E-Government Performance Measurement: A Citizen-Centric Approach in Theory and Practice

E-Government Performance Measurement: A Citizen-Centric Approach in Theory and Practice

Forrest V. Morgeson (American Customer Satisfaction Index, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-753-1.ch008
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The emergence and rapid spread of electronic government in the United States over the past decade, as well as across much of the globe, has created a need for better, more robust methods of measuring this system’s performance. In this chapter we discuss several issues surrounding performance measurement of e-government websites. We outline two types of performance measurement – internal and external measurement – and emphasize the importance of external, citizen-centric performance measures in the e-government context. Following a brief case study illustrating the value of this type of performance measurement, we conclude the chapter by recommending a unified system of e-government performance measurement spanning levels and types of government in the United States. Such a system would best position not only the U.S. government, but many political systems currently implementing and expanding e-government services to realize the goals of improved citizen perceptions of service quality, government efficiency, government responsiveness, transparency, trust, and so forth, through e-government.
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The State Of E-Government Today

Since first appearing in the late 1990’s, e-government has been credited with creating – or at minimum, holding the potential to create – innumerable social benefits. Collectively, these benefits have been presented as the central justification for the adoption and expansion of e-government, and a corresponding reduction of other modes of citizen-government contact and types of services, such as reducing the number of physical locations, call centers or customer service personnel. Given this, the realization of the promised benefits of e-government is more than a trivial matter; indeed, the success of e-government will ultimately be judged relative to the ability of this medium to realize its perceived potential.

The purported benefits of e-government have been discussed extensively and are by now well known (Bertot & Jaeger, 2006; Chadwick & May, 2003; Edmiston, 2003; Gasco, 2003; Moon, 2002; Roy, 2003; Thomas & Streib, 2003; West, 2007). In the first instance, e-government has long been heralded as a vital new mode of government-to-citizen (G2C), government-to-business (G2B), and intergovernmental communication (G2G) for reasons of enhanced efficiency and cost-savings (Moon, 2002). The efficiencies and revenue savings generated by the speed, ease and accessibility of e-government were perhaps most responsible for winning the first generation of advocates and converts to this technological medium, and the centrality of this value can be seen (at least in the United States) in supporting legislation like the E-Government Act of 2002 (E-Government Act, 2002). From this perspective, e-government appears to be realizing its potential extremely well; by one estimate, e-government saved the U.S. federal government more than $500 million in the 2007 fiscal year alone (Nagesh, 2008).

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