E-Government in Slovene Municipalities: Analysing Supply, Demand and its Effects

E-Government in Slovene Municipalities: Analysing Supply, Demand and its Effects

Tina Jukic (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Mateja Kunstelj (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Mitja Decman (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) and Mirko Vintar (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-282-4.ch009
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In this chapter, 3 main aspects of municipal e-government in Slovenia are investigated thoroughly: supply, demand, and the view of municipal officials. After the review of studies in the field, the results of 3 empirical studies are presented. While the supply-side aspect of municipal e-government has been investigated within several studies, the view of external (citizens) and internal (municipal officials) users of municipal e-government have been rather neglected in the past, and the same is true for effects measured in this field. This chapter fills these gaps. The results revealed that municipal Web supply is poor, which is reflected in citizens’ satisfaction as well. Surprisingly, municipal officials are not well aware of possibilities e-government offers to them and to their customers. In addition, they believe that positive effects brought about the introduction of e-government are not significant, while among negative effects larger range of tasks, heavier workload, and increased complexity of tasks are stressed. At the end of the chapter key findings are summarized.
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For quite some years development of e-government is high on the list of political priorities in many countries; however this does not mean that all segments of the public administration and all tiers of the state progress with the same speed and success. In many countries local government receives more attention and is better developed in this field as it is the case with federal or central state. In Slovenia the situation is the opposite. According to several studies, e-government in Slovenia is relatively well developed but these findings are by en large related to the e-services provided by the state, however the same cannot be argued in general for e-services provided by the local level administration.

Slovenia is a small country; its population is about two million, independent since 1991 when former Yugoslavia fell apart. Since then, Slovenia has a two-tier administrative system, which received its current shape in 1994 when Slovenian Parliament passed the Law on Local self- government on the basis of which the 65 former (still Yugoslav) communes were transformed according to the European Charter of Local Self-Government. Practically all functions of the state at the local level, most typically issuing personal documents and all kinds of permits, were transferred on the new established 65 administrative units while all functions related to the local affairs and life were transferred on the 210 new shaped municipalities. Most of municipalities (52%) are rather small with less than 5000 residents (GOLSGRP, 2007) and according to the law they are autonomous in relation to the state level administration.

This legal and political autonomy of municipalities is probably also the main reason for the differences in the level and speed of development between them as well as between the state and local self-government in many fields including e-government. Namely since the year 2000 Slovenian governments passed several strategic documents concerning development of e-government which apparently speeded up the process of development of public e-services provided by the state administration. In particular in line with the strategic documents on development of e-government put in force by the government in 2001 and 2006 respectively, a great number of e-government projects was started which contributed to the very fast development of public e-services for citizens and business in practically all ministries and governmental agencies. According to the latest Capgemini measurements carried out in 2007 (Capgemini, 2007), Slovenia took second place concerning the level of development of on-line public services. However, this relatively fast progress of the state administration in implementing e-government bypassed in many ways the local level self-governments, i.e. municipalities.

By most indicators Slovene municipalities do not participate in this successful story, even though Slovenian internet users, for example, visit their municipalities’ websites most often (62%), while the state e-government portal is visited less frequently (31%) (Vehovar and Zupanič, 2006). We suppose that there are several reasons for this situation. On the one hand unified strategic documents mentioned above, which seems to have played an important role at the state administration were not enforced at the local level, hence there was no unified approach and platform on which municipalities would be able to build their e-government systems and solutions. On the other hand, great diversity in the size and development level of newly established municipalities additionally decreased their developing capacity.

At the Institute for Informatization of Administration, University of Ljubljana we have been investigating the state of e-government in Slovene municipalities since 2001 on a yearly basis. However the most thorough research has been made during the years 2005-2006 as part of a much wider study “Measuring e-government user satisfaction” (see Vintar et al., 2006). Due to the limited space we will try to focus in this chapter in particular on the two closely related questions:

  • What are the main characteristics of the e-government development and current state in the Slovene local self-governments, i.e. municipalities?

  • What can we learn from the past experience in implementing e-government in Slovene local self-governments?

Key Terms in this Chapter

E-Readiness: The maturity of citizens, businesses, NGOs and governments for participating in the electronic world (e-commerce, e-government etc.).

Front-Office: Part of government operation as perceived by external users (citizens, businesses, NGOs); it refers to the delivery of public services to external users.

