Australia Local Government and E-Governance: From Administration to Citizen Participation?

Australia Local Government and E-Governance: From Administration to Citizen Participation?

Kevin O’Toole (Deakin University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-130-8.ch011
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Abstract

This chapter analyses local government’s response to the pressure to modernise its structures through its use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) to execute its broad range of tasks. The chapter begins by discussing Chadwick and May’s (2003) three basic models of e-government; managerial, consultative and participatory. Using data collected from an analysis of 658 local government websites in Australia together with existing survey research the chapter then analyses the extent to which local government sites fit into the three models. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the issues and problems faced by local government in its attempt to develop e-governance as both an extension of administrative as well as democratic functions.
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E-Government

Australian local governments have adopted the Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA) definition of e-government as ‘the structured use of electronic technology to pursue the traditional goals of government in areas such as:

  • The interface with government

  • Service relationships with people and businesses

  • Commercial relationships with business partners

  • Implementing sectoral and community based policy

  • Enhancing the role of citizens in democratic processes (i.e. e-democracy)

  • Interacting with other public institutions

  • The conduct of government’s own ‘back-office’ operations’ (Australian Local Government Association, 2004, p. 10)

What this list does is reaffirm the fundamental role of ‘government’ in interfacing, implementing, conducting and servicing. For all intents and purposes it is business as usual for ‘government’ without a lot of thought about increasing the reach of local democracy (Crabtree, 2001).

On the other hand there are those that consider the shift to e-government as a change to the way that the government and its citizens interact. Chadwick and May (2003) argue that there are three basic models of interaction between the state and its citizens that underpin the notion of e-government: managerial, consultative and participatory. The first approach is akin to the ALGA definition as a managerialist focus. Chadwick and May (2003) argue that the managerialist approach has a number of features:

  • “A concern for the ‘efficient’ delivery of services” of government information to citizens and other groups of users.

  • The use of ICTs to improve flows of information within and around government.

  • A recognition of the importance of ‘service delivery’ to ‘customers’.

  • The view that speeding up information provision is, by itself, ‘opening up government’.

  • A general absence of user resources issues, such as the ability to receive and interpret information.

  • And ‘control’ and presentational professionalism (often termed spin) as defining logics. (Chadwick & May, 2003, p. 272).

Complete Chapter List

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Associate Editors and Editorial Review Board
Table of Contents
Preface
Mehdi Khosrow-Pour
Chapter 1
Marijn Janssen, George Kuk
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E-Government Business Models: Theory, Challenges and Research Issues
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Chapter 2
Roy Ladner
In this chapter we provide an overview of electronic government as it pertains to national security and defense within the Department of Defense... Sample PDF
Electronic Government: Overview and Issues for National Security Interests
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Chapter 3
Ranjeev Mittu, Suleyman Guleyupoglu, William Barlow, Michael Dowdy, Sean McCarthy
The emergence of new doctrine is enabling Security, Stabilization, Transition and Reconstruction (SSTR) operations to become a core U.S. military... Sample PDF
Towards Civil-Military Coordination During Security, Stabilization, Transition and Reconstruction Efforts
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Chapter 4
Akhilesh Bajaj, Sudha Ram
Recently, there has been increased interest in sharing digitized information between government agencies, with the goals of improving security... Sample PDF
A Comprehensive Framework Towards Information Sharing Between Government Agencies
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Chapter 5
Eric T.K. Lim, Chee-Wee Tan, Shan-Ling Pan
As e-government becomes increasingly pervasive in modern public administrative management, its influence on organizations and individuals has become... Sample PDF
E-Government Implementation: Balancing Collaboration and Control in Stakeholder Management
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Chapter 6
Yining Chen, H.M. Chen, Russell K.H. Ching, Wayne W. Huang
Over the last decade, the Internet has become one of the most important means of communication in all social areas. The success of Web technology... Sample PDF
Electronic Government Implementation: A Comparison Between Developed and Developing Countries
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Chapter 7
Jonna Järveläinen, Eija Koskivaara, Päivi Pihlaja, Hannu Salmela, Jarmo Tähkäpää, Timo Kestilä
This collaborative action research study reports the experiences in developing e-government innovations in early childhood education context in... Sample PDF
Involving Service Professionals in eGovernment Innovation: The Case of Finnish Early Childhood Education
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Chapter 8
Jyoti Choudrie, Vishanth Weerakkody
This article examines how horizontal integration between the various departments of a local authority in the United Kingdom (UK) occurs. Following... Sample PDF
Horizontal Process Integration in E-Government: The Perspective of a UK Local Authority
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Chapter 9
Lucas Walsh
As developments in communication technologies impact upon many spheres of public and private life, they influence the way in which the public sector... Sample PDF
Online Policy Consultation: A Case Study of Local Government
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Chapter 10
Lisa Hill
Due to compulsory voting, Australia’s turnout rate is among the highest and most socially-even in the industrialised world. Nevertheless, some... Sample PDF
Electronic Conduits to Electoral Inclusion in an Atypical Constituency: The Australian Case
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Chapter 11
Kevin O’Toole
This chapter analyses local government’s response to the pressure to modernise its structures through its use of Information Communication... Sample PDF
Australia Local Government and E-Governance: From Administration to Citizen Participation?
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Chapter 12
Kate Alport
This chapter examines the spread of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in South Australia. It starts by assessing South Australia’s... Sample PDF
Engaging the Community Through E-Democracy in South Australia
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Chapter 13
G. P. Sahu
The study seeks to highlight the key variables affecting usage of e-government by internal users of Indian Central Excise. An e-government... Sample PDF
Users' Acceptance of E-Government: A Study of Indian Central Excise
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Chapter 14
Tagelsir Mohamed Gasmelseid
The recent economic, organizational and technological transformations are motivating developing countries to adopt electronic government... Sample PDF
A Multi-Agent Service Oriented Modeling of E-Government Initiatives
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Chapter 15
Shahram Rahimi
The effectiveness of current search and retrieval systems is restricted as they do not use the semantics of the data but mainly utilize keywords.... Sample PDF
A Methodology for Ontological Mediation in Multi-Agent Systems
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Chapter 16
Eugene Santos Jr., Eunice E. Santos, Hien Nguyen, Long Pan, John Korah
With the proliferation of the Internet and rapid development of information and communication infrastructure, E-governance has become a viable... Sample PDF
Analyst-Ready Large Scale Real Time Information Retrieval Tool for E-Governance
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Chapter 17
Marco Carvalho
Data dissemination and information management technologies for tactical environments are quickly becoming major areas of research for both military... Sample PDF
In-Stream Data Processing for Tactical Environments
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Chapter 18
Dilip Kumar Sharma, Gopalji Varshneya, Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay
This article analyzes the diffusion of a Web technology named AJAX in facilitating e-government architecture and enhancing its potential by... Sample PDF
AJAX in Development of Web-Based Architecture for Implementation of E-Governance
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