Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to improve the quality of the overall citizen experience when interacting with government, including information and services (Bourquard, 2003; Dawes, Pardo, & DiCaterino, 1999; Garson, 2004; Gartner, 2000; Grönlund, 2001). State and local governments are increasingly using ICTs in their operational tasks as well as their provision of public services (Holden, Norris & Fletcher, 2003; Moon, 2002; West, 2005). Many of these governments have created Websites and portals, which provide information about the government agencies and, in some cases, electronic transactions such as tax payment systems, online communities, job search, licensing, and vehicle registration, among others. Through the incorporation of these new features and applications, technological and organizational sophistication have been systematically added to e-government initiatives throughout the last few years (Holden, Norris & Fletcher, 2003; Moon, 2002; West, 2005). However, there are few systematic approaches to evaluate the quality and impact of these initiatives.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Transaction Stage: The stage of the evolutionary approach in which government services are completely online for the citizens.
Political Participation: Stage of the evolutionary approach related to citizens’ relationship with the government through online vote, discussions, and accountability mechanisms using information technologies.
Evolutionary Approach to E-Government: A way to study e-government that identifies different stages as the right path for e-government evolution.
State portal: Vertical Web site where information refers mostly to the information of a national, state or local entity.
Openness: A measure of the freedom to search, collect, and exchange governmental information related to public services or to the bureaucratic structure.
Electronic Government: The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve and facilitate citizens’ relationships with government through democratic procedures, cost-effective transactions and efficient regulations, all of which enhances this relationship.
Integration Stage: The stage of the evolutionary approach in which government organization—vertical or horizontal—can define their internal organization to create a portal.