Towards the Integration of E-Government Process in the University of Murcia: Business Process Strategy

Towards the Integration of E-Government Process in the University of Murcia: Business Process Strategy

Jesús D. Jiménez Re (Universidad de Murcia, Spain) and M. Antonia Martínez-Carreras (Universidad de Murcia, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7266-6.ch007
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Several countries are adopting e-government strategies for adapting the administrative procedures to automated process with the aim of obtaining efficient and agile processes. In this sense, the European Union has published some directives which indicate the need for European countries to adopt e-government in the public administration. Additionally, the Spanish government has published laws and documents for supporting the adoption of e-government in the different public administration. Concretely, the University of Murcia has developed a strategy for the adoption of e-government using a service-oriented platform. Indeed, this strategy has evolved for the adoption of BPM for its administrative processes. The aim of this chapter is explaining the strategy for the adoption of business processes in the University of Murcia.
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Several initiatives have been launched in many countries with the aim of modernizing the public services. In this sense different reports and documents have indicated the need for investing in technologies for offering better services to citizens and organizations (Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, 2011; United Nations, 2012) and thus reducing the burden for them. This trend is named electronic Government (e-Government) and it can be defined as the “the use of information technology to enable and improve the efficiency with which government services are provided to citizens, employees, businesses and agencies” (Carter & Belanger, 2005).

Although several countries have improved their services through the use of more sophisticated web pages, according to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (2012) countries still need to introduce more technologies and automated processes with the aim of reducing the burden of processes currently needed for citizens and organizations. In several public processes the citizens and organization have to present physical documents which are delivered manually from one section to other section, producing sometimes delays in the delivery due to human causes such as illnesses, oversight or overwork of the public worker. By means of automated processes this documentation is immediately available to the next section or administration in the business process once the documentation has been analyzed and completed by the corresponding section or administration. In this sense public bodies have to ensure that the sharing of data between different public organizations provides a reduction of the number of times citizens or businesses have to ask for data.

Dealing with the objective of making faster the public processes needed for citizens, the inclusion of business processes technologies may allow to carry out some of these processes electronically avoiding the passing “paper” between several public workers. In this line Strykowski and Wojciechowski (2012) indicated the need of increasing the quality of public service execution by introducing a fundamental change in the way public administration works. Moreover they stated that “In the case of public administration, such procedures are primarily associated with information processing, which is perfectly suited to be taken over by computer systems”.

Business Process Management (BPM) consists in the analysis, design, implementation and monitoring of business processes which allows the design of intra-organizational and cross-organizational processes. According to Muehlen and Indulska (2010), “business processes are logically ordered sets of activities that produce a result of value to the customer”. Some BPM tools may help to public administration to model the internal processes as well as deployment them in a platform. These tools usually support a graphical notation and standards with the aim of designing the processes. Although several notations have appeared along these years, such as Business Model Language (BML) (Johannesson & Perjons, 2001), recent trends focus on the use of Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) (BPMN link).

In order to model the processes of an organization it is needed the communication between several departments and sections. Moreover, this communication is quite crucial when processes involve different organizations. In addition, the people involved in these designs do not have to be aware of deep issues of the selected technology. Indeed easy graphic tools should be used for allowing all the responsible to be able to design the right process previous to the implementation. Therefore, the introduction of these technologies should be associated to an organizational methodology.

Among the most important open source tools we can find for modeling and developing business processes we can highlight the followings: Bonita BPM, Intalio BPMS and jBPM. The integration of these technologies involves in turn the use of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), which implies also a change in the development of applications. As well as processes have to be designed, analysts have to design services to be reusable for the different processes. Thus, it is also an important step in the adoption of BPM.

The University of Murcia is a public administration which started the convergence to e-Government in 2005 when its master plan ‘Towards e-Government’ was created. Among the goals of this plan is the integration and redefinition of a number of existing administrative applications toward more streamlined operations.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Inventory of Procedures: The official and public website of a public Administration where the entire administrative processes are published, both electronic and non-electronic.

BPM: Business process management is a paradigm that focuses on aligning all organizational elements to improve operational performance in the definition of business processes.

BPM Technologies: Standards and tools for helping in the BPM cycle, bearing in mind the design, modeling and execution of a business process.

BPM Strategy: The BPM strategy indicates what are the business processes in the organization and the priorities in implementing it.

Catalogue of Procedures: The official and public website which allows citizens to initiate an electronic administrative process in a public Administration. It only contains electronic processes.

Administrative Procedure: Regulated process which describes the tasks involved in public procedure.

E-Government: The administration of government by means of information technology. In general, it means the transformation of work routines and processes through the application of information and communication technologies within and between state institutions as well as between the government and citizens or businesses.

SOA: Service Oriented Architecture is an architectural style that supports service-orientation. Service-orientation is a way of modeling applications in terms of services. Finally, a service is a logical representation of a repeatable business activity that has a specified outcome.

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