E-Government as Collaborative Governance: Structural, Accountability and Cultural Reform
Barbara A. Allen (University of Ottawa, Canada), Luc Juillet (University of Ottawa, Canada), Gilles Paquet (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Jeffrey Roy (University of Ottawa, Canada)
Copyright: © 2005
In discussions on e-government, terms such as “seamless” and “joined-up” are often deployed in reference to restructuring the public sector for more effective performance. There is a critical link between delivering services online in a more client-centric fashion and government organization. This critical link often involves new coordinating mechanisms (i.e., new forms of governance) that are more collaborative than before — thus, e-government becomes collaborative government — and as such, many challenges present themselves. In government, however, collaborating is both complex and contentious, as much of public management has traditionally been premised on a command and control regime, where clear structures and rules dictate the behavior of public servants. The contentious nature of collaboration is also amplified by the political nature of government activity, and the difficulties in coordinating activities horizontally across traditional organizational units: there are structural, accountability and cultural dimensions of such coordination. E-government must be built on a fluid and constantly adapting of collaborative governance systems that respond to the twin challenges of external alignment and internal integration and cooperation.