Upgrading Society With Smart Government: The Use of Smart Services Among Federal Offices of the UAE

Upgrading Society With Smart Government: The Use of Smart Services Among Federal Offices of the UAE

Badreya Al-Jenaibi (United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), UAE)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2589-9.ch012
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This paper aims to explore the goals and motives of electronic government utilization among the citizens, the motives of their preference as well as the extent of use of these smart applications in the UAE. Also, it investigates the basic element of Smart Government uses within the federal authorities, response times, and recommendations for improving smart government. This study answers the following questions: What is the purpose of creating smart government? What are the users' aims in using smart government and what level of satisfaction do they experience? To augment this research, 450 questionnaires were distributed among federal authorities' users in all 7 emirates in the UAE. In addition, 18 interviews were conducted with managers in the federal government. The users reported high levels of satisfaction using smart government technologies, indicating a high level of usage and trust. The results also show that higher service speed contributes to higher levels of satisfaction. Managers are very optimistic about Smart Government, but some challenges remain, such as the existence of a lack of information or guidelines for using smart government. There is currently no central government department for applying smart government, and no clear vision or philosophies regarding smart government.
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1. Introduction

In Introducing E-gov: History, Definitions, and Issues, Horan (2005) outlined the history of Smart Government, pointing out that Smart Government was created in 1970 when the computer industry opened to the public, and then it was officially applied to government in 1990 to be used by customers. Horan (2005) points out that Internet technology helps set the basic rules in Smart Government; without the Internet, Smart Government applications would have never appeared. As our dependence and use of technology grows, the connection between the public and government also deepens, to build an Smart Government that will help people’s lives and future (Hsieh, Chen & Lo, 2015; As-Saber, Hossain & Srivastava, 2007). Computer science helps institute Smart Government and ensures its usability and fast service (Lake, 2013; Abecasis, 2012; ITU, 2009a). Smart Government is employed for political and governmental purposes and involves using technology to provide the citizenry with greater ease and convenience (Bwalya & Mutula, 2015).

From the mid-1990s, e-mails and websites became an intrinsic part of the regime transformation. The government used websites and e-mails to communicate with users and gain information for their campaigns (WideView, 2014). The types of online services needed are unclear (Bardach, 2002). It is not clear “the extent to which IT is transforming public administration and politics and who is benefiting from the changes that are occurring. Indeed, in contrast to those who proclaim that IT has transformed government, there are counterclaims that IT has largely been adapted to and reinforced by existing behaviors and practices” (Andersen, 2006, p.2). In this case, IT is simply one additional political tool for leaders (Danziger & Andersen 2002; Andersen, 1998). Scholl and Scholl (2014) and Beynon-Davies (2007) argued that using IT in administration, both internally and externally, allows direct and real-time communication with consumers. Scholl (2001) and Linnefell (2014), indicated that a portion of Smart Government will be extremely organized, reliable, and able to have immediate use, such as for online building permits and car registration renewal forms. “The major portion of Smart Government communication will not be within government and will be hard to predict when and where it will come from. The standard protocol for responding to correspondence and creating archives for storing communication is under investigation. The new generation of applications, such as SMS, chat, and virtual collaboration technologies, alters the way communication takes place” (Scholl (2001, p.3).

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