In recent years, we have witnessed the rapid evolution of the World Wide Web. This development allows millions of people all over the world to access, share, interchange and publish information. In this context, many governments have realized that their information resources are not only valuable to themselves, but valuable economic assets, that fuel of the knowledge economy. By making sure the information they hold can be readily located and passed between the public and private sectors, taking account of privacy and security obligations, it will help to make the most of this asset, thereby driving and stimulating national and international economy. Governments take advantage of information and communication technologies (ICT) and the continuing expansion of the Web and started e-government strategies to renew the public administration and eliminate existing bureaucracy, therefore reducing costs (Riedl, 2003; Tambouris et al., 2001).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Government-to-Business (G2B): The objective of G2B is to reduce burdens on business, provide one-stop access to information and enable digital communication using the language of e-business (XML). Moreover, the government should reuse the data reported appropriately and take advantage of commercial electronic transaction protocols.
Community support framework (CSF): The document which contains both the strategy and the priority actions of the structural funds in a certain member state or region, thereby defining the specific objectives of such actions together with the financial contribution of the structural funds and other financial resources. The CSF serves as a basis for drawing up the operational programs and for guaranteeing the co-ordination of all the community structural support measures in the regions interested by the various operational programs.
Government-to-Citizen (G2C): The goal of G2C is to provide one-stop, online access to information and services to individuals. Citizens should be able to find and access what they need quickly and easily.
Government-to-Government (G2G): The aim of G2G is to enable governments and organizations related to them to more easily work together and to better serve citizens within key lines of business.
Virtual private network (VPN): It is a network that is constructed by using public wires to connect nodes. For example, there are a number of systems that enable you to create networks using the Internet as the medium for transporting data. These systems use encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted.
Structural Funds: They are the main financial instruments by which the European Community strengthens economic and social cohesion, thus reducing the gap between the levels of development in the various Regions.
Government-to-Employees (G2E): The objective of G2E is agencies to be able to improve effectiveness and efficiency, eliminating delays in processing and improving employee satisfaction and retention. Internal efficiency and effectiveness, adopting commercial best practices in government operation in areas such as supply chain management, financial management and knowledge management.
Networked Readiness Index (NRI): The NRI seeks to better comprehend the impact of ICT on the competitiveness of nations. The NRI is a composite of three components: the environment for ICT offered by a given country or community, the readiness of the community’s key stakeholders (individuals, businesses, and governments) to use ICT, and finally the usage of ICT amongst these stakeholders.
E-Government: Any government functions or processes that are carried out in digital form over the Internet. Local, state and federal governments essentially set up central web sites from which the public (both citizens and businesses) can find public information, download government forms and complete their transactions with government online, through electronic services.
Operational Program (OP): It specifies the long-term actions (Measures) to be implemented in order to achieve one or more strategic priorities (priorities). The OPs can be contracted to national (NOP) or regional (POR) authorities and exploit the resources of one or more structural funds.