Successfully Applying “e” to Governance

Successfully Applying “e” to Governance

Evangelia Mantzari (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece) and Evanthia Hatzipanagiotou (Ministry of Finance, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1909-8.ch017
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Abstract

The challenge of better public service offering and the expectations of modern citizens and businesses, as well as the poor past practices of public organizations, bring forward the need to design and implement new systems. These systems are based on current information and communication technologies and are points of reference on the path towards e-government “enlightenment.” However, the transition from the traditional processes to the modern ones can be long and strenuous, if relevant projects are not carefully implemented. Therefore, in order to successfully apply electronic practices and methods to public systems of governance, a step-wise approach needs to be formulated starting from traditional standards, leading to transitional procedures, and finally achieving simplification and increased quality of public service by exploiting previous experiences, overcoming past limitations, and applying the lessons learned.
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Background

The gradual involvement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to everyday activities and business practices has transformed the managerial and administrative methods and raised the public’s expectations concerning the levels and the quality of service provision. Accordingly, the trend in public administration has evolved in order to respond to modern market requirements and citizens’ demands with the development of electronic government systems. The e-government revolution offers the potential to reshape the public sector and remake the relationship between citizens and government (Saxena, 2005).

Similarly, e-governance can be identified as a second revolution, following the movement of new public management, which may transform not only the way in which most public services are delivered, but also the fundamental relationship between government and citizen (The Economist, 2000) and become a pre-requisite for development (Sen, 1999). Governance is the outcome of politics, policies, and programs that concerns long-term processes and not immediate decision-making (Kettl, 2002). Thus, before attempting to pass over to the “electronic era,” public organizations have to re-consider, adapt, and modernize all of their traditional old-fashioned processes.

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