The Role of E-Government in Selected Fire Services of Taiwan & the United States. A Comparative Analysis. John M. Moschella, EFO Annie Chou, M.S.
What is e-Government? â€˘ the use of technology to enhance the access to and delivery of government services to benefit citizens, business partners and employees.
Purpose â€˘ To evaluate selected fire department websites according to the six stages of e-government Lee (2010), West (2004), Moon (2002), Deloitte (2000), and Silcock (2001)
Stage 1: Information Publishing/Dissemination â€˘ departments and agencies establish individual websites. This step requires one-way communication that allows customers to download information from the site.
Stage 2: "Official" Two-Way Transactions â€˘ customers can engage in transactions such as paying bills or securing permits.
Stage 3: Multi-Purpose Portals â€˘ customers can, through a single point of entry, access several municipal departments, thereby saving time.
Stage 4: Portal Personalization â€˘ more frequent users could customize their own portals.
Stage 5: Clustering of Common Services â€˘ government would consolidate particular services along common lines to benefit the user.
Stage 6: Full Integration and Enterprise Transformation • At this stage old walls, as Silcock calls them, would be broken down and bridges constructed among departments ensuring smooth navigation throughout the municipality’s website. • Our survey: an avenue for feedback.
U.S. & Taiwanese Fire Departments • 50 fire (Metro) departments – city >1million (7) – city<1million (20) – county >1million (11) – county 500g to 1 million (8) – county <500g (4)
• 19 fire departments – city >1million (5) – city<1million (3) – county >1million (2) – county 500g to 1 million (6) – county <500g (3)
Taiwanese Fire Departments • Taiwan: 19 in total – 8 Metro sized fire departments • larger than 400 members • average population served: 2.2 million
– 11 county/city sized fire departments • average 267 members • average population served: 600 thousand
Demographics: 1. Name of fire department 2. Location of fire department 3. Size of fire department (personnel) 4. Population of community served 5. Career, volunteer, combination
Question # 1 • Is the fire department website one-way communication only? – YES—Aside from a comment page or ability to download something (forms, laws, etc.), there is no two-way communication via the website? For example, the user cannot submit a question – NO—The site allows the user to download material, or pose a question. There is interaction between the user and the FD site.
Question # 2 • Can the user engage in transactions such as paying bills or securing permits from the fire department? – YES—the user can, book an appointment, pay a fee, etc? – NO—the user cannot conduct any transactional business
Question # 3 • Can the user, through a single point of entry (fire department website), access other municipal departments? – YES—In this instance, for example, is there a drop down menu to access other municipal departments, like water, building, or electrical?) – NO—the user cannot access any other city department, fire related websites are not included, such as NFPA.
Question # 4 • Can users employ portal personalization? – YES—the user can have his/own name and password to gain access to the site, for example, logging into an airlines. – NO—there is no personal access to the site.
Question # 5 • Does the website have a clustering of common services? – YES—the user could access other departments needed for completing a job – NO—the user must individually contact each department
Question # 6 • Does the site offer user feedback? – YES—the user can submit comments, suggestions or feedback to the site – NO—there is no avenue for the user to submit comments, suggestions or feedback
Results • Question 1 – US:
• 6% neither
– Taiwan 100%-no
• Question 2 – US: 28%-yes – Taiwan 100%-no
• Question 3 – US: 80%yes – Taiwan 100%-no
Results • Question 4 – US: 10%-yes – Taiwan 100%-no
• Question 5 – US 22%-yes – Taiwan 100%-no
• Question 6 – US 26%-yes – Taiwan 100%-yes
100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
US YES US NO Taiwan YES Taiwan NO
Conclusions—U.S./Taiwan • Almost 68% are one-way only sites (Taiwan 100%) – cannot download important documents
• Transactional business is only available in 28% of the FD sites (Taiwan 0 %) – cannot book an appointment, etc.
• 80% allow for easy navigation to other departments (Taiwan 0%)
Conclusions—U.S./Taiwan (cont.) • Only 10% have portal personalization (Taiwan 0%) – proven value to return customers
• Only 22% have clustered common tasks (Taiwan 0%) – something new and innovative
• Only 26% have any type of feedback/suggestion avenue (Taiwan 100%)
Recommendations • US & Taiwan fire department websites must allow visitors to download important documents – simple as email attachments
• US & Taiwan common services should be available – booking a ticket & choosing a seat
• Taiwan, common entry to other municipal departments is mandatory . . . saves time – easier to navigate
• US & Taiwan personal sign-in (portals) saves time – much like other venues: airlines, Expedia, Amazon
• US & Taiwan, clustering of services should be based on a specific job – building a house: FD, Building, Electrical, Plumbing, etc.
• US & Taiwan, always allow for customer feedback – best way to evaluate performance – suggestions for improvement
â€˘ Let me know if you think we need any additional slides, especially for Taiwan. â€˘ What you have to do is be able to discuss why Taiwan is 0% for questions 1 to 5. Is it a question of the population not being computer literate? Not enough computers in the households? Residents do not need egovernment? Have answers to the questions why?