electronic government has its origin in USA, dating back to the early „1990. The idea was rapidly copied by the Europe and consciously in the developing countries, parallel to USA[3]. The resultant factor by this emergence, technology and governance, can benefits both, the government and the public, simultaneous. On one hand Public Sector manager can use technology to bring changes and facilitation in its operational mechanism by using Management Information System (MIS), Knowledge Support System (KSS), Executive Information System (EIS) and Decision Support System (DSS). On the other hand, an external operation – services - by the government to the public (G2C). By utilizing technology, especially information technology, government can deliver services speedily, transparently and cost effectively[4].

Citizen

Fig 1: A conventional government to citizen (G2C) relation

Electronic government is not merely a website; rather it is a cost-effective and efficient communication channel among its stakeholders[1]. In practical way, it is strategic integration of information technology into governance. There are several layers of development behind the idea of digital government. IT, obviously is one of the main components, looking in historic perspective, an other important background, the political leadership, initiatives and agendas[2]. When it

Technology

E-Governance

Government

Citizen

Fig 2: A simplified depiction of E-governance, relation of technology government to citizen

The recent pattern shows that emergence of technology is a leading factor, which compel the use of technology in public


sector[5], rather strategically use of technology to facilitate public sector functionality. Digital government is digitalized with strategic interaction of governance and technology, a well-planed marriage of government organizationâ€&#x;s needs with information technology and tools. The event of marriage is might be simple but the relationship is complex. The implication has far reaching impact on power relation, organizational culture, paradigm shift and regulatory structure. If we compare the potential of IT vs its real use, in special reference to Pakistan, it is nothing more than a tiny spot on the map[6]. An internal use of IT in public sector and in business cover the range of flavors; management strategies, organizational culture and paradigm, information processing, knowledge management, work flow management system, business process re-engineering and enterprise resources planning, to name a few. On the external outset, the marriage of IT and governance change the power relation organizations and civil society, collaborative partnership among government agencies and citizens, and mechanism and perception of receiving and delivering services. In this paper I will explore the external aspect of the e-governance that deals with the contract between government and the citizenry, power relation, and mechanism of delivering services and perception of receiving services.

Good governance might have many components but the following key factors might be achieved by the use of technology. 3. Trust If trust is key value in E-Commerce, it is much more so in e-governance. This is essential to the automated; build relation with government permitted by the technologies. Trust can be building in social dealing and also should be implemented through technology. Social trust is a trusting building process, which can be achieved through regulations, openness or transparency. Luckily, egovernment does not require as frequent financial transactions as e-commerce. It helps public sector managers to build relation and trust simply as a quality service provider, and as citizen or not on high stakes. To achieve this objective, improving trust towards citizen and business by giving more access to information generated by the government. Safeguard information collected from citizen and business and ensure citizen about their privacy security of data. On the technical front there are many ways and mean to protect government and citizen; encryption of the data, digital signatures, trust certificates and firewalls. In addition, fraud prevention measures can be established by means of checking identity of individual organizations dealing with the government and ensure that the information cannot incorrectly access, altered or capture while transmitted[7].

2. Good Governance 4. Efficiency


Efficiency refers to streamline, automate and integrate common process so that the boundaries between governmental departments are invisible and irrelevant to user. The objective to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the executive functionary of the government including the delivery of public services. enable government to improve trust towards citizen and business by giving access to more information generated by the government. A fundamental change can be accursed in relationship between citizen and the state (G2C) and between state and business (G2B) with implication for the democratic process and structure of the government[8]. 5. Cost Effective Electronic governance can be describing collaborative action of new information and communication technologies to support the working of government and public administration in providing more efficient and open service to business and the citizen with openness and costsaving manners to taxpayer[9]. E-Commence model have prove that certain type to service and transaction are much cost effective over the net[10]. And the same model can be replicated for selected services in public sector. 6. Public Access, Participation and Involvement Information technology is also a way of providing new means to engage citizen in governments to achieve both; to improve the interactions and to engage people who have been left out in the past, for any reason.

Accessibility is a type of service or mode of service, which provides multiple mode of access to required information by the client – in this case the citizen is an ultimate client. To cater the need of people, including have and have not, with limited mobility, handicap or disability[11]. Providing facilities for enhanced interaction does not ensure greater participation, but it is a logical and fundamental step. The openness will change the fundamental relationship between the citizen and the state (G2C) and between state and business (G2B) with implication for the democratic process and structure of the government[12]. To bridge the digital divide or fill the gap in IT infrastructure might be beyond the scope of this research. But to involve citizenry into the process law making at federal level, active participation in local development or be an informed citizen or even a well educated watchdog[13]. 7. Conclusion The resultant factor – e-governance - by the emergence of technology and government, can benefits both, the government and the public, simultaneous. On one hand Public Sector Manager can use technology to bring changes and facilitation in its operational mechanism and on the other hand, governmentâ€&#x;s ultimate goal to provide services the public, efficiently, transparently and cost effectively. A sequence of well-defined objectives, good design and implementation of Egovernance can be promising to deliver its intended mission.


8. References [1]

EzGov White Paper: Realizing e-Government (2000), ttp://www.ezgov.com/white_paper_art3_1.jsp [2] Role of Al Gore, Vice President USA, in initiating Information Supper Highway, The US National Informational Infrastructure Initiative (NII) 1993, NII 1993, NIST 1996 and Reinventing Government (NPR2000) [3] The European Bangemann Report 1994, EU Initiative “eEurope. An Information Society for All” by European Commission 1999 . [4] Dauglas M. Brown, Reinventing Government in the Information Age, p 114-121, (2002). [5] Ake Gronlund, (2002) Electronic Government: Design, Application & Management, Idea Group Publishing P1. [6] Asst. Prof. Bushra, Institutional Role in Ecommerce, Development Economics in Pakistan (2002) [7] Several encryption algorithms exists, and third party Trust Provider like ViriSign, and Global Sign have very robust solution. [8] Laurence Wolf, Reinventing Government in the Information Age, p 231 (2002). [9] Electronic Government – A Link Collection, Institute of Technology Assessment (Epriwatch Project 1999). [10] Asst. Prof. Bushra, Intuitional Role in Ecommerce, Development Economics in Pakistan (2002). [11] Bridging the digital divide, Center for Democracy and Technology (2001). [12] Government On-line Project Report (1999), http://www.open.gov.uk/govonline/golinetro.htm [13]

Pew Research Center for people and the press, Technology and On-line use Survey (1998).

E-governance: Public Policy Perspective  

The emergence of the Internet in our day to day life and development of information communication technology (ICT) and social acceptance of...

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