E-Rulemaking: Lessons from the Literature

E-Rulemaking: Lessons from the Literature

Nuno Carvalho (FEUC, Coimbra, Portugal) and Rui Pedro Lourenço (INESCC/FEUC, Coimbra, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHI.2018040103
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This article aims to identify the different technologies used in e-rulemaking platforms and initiatives and to assess the results from those initiatives. It aims to contribute to aid public officials responsible for the organization of such initiatives to decide what are the best practices and technologies in order to achieve the best results. A systematic literature review was carried out based on the E-Government Reference Library (EGRL) and Google Scholar, and the methodology proposed by Schlichter and Kraemmergaard (2010) was used. The set of collected articles was then analyzed in three dimensions: technologies used, supported activities and achieved results. The analysis of the several articles originated a set of recommendations that might be valuable for those considering implementing eRulemaking projects. The results point to the successful use of automatic comments processing technologies, social interaction tools and specific sites of e-rulemaking.
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2. E-Government And E-Rulemaking

The majority of governments have stimulated or are stimulating initiatives that provide public services online for both citizens and businesses (e-government). Governments usually begin their e-government development path by providing information online and then evolve by providing ever more sophisticated services, as illustrated by different maturity models presented in the literature (Andersen & Henriksen, 2006; Irani, Al-Sebie, & Elliman, 2006; Kašubienė & Vanagas, 2007; Layne & Lee, 2001; Sá, Rocha, & Cota, 2016). However, for the true potential of e-government can be achieved, it is necessary to restructure and transform the bureaucratic administrative processes that are long rooted (Palvia & Sharma, 2007) and, at the top of those maturity models, we sometimes find Digital Democracy and Joint Rule (Almarabeh & AbuAli, 2010).

The processes of rulemaking are intended to develop rules or regulations, allowing the participation of citizens in this process, through the collection of suggestions and contributions, in general in the form of comments. Whereas that rules and state legislation plays a vital role in almost all aspects of social and economic life, any innovation that improves how new rules are drawn up is susceptible of having public benefits. Despite this, and due to institutional, legal and organizational challenges, many government agencies remain resistant to adopt practices of public deliberation (Stromer-Galley, Webb, & Muhlberger, 2012). E-rulemaking is not mainly about voting on a finalized rule, but instead it concerns the opportunity for stakeholders and interested members of the public to contribute in a constructive manner to a rule that is going to implement a law (Carlitz & Gunn, 2005).

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