Importance of E-Governance
Merits of e-governance
The main objective of e- governance is to simplify and improve governance and enable people’s participation in governance through and internet. E- Governance is much more than just preparing some websites. It ranges from the use of internet for the dissemination of plain web-based information at it’s simplest level to services and online transactions on the one hand and utilizing it in the democratic process.
E-Governance implies e-democracy, wherein all forms of interaction between the electorate and the elected are performed electronically various manifestations of e- governance initiative will be in term of the government delivering services to citizens of transacting business, offering general information or conducting interactions with the general public and business with the general public and business using IT tools as-
Need for E-Governance(csitnepal)
The fundamental motivation for the campaign of e-governance to provide SMART government being an acronym for Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent Government, a laudable ideal, though difficult it may be to achieve in reality. Thus, we can conceive a Smart Village or Smart Municipality or Smart State, all very difficult but ideal models notwithstanding the difficulties that involved in achieving this, a clear objective of e-governance can be cutting the cost of e-governance and also minimizing the complexities of the procedures by possible business process reengineering.
Generally, the e-governance applications have been more simple and straightforward. As the winds of e-governance and e-government blow widely through public organizations across the world, more and more governments in different countries have been harnessing the Internet and the powers of IT provide services of varied nature as follows:
Issues in E-Governance Applications and the Digital Divide (csitnepal)
Initially, the e-governance activity starts with providing information services by the government departments to the public in terms of State Websites. These websites provide information about the department concerned, facilities available, and services provided to the public along with the fees payable, etc. However, as the role of IT in the specific organization increases, the websites of government departments attempt at providing more advanced services such as dynamic information and also specific transactions such as making utility payments. Gradually, this e-interaction of the public with the government leads to organizational transformation, transparency of public services, speed of service performance, increased citizen participation in the government, and thereby greater facilitation of participative democracy. Ideally, as the public agencies such as government departments and public sector undertakings begin implementing e-governance and e-government initiatives, their performance improves and they are better equipped to interact with citizens and provide services over the Internet. Thus, the citizens are enabled access to government documents, file taxes, make payments as utility bills, obtain or renew licenses and permits of different kinds, make bookings and reservations for public services, lodge complaints or file applications for various benefits, and even employment.
The enthusiastic initiatives in e-governance and e-government are not without consequential problems, as any technological innovation has. These initiatives have the potential to create a digital divide within the society, especially in the poor and developing countries. While the e-governance initiatives may benefit certain privileged sections of the society, the underprivileged, those who do not have access to the Internet or not well qualified or equipped to use Internet will be all the more distanced from the government, leading to disenchantment. Also, this will aggravate even further the existing divide between the privileged and he underprivileged. Thus, it is essential that governments concerned ensure that all citizens of different socioeconomic and educational strata will have adequate access to the basic skills and infrastructure to participate in an increasingly technological society. As the digital divide becomes perceptible in different countries, public policymakers need to devise policies that would address issues of universal access and educational needs of their citizens, so as to match the requirements of an IT-enabled e-government and e-society.
Evolution of E-governance, It’s scope and content: (csitnepal)
Even though historically it was Chile, which implemented real governance solution as early as the seventies, the current interest and attention on e–governance. Applications all over the e-governance world have its roots in the “information super highway “concept initiated by the US vice president Al Gore in early 1990’s.
The information super highway was defined largely in terms of the information infrastructures at the national level by many countries including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and India. The focus was then largely on developments of components of the infrastructure such as fiber optic networks across the states or nations. Subsequently, the interest was widened to include socio-economic considerations encapsulated in the concept of information society or knowledge society which naturally has to encompass e-governance.
In general, during 1980’s and19190’s, the governments all over the world lagged behind the commercial world in accepting and implementing information and communication technology. The commercial world, including the industrial world had gone far ahead of the governments all over the world. In harnessing the potential of ICT in their care and peripheral activities. Commercially enterprises utilized ICT increasingly to reach out to their customers and business partners; thereby impressively enhancing their service quality speed and convenience. The initial efforts of e- governance simply resulted in only partial automation of the existing paper-based manual procedures and did not result in any significant re-engineering. The scope and extent of e-governance have been largely limited to simple applications with the maximum of computerized management information system and database management within the government departments along with gradually enhanced usage of simple information communication technology such as e- mail and limited usage of internet and video conferencing for government functions. In additions to potentially delivering significant improvement in government services ,ICT has been visualized by some as having much deeper and wider impact on society and even capable of effecting the quality of life and nature of democracy.
However, the significant issues that has become highly relevant for large scale implementation of ICT in governance are the issues of society of security, privacy venerability of public ICT infrastructure to crime, potential for abuse, terrorism and general crime , in addition to issues related to social cohesion and social exclusion following what is popularly known as the digital divide.
The scope ICT implementation in government machinery can result in-
Globally online government transaction increased from just 6% to 7% during this period and the percentage of those providing personal details to government increased from 7% to 8%.
In some countries, percentage increases have been significantly higher than in others. Among the most significantly increase in the use of government services online are Australia, (from 31% to 46%), Turkey (3% to13 %), Netherlands (from 31% to 41%) and the USA (from 34%to 43%). In contrast, in Japan, however, government online usage fell by 4% (from 17% to 13%) between 2001 and 2002.
While security issues about accessing government services online were the main concern for many countries during 2001, perceptions of safety improved globally during 2002.
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