What is e-government?

E-government is the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to improve the activities of public sector enterprises. Some definitions of e-government are limited to applications that support the Internet, and to interactions between government and external groups.

So, governments have been practicing e-government for more than 50 years: the first central computer used at the Statistics Office was "e-government ". We just didn't call it that 50 years ago.

What does e-government cover?

There are three main areas of e-government:

  1. Improvement of government processes: e-administration. 

  2. Connecting Citizens: E-Citizenship and E-Services. 

  3. Structure of External Interactions: eSociety

  1. Improvement of government processes: e-administration.

E-government initiatives in this area specifically deal with improving the internal functioning of the public sector. They include:

  • Cutting costs: Improving input: output ratio by reducing financial or time costs.

  • Process performance management: Planning, monitoring and controlling the performance of process resources (human, financial, etc.).

  •  Strategic communication in government: linking arms, agencies, levels, and government data repositories to enhance the ability to investigate, develop and implement the strategy and policies that guide government operations.

  • Creating empowerment: The transfer of power, authority, and resources for operations from their current locations to new locations.

  1.  Connecting Citizens: E-Citizenship and E-Services

Such initiatives deal in particular with the relationship between government and citizens: either as voters/stakeholders from whom the public sector must derive legitimacy or as customers who consume public services. It also includes a broader jurisdiction:

  • Talking to citizens: Providing citizens with details of public sector activities. This is mainly related to certain types of accountability.

  •  Listening to citizens: increasing citizens' contribution to public sector decisions and actions. This can be marked as either a democracy or participation.

  • Improving public services: improving services for members of the public according to dimensions such as quality, convenience and cost.

  1. Structure of External Interactions: eSociety

In particular, such initiatives deal with the relationship between public agencies and other foundations, private sector companies, nonprofits and community-based organizations. As with citizen communications, it includes:

  • Working better with business: improving the interaction between government and business. This includes digitization of organization and procurement from services to business to improve quality, convenience and cost.

  • Community development: building social and economic capacity and capital for local communities.

  • Building partnerships: creating organizational groupings to achieve economic and social goals. The public sector is always a partner, although sometimes it only acts as a facilitator for others.