Management of Strategic Knowledge and Technology in Government Agencies for Public Value

Management of Strategic Knowledge and Technology in Government Agencies for Public Value

A. Nusret Güçlü (Middle East Technical University, Turkey), Semih Bilgen (Middle East Technical University, Turkey), Tunç D. Medeni (Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Turkey), Gülten Alır (Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Turkey) and İ. Tolga Medeni (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch454
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Introduction

Despite all the recent studies for the appraisal and assessment of ICT, Irani and Love (2008) still emphasize the need for developing an evaluation framework which is balanced, generic and detailed at the same time. They also emphasize the importance of ex-post evaluation to compare planned with actual achievements, and to provide for a feedback allowing better management of resources, including ICT investments (Güçlü & Bilgen, 2011).

In Turkey, government institutions have started to recognize the need to apply strategic management and knowledge management. Part of this recognition is due to the legislative work that practically requires the agencies to operate a functional strategic management unit (law # 5018), and additionally from strategic initiatives at national level towards becoming an information/knowledge society (State Planning Organization (SPO) 2007, Ministry of Development, 2013).

Information and communication technology (ICT) investments and initiatives within government sector have already reached significant amounts. The public ICT budget increased from approximately 900 million TL in 2008 and 2009 to 1.147 and 2.061 million TL in 2010 and 2011 respectively (SPO, 2011). World Economic Forum (WEF) also underlined that in 2010-2011 period Turkey’s ranking of government procurement of advanced technology placed the country at the 61st place among 139 countries, and in 2012 the ranking became 56 among 142, and 32 among 144 in 2013. (WEF, 2010; 2011; 2012). Here, the concept of value for money, in particular the public value of the ICT and e-government investments have become increasingly crucial for sustainability.

Some of the knowledge society and ICT initiatives that the co-authors have been involved together or separately include electronic transformation and inventory development of public services, business process management, ontology development and management, enterprise resource planning, knowledge mapping, information and document management systems, among others. The article itself aims to share the experiences from these involvements, underlying significant aspects of the related initiatives and projects. All of these initiatives and project works are very important as not only the capacity building of the owning institutions but also as the innovative and leading-edge practices for Turkey, a country with a target of accession to Europe, claiming political and technological influence in the region. While most of these works are still ongoing, as far as the authors are concerned (and disclosure rights will allow) useful inferences can be drawn as insights, lessons-learned and best practices. The resulting work will be a documentation of previously-found-no-where integration of existing (academic and practical) information about the initiatives related with the management of strategic knowledge and technology for public value in Turkey, which may set an example for other developing countries.

Accordingly, the article will first introduce specifically a public value framework. Next, based on this framework, examples of application areas will be provided. SGB.net, a government resources management system, partially or totally in use at more than 140 agencies in Turkey, will be the main focus as an application case of the conceptual framework. Before conclusion, information on ongoing initiatives and future outlook will also be provided.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Value for Money: The process under which organisation’s procurement, projects and processes are systematically evaluated and assessed to provide confidence about suitability, effectiveness, prudence, quality, value and avoidance of error and other waste, judged for the public sector as a whole. Value for Money is about providing services that are of the right quality, level and cost that reflect the needs and priority of citizens, taxpayers and the wider community. It is a term used to assess whether or not an organisation has obtained the maximum benefit from the goods and services it both acquires and provides, within the resources available to it. Some elements may be subjective, difficult to measure, intangible and misunderstood. Judgement is therefore required when considering whether it has been satisfactorily achieved or not. It not only measures the cost of goods and services, but also takes account of the mix of quality, cost, resource use, fitness for purpose, timeliness, and convenience to judge whether or not, together, they constitute good value.

Evaluation: Specific reviews designed to examine the overall performance of an initiative (programme, project). While its scope may vary, its core should be setting out, obtaining or calculating the outcomes of the initiative and considering their economy, effectiveness and efficiency, but it usually covers a much wider range of issues including the appropriateness and achievement of output objectives as well. It may be carried out before, during or after the programme or project has been completed (usually known as ex ante, mid-term or ex post).

Monitoring: Monitoring is the assessment of internal control performance over time; it is accomplished by both ongoing monitoring activities and periodic evaluations (i.e., self-assessments, peer reviews, internal audits, etc.).

Strategy: An approach to using resources within the constraints of the environment in order to achieve a set of goals. An organisation formulates a strategy based on the environment, and states the goals, objectives, and how it is going to meet the objectives through tactics to guide its core business functions. Used with objectives; having to do with high-level goals that are aligned with and support the entity’s mission (or vision).

(Key) Performance Indicator: A quantifiable performance level used to assess the extent to which program objectives are being obtained.

(Public) Agency, Entity, Organisation: Any department, commission, authority, administration, board, agency or other independent organisation established by law for a particular purpose.

Value: How much money something is worth.

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