E-Government Policy Implementation in Brunei: Lessons Learnt from Singapore

E-Government Policy Implementation in Brunei: Lessons Learnt from Singapore

Mohammad Habibur Rahman, Patrick Kim Cheng Low, Mohammad Nabil Almunawar, Fadzliwati Mohiddin, Sik-Liong Ang
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0116-1.ch018
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Policy reform initiative in e-Government and other public management areas such as good governance has been momentous and visible in many societies in recent years. However, in many countries, reasonably good policies have made somewhat slow progress at the implementation stage. It has to be appreciated that policy implementation occurs in several ways, manifesting multiple challenges. Taking a key interest in Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, this chapter has made an attempt to see how these challenges or critical factors play a key role in making e-Government policy a success. The authors have examined e-Government strategies in Brunei in the light of policy success in Singapore. Based on their empirical research in these two small countries in South-East Asia, this chapter highlights the salient features and success factors that have enabled e-Government policies to be successfully implemented in Singapore. Learning lessons from Singapore, the authors have proposed potential success ingredients for an effective e-Government policy implementation in Brunei.
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Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) including computers, satellite, Web and the Internet are now able to work together and combine to form the ‘networked world’ which reaches into every corner of the globe – allowing remote communities to become integrated into mainstream development and decision-making processes. There is virtually no limit to the reach of ICT. That is why it brings people closer and helps in reaching the unreached. It treats people alike irrespective of social and economic status, sex, religion and caste of creed (UNDP, 2001; Harris, 2004). ICT is a combination of two concepts – information and technology. Access to information is power. In the case of good governance, information is acquired and used strategically for public good purposes. And in the case of bad governance, the same information is used for private gains and for suppression of citizens. Access to information forms the basis for decision making and if the community is empowered by providing information and knowledge then this is the most critical factor in breaking the cycle of poverty (ADB, 2003).

In a narrow sense e-Government can be defined as the use of information and communication technology, especially the Internet and the Web technology in running government activities in relation with government stakeholders. These activities include, information dissemination, acquiring and delivering products and services and other electronic transactions. In a broad sense e-Government is perceived as “the continuous optimization of service delivery, constituency participation and governance by transforming internal and external relationships through technology, the Internet and new media.” (Baum and Di Maio, 2000).

E-Government has started gathering momentum as a policy agenda in the 1990s as the quest for good governance also accelerated across the globe. The United Nations E-Government Survey 2010 saw an unprecedented interest and success with e-Government at this time of global economic crisis.

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