The impact of “e-business” on the public sector is the main source of the government’s transformation towards “e-government,” which refers to the public sector’s efforts to use information and communication technologies (ICT) to deliver government services and information to the public. E-government allows citizens to interact more directly with the government, transforming multiple operational and bureaucratic procedures and employing a customer-centric approach to service delivery; it allows intra-governmental communication; it also offers numerous possibilities for using the Internet and other Web-based technologies to extend online government services (Gant, Gant & Johnson, 2002). Governments evaluate the best practices of e-business applications worldwide and establish policies for the development of e-government applications. The aim of this strategy is to develop and provide faster and cheaper public services and contribute decisively to the new knowledgebased economy. The visions, goals, and policies that encompass e-government vary considerably among practitioners and users, while comparative indicators may not always be precise (U.N., 2001). As e-government consists of various aspects, perspectives and objectives there is not only one valid way for assessing its progress. A number of different methodologies for collecting and analyzing data have been applied to different reviews, depending on their evaluation objectives. The primary goal of the present study is to evaluate e-government services in Greece with a set of carefully chosen criteria, in a manner that can be used for evaluating e-government services world-wide.
Key Terms in this Chapter
E-Democracy: This is the most difficult to generate and sustain feature of e-government. It refers to activities that increase citizen involvement including virtual town meeting, open meeting, cyber campaigns, feedback polls, public surveys and community forums such as e-voting.
Government-to-Government (G2G): Facilitate increased efficiency and communication between parts of a government. G2G initiatives can improve transaction speed and consistency, and at the same time reduce the time employees have to spend on tasks. The G2G initiatives will enable sharing and integration of federal, state and local data to facilitate better leverage of investments in IT systems and to improve grant management capabilities, and also will support “vertical” (that is intergovernmental) integration requirements.
Government-to-Citizen (G2C): Can facilitate involvement and interaction with the government, enhancing the quantity and quality of public participation in government. G2C interactions can allow citizens to be more informed about government laws, regulations, policies, and services. For the citizen, e-government can offer a huge range of information and services, including government forms and services, public policy information, employment and business opportunities, voting information, tax filing, license registration or renewal, payment of fines, and submission of comments to government officials.
Government-to-Business (G2B): Involving the sale of government services and goods along with procurement facilities, have benefits for both businesses and governments. For businesses, G2B interactions can result in increased awareness of opportunities to work with the government and in cost savings and improved efficiency in performing transactions. For governments, G2B interactions offer benefits in reducing costs and increasing efficiency in procurement processes plus providing new avenues for selling surplus items.
E-Services: Describes the use of electronic delivery for government information, programs and services. These are available on-line “24h/7days.” It also refers to electronic service delivery (ESD) and such expression as ‘one-stop service centre’ that citizen needs are met through a single contact with the government. The strategic challenge is to deliver quality services to users and cost effectiveness.
E-Commerce: This concept is linked to business side of government interactions. In e-commerce the exchange of money for goods and services is conducted over the Internet. For example, citizens paying taxes, renewing vehicle registrations, and auctioning surplus equipment (through online purchasing, e-procurement).
e-Management: While e-Services focus on so called “front–office” relations, e-management (e-administration) refers to the so called “back-office” organizational systems. E-government initiatives within this domain deal particularly with improving management from streamlining internal processes to cross-departmental flow of information.