E-Government: “Refers to the use by government agencies of information technologies (such as Wide Area Networks, the Internet, and mobile computing) that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government.” (Worldbank, http://go.worldbank.org/M1JHE0Z280)

Back-Office: Part of government operation unseen by external users; it refers to the internal operations of public sector organizations (see Kunstelj and Vintar, 2004).

Life-Event: “Is a metaphor used to denote specific situation or event in the life of a citizen that requires a set of public services to be performed. An example of a life-event is “getting married”, which concerns two citizens, who need to perform several public services in order to get married. Integrating public services into life events is an approach to building e-government portals that help users identify and perform public services of interest.” (Todorovski et al., 2006)

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
G. David Garson
Christopher G. Reddick
Christopher G. Reddick
Chapter 1
Vishanth Weerakkody, Gurjit Dhillon
Most public services are overly complex, and separate where citizens have no choice in the service that they receive. All too often, Information and... Sample PDF
Moving from E-Government to T-Government: A Study of Process Reengineering Challenges in a UK Local Authority Context
Chapter 2
Tino Schuppan
This chapter addresses the link between e-government, organizational networks related to it, and the possibilities for structural reform of... Sample PDF
Local Level Structural Change and E Government in Germany
Chapter 3
Stephen King
This chapter describes a journey through e-enabled local public services. We start with the familiar local government Web site and contact centre... Sample PDF
Innovation and Citizen-Centric Local E-Government
Chapter 4
Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira
This chapter shares experience on aspects related to the methodology and modeling of a framework of City E-Governance Readiness. We discuss Europe’s... Sample PDF
Assessing Local Readiness for City E-Governance in Europe
Chapter 5
Mark Deakin
The chapter examines the IntelCities Community of Practice (CoP) supporting the development of the organization’s e-Learning platform, knowledge... Sample PDF
The IntelCities Community of Practice: The eGov Services Model for Socially Inclusive and Participatory Urban Regeneration Programs
Chapter 6
Sarah Cotterill
In the United Kingdom and throughout the world there is increasing emphasis on public sector organizations working together in local partnerships.... Sample PDF
Local E-Government Partnerships
Chapter 7
Ian McLoughlin
In the United Kingdom, major investments have been made in e-government in order to modernize government and improve the efficiency and quality of... Sample PDF
Towards Digital Governance in UK Local Public Services?
Chapter 8
Bryan Reece, Kim Andreasson
There has been considerable attention given to the issue of unrepresentative access; however, research to date has focused on individual level... Sample PDF
Institutional E-Government Development
Chapter 9
Tina Jukic, Mateja Kunstelj, Mitja Decman, Mirko Vintar
In this chapter, 3 main aspects of municipal e-government in Slovenia are investigated thoroughly: supply, demand, and the view of municipal... Sample PDF
E-Government in Slovene Municipalities: Analysing Supply, Demand and its Effects
Chapter 10
Lourdes Torres, Vicente Pina, Basilio Acerete, Sonia Royo
This work tries to assess to what extent e-government enables transparency, openness and, hence, accountability in public administrations. For this... Sample PDF
E-Government and Accountability in EU Local Governments
Chapter 11
Stephen K. Aikins
A Comparative Study of Municipal Adoption of Internet-Based Citizen Participation Sample PDF
A Comparative Study of Municipal Adoption of Internet-Based Citizen Participation
Chapter 12
Janita Stuart, Val Hooper
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Sociological Factors Influencing Internet Voting
Chapter 13
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An ePlanning Case Study in Stuttgart Using OPPA 3D
Chapter 14
Jennifer Evans-Cowley, Maria Manta Conroy
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Local Government Experiences with ICT for Participation
Chapter 15
Michael J. Jensen
This chapter analyzes the “impact” of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on local government officials’ policy decision-making.... Sample PDF
Electronic Democracy and Citizen Influence in Government
Chapter 16
Yu-Che Chen, Ashley Dorsey
To meet the current and future senior citizens’ demand for e-government, local governments will need to have a better understanding of their needs.... Sample PDF
E-Government for Current and Future Senior Citizens
Chapter 17
Don-yun Chen, Tong-yi Huang, Naiyi Hsiao, Tze-Luen Lin, Chung-Pin Lee
This chapter introduces a case of e-deliberation in Taiwan. Democratic deepening can be achieved by the application of information and communication... Sample PDF
Experimental E-Deliberation in Taiwan: A Comparison of Online and Face-to-Face Citizens' Conferences in Beitou, Taipei
Chapter 18
Greg Streib, Ignacio Navarro
The development of e-government has attracted considerable scholarly interest in recent years, but relatively little has been written about the... Sample PDF
