A Comparison of Foreign Government Computing Policies

A Comparison of Foreign Government Computing Policies

Rick Gibson (American University, USA) and Mary Alice Mcdonough (Computer Data Systems, USA)
Copyright: © 1996 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/joeuc.1996070101
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Abstract

This article examines the use of information technology (IT) by government administrators in selected developed countries. By highlighting IT use by government administrators in five European countries emerging IT trends are described and modeled so that they may be generalized with regard to their effects on public administration around the globe. Two dominant issues that directly influence public policy-making—cooperation and coordination—will serve as the conceptual framework for this article. Cooperation, within Finland, as well as both within and beyond the national borders of Denmark and Portugal will be examined. Then, the decentralization of coordination underway in Denmark, Northern Ireland, and Switzerland will be described. In each case, the domestic and global needs of the administrative users are shown to be satisfied by the capabilities of IT in strengthening coordination and cooperation. For the purposes of this paper the operational definition of cooperation will refer to the action, by any government ministry, which makes IT resources available to other ministries in order to facilitate the act of harmonization on a government-wide basis. Similarly, the operational definition of coordination (either centralized or decentralized) will refer to action by a central agency that consists of governing, directing, controlling in order to facilitate IT performance (usually cost/benefit) on a government ministry wide basis.

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