Information and Communication Technologies for the Public Service

Information and Communication Technologies for the Public Service

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Author(s):
Commonwealth Secretariat
01 July 2008
Pages:
92
ISBN:
9781848590083 (PDF)
http://dx.doi.org/10.14217/9781848590083-en

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Electronic infrastructure and network functionality are being utilised by governments around the world. The challenge that developing Commonwealth countries face is that many of them still do not have either the advanced industries or the financial means to modernise governments and their service delivery. This book looks at the obstacles facing developing countries and what lessons they can learn from developed countries’ approach towards e-government.

The authors begin by describing the three parallel trends that account for the current circumstances, so that the social, political and technological context of e-government and e-governance in developing countries can be clearly understood. They then review some of the considerations involved for implementing e-governance and e-government. The final chapters give practical examples of working plans for implementing e-government in Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Grenada, Guyana, Mauritius, and Trinidad and Tobago.
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  • Foreword

    The public sector in many Commonwealth countries has undertaken a variety of e-governance and e-government projects to exploit the use of information and communication technology (ICT). While there are significant benefits associated with these large and complex change initiatives, there are also many challenges that will be encountered during the journey towards e-governance and e-government.

  • Acronyms
  • Introduction

    Electronic infrastructure and network functionality are being utilised by governments around the world. The history of how and why ICTs (information and communications technologies) came into government use is an important part of the story of their success to date and their prospects for the future. There have been three parallel trends that account for the current circumstances with regard to the decisions by developing countries to adopt e-government. The first trend involves the origins of widespread network processing, which began with business applications and received the name e-commerce from its users. The success of these ventures (credit card processing, online catalogues and sales etc.) impressed those in government, and inspired the public to ask their governments to move in the same direction.

  • From e-Commerce to e-Government
  • From Developed to Developing Countries

    As will be shown in this chapter, much of the literature in the academic world reflects the important dichotomies between the developed countries’ approach towards e-government and the obstacles facing developing countries. In summary, the challenge that developing Commonwealth countries face is that many of them still do not have either the advanced industries or the financial wherewithal to duplicate in all respects what their fellow members have achieved in the more developed countries. At the same time, however, public expectations are building to the same extent as they did elsewhere regarding the desire to modernise governments and their service delivery. Such a discrepancy, which sets the growing desire for change against the financial constraints on implementation, faces the Commonwealth system with a unique dilemma.

  • From e-Government to e-Governance
  • Implementing e-Governance and e-Government

    E-governance is a dominant concept that is efficiently driving the implementation of e-government and technology projects around the world. The ‘e’ in e-governance refers to all aspects of technological implementation in governments throughout Commonwealth countries. The ‘e’ is also now referred to in multiple ways in the sense that it can refer to e-consultation, e-readiness, e-participation, e-delivery, e-performance or any computations and combinations referring to governance and programme implementation. It is important to stress at the beginning of this chapter that the ways in which e-governance is used are manifold. Implementing an e-programme in a developed country is far different than doing so in a smaller developing country that has limited financial or personnel resources. It is important that all implementation schemes take into account the possibilities and limitations that exist to get programmes up and running. Articulated below are the varying dimensions of e-governance and how the basic principles work for countries at different levels.

  • Electronic Government in Barbados and the Cayman Islands

    Prior to the Commonwealth Secretariat Regional Workshop on e-Government Readiness for Effective Public Service Delivery (4–8 June 2007), the governments of both Barbados and the Cayman Islands had already adopted e-government on a departmentby- department and a programme-by-programme basis. Websites and email were provided for select services, the purpose of which was to assist the general public and the business community. These ‘start-up’ projects were developed on an individual basis, because this strategy best reflected the limited resources and experience available at the time.

  • Commonwealth Secretariat Workshop Report
  • Comparative Plans for e-Government from Small States

    The following chapter looks at how the plans for e-government from the participating countries at the Commonwealth Secretariat workshop compare with one another. It also addresses how the prospects for implementing e-government compare to the ‘standards’ that have been suggested by experts from various international organisations and university business schools.

  • Privacy and Information Technology Security: International Trends

    The concept of human rights and privacy legislation in our liberal democracies has grown over the past two centuries and most of this came to fruition in the 20th century. Privacy is now understood to be a human right. Individuals have certain expectations regarding how they are dealt with in our society, one of these being the understanding that certain aspects of their lives are sacrosanct and only shared in cases of justifiable legal requirements’. Thomas B. Riley, Security and Privacy: Striking the Balance.

  • Appendix 1
  • References and Bibliography
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