City Managers and E-Government Development: Assessing Technology Literacy and Leadership Needs
Chapter 19
Zhenyu Huang
This chapter presents a comprehensive analysis of the 3,099 U.S. counties’ adoption and diffusion of e-government and the functions provided by... Sample PDF
U.S. Counties' Efforts and Results: An Empirical Research on Local Adoption and Diffusion of E-Government
Chapter 20
Suzanne J. Piotrowski, Erin L. Borry
Government websites are quickly becoming the first point of contact for citizens and visitors seeking information. Local government websites’... Sample PDF
Transparency and Local Government Websites
Chapter 21
Marc Holzer, Aroon Manoharan
The chapter is based on the results of an international survey of municipal Web portals conducted through a collaboration between the E-Governance... Sample PDF
E-Governance and Quality of Life: Associating Municipal E-Governance with Quality of Life Worldwide
Chapter 22
Mete Yildiz
This chapter presents an analysis of local e-government adoption and implementation in Turkey. To this end, academic articles, various laws, and... Sample PDF
An Overview of Local E-Government Adoption and Implementation in Turkey
Chapter 23
Bekir Parlak, Zahid Sobaci
This chapter aims to evaluate the e-government practices in metropolitan municipalities in Turkey by determining functionality levels of... Sample PDF
The Functionality of Website-Based Services of Metropolitan Municipalities in Turkey
Chapter 24
Patrizia Lombardi, Ian Cooper, Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira, Mark Deakin
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The Challenge of Designing User-Centric E-Services: European Dimensions
Chapter 25
Raoul J. Freeman
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Goals Measurement and Evaluation of E-Gov Projects
Chapter 26
Jussi S. Jauhiainen, Tommi Inkinen
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E-Governance and the Information Society in Periphery
Chapter 27
Sean M. Bossinger
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Open Source Software Use in Local Governments
Chapter 28
Mark Cassell
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When Local Governments Choose Open Source Technology
Chapter 29
The Wireless City  (pages 554-568)
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In this chapter, we explore the evolution of wireless broadband networks in cities. We examine the technological alternatives for city-wide... Sample PDF
The Wireless City
Chapter 30
Paul M.A. Baker, Avonne Bell, Nathan W. Moon
This chapter presents the results of an examination of the current state of U.S. municipal wireless network design and policies with regards to... Sample PDF
Accessibility Issues in Municipal Wireless Networks
Chapter 31
Roland J. Cole, Isabel A. Cole, Jennifer A. Kurtz
The key reason for including this chapter in this book is that the development of more advanced forms of e-government requires that residences have... Sample PDF
Municipal Efforts to Promote Residential Broadband
Chapter 32
Jenni Viitanen, Richard Kingston
This chapter will discuss the implications of the network society paradigm for e-government and the role of ICTs in the regeneration of urban... Sample PDF
The Role of Public Participation GIS in Local Service Delivery
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Terry Murphy
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Paul T. Jaeger
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Public Libraries and Local E-Government
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Muhammad Mustafa Kamal, M. Themistocleous
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Genie N.L. Stowers
This case describes the case of a small California city, San Carlos, a continued early adopter in the e-government areas. The chapter asks the... Sample PDF
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Greta Nasi
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E-Government and Local Service Delivery: The Case of Italian Local Governments
Chapter 40
Andreas Ask, Mathias Hatakka, Åke Grönlund
This chapter discusses practices, opportunities, and challenges in local e-government project management by means of a case study involving... Sample PDF
The Örebro City Citizen-Oriented E-Government Strategy
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Ik Jae Chung
As a nationwide e-government project in South Korea, the Information Network Village project was launched in 2001. It was designed to increase... Sample PDF
Toward E-Government Sustainability: The Information Network Village Project in South Korea
Chapter 42
Samiaji Sarosa, Jenjang Sri Lestari
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The Level and Impact of Web Based E-Government Adoption: The Case of Jogjakarta's Local Governments
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Despite the many quarrels and complaints about the quality of local government in Malaysia, it continues to be an important part of the overall... Sample PDF
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Chapter 44
Sam Lubbe, Shawren Singh
This chapter explores the issues of the interface between Information Systems (IS) and society. We investigate IS and users of these systems at a... Sample PDF
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About the Contributors