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04/18/2012

Dissertation Chapter 5 - The Economic Implications of Information Technology in E-Governance: A System Thinking/System Dynamics Approach


Chapter 5 Conclusion and Recommendation

 

            In general, e-governance is the dedication to make use of suitable technologies in order to enhance governmental relationships, both internal and external, to improve democratic expression, human dignity and autonomy, support the development of the economy and persuade fair and efficient service delivery (Riley 2001). The result of the study supports the study of Okot-Uma (2001) about the contextual inclusive of electronic democracy (e-democracy) and electronic government (e-government). E-democracy pertains on the processes and structures which cover all of the types of electronic communication between the government and the citizens and other stakeholders in the community. This includes information, voting, polling, discussion which helps the citizen to participate in the decision-making process, particularly those that are related in policy making (Grönlund 2001). This includes e-engagement, e-consultation and e-controllership (Riley 2003). On the other hand, e-government pertains on the processes and structures that are used in order to deliver the services of the government towards the public in electronic manner (Fraga 2002).

            The result of the study enables to show the interconnections of the implications of IT in e-governance. Economic implications can result to and can materialize due to political, social and technological implications. For example, the ability of technology to offer communication channel for the departments and agencies inside the government, and towards the citizens and the community help to drive transparency and openness, which can help to prevent corruption, which will positively affect the economic condition of the country, thus help in order to improve the perception of the citizen to the government, and improve their cost of living. With this, it shows that application of IT in the government can greatly affect e-governance as a whole.

5.1 Answering Research Questions

5.1.1 What are the different macro-environmental implications of IT in e-governance?

             The result of the study shows that there are political, economical, social and technological implications of IT in e-governance. The political factors pertain on the issues or risks that are connected with the legislation, laws and policies in the government and the greater community. The economic factors pertains on the financial or fiscal performance or condition of a given country or community. Social implications are those that are related with the current changes in the individual and group perspective in the community, while the technological implications pertains on the different issues that are related with the application and implementation of technological changes, particularly the issue of the Internet.

5.1.2 What are the political, economic, social and technological implications of IT in e-governance of Southwark?

In general, IT enables governments to take advantage of tools and framework which enables them to establish communication channel, inside the organization: between the departments and agencies, and outside: between the government and the citizens and private sectors. Furthermore, it also help in order to come up with the tools and methods which can help in order to improve the flow of data and information inside and out of the organization, this include the process of storing, processing, retrieving and disseminating information, which enables the users (government employees, citizens and private sectors or businesses) to submit and retrieve needed information, which help to avail of accessible, cost effective and efficient government service, at the same time, it enables the community to monitor or be informed regarding the different development, programmes and projects being implemented by the government, which help in order to improve transparency and openness, which are vital principles of e-governance. Consequently, it can help in order for the community to be involved in the decision-making and policy making processes, therefore, help to improve democracy, by listening to the voice and suggestions of the people. Furthermore, because IT, particularly the Internet enable systems to be real-time, government, particularly those policy makers to access information (via the opinion of the people), regarding the different changes in the community, and its impact, which will enable them to act by applying different strategies in order to maintain satisfaction of the citizens. Consequently, because of the efficient communication between departments and agencies and the government and the community, costs will be save, because some of the third party processes will be removed, at the same time, government can save through utility expenses, particularly those that are related with the paper and supplies use. On the other hand, government can also save cost in human resource, because application of IT will minimum human intervention, therefore, it can also help in order to lessen the error rates. For instance, citizens and business or private sector will no longer have to visit the physical location of a specific government agency, in order to do their transaction; they can apply or pay using the government website. As a result, it can help both the community and the government to save time, money and effort. With this, the government will no longer have to hire big number of employees in order to cater those citizens or individuals who are physically visiting the agency or the department.

However, it is also important to focus on the different disadvantages or risks that IT caused to the government, particularly regarding e-governance. Part of the principles of e-governance is to ensure that the high quality of government services will be available to everyone or to all. With this, it is important to focus on one of the most important barriers on application of IT in the government – digital divide, which pertains on the access of the people towards technology. The result of this study shows that majority of the respondents, from both government and public or citizen’s group have their access to technology or the Internet, however, it still show that there are still some individuals who don’t have Internet connections or computers. Therefore, this will mean that those minorities will not be given a chance to take advantage of efficient, effective and practical way or method of accessing government services. Other issues connected are security, confidentiality and privacy, which pertain on the safety of the different records or files of individuals and businesses.

5.1.3 How does the implementation of E-government affect the overall operation of Southwark Council? of Southwark Citizens?

            Based on the result of the study, particularly regarding the level of agreement of the respondents in both groups, the e-government application in Southwark had been able to improve the communication and connection between the government and its citizens. Particularly, IT enables the government employees to take advantage of good and efficient flow of data and information inside the government, which enables them to handle their jobs easier and help them to prevent errors. In addition, IT also help them to focus on their individual and group performance due to the different feedbacks, opinions and suggestions that they are receiving from the citizens and the private sectors, therefore, it helped them in order to correct some of their mistakes, improve their weaknesses and maintain their competitiveness and strengths. Therefore, IT enables them to receive information in real-time manner, which enables them to act faster and correctly. With the open and accessible communication between agencies and departments, it helps in order to maintain good relationships in order to work together in achieving the goals and objectives of the organization.

IT also helps to maintain openness and transparency, which enables them to maintain clean processes, by preventing corruption. This is important because it enables the employees to be aware that those leaders in the upper management are working based on the principles of e-governance.

On the other hand, IT gives advantages and benefits towards the citizens and private sectors and the other stakeholders in the community. This pertains on the improvement of the overall organization and management process, together with the structure, which enables the government to act or implement strategies and programmes that will meet the demand of the community, or solve emerging problems and threats.  Primarily, application of IT enables the customer to take advantage of the efficient and accessible government services without living the comfort of their homes. It enables the citizens and private sectors to transact with the government by just connecting via the Internet, thus it enables them to save time, money and effort. Furthermore, it also help the citizens to be more aware of what is going on in the government, including details about the different programmes and projects to be implemented by the government, therefore, citizens will be aware of the development or changes in the policies and projects in spite of their distance to the physical location of the government agency or department.

            The most important implications of IT for the citizens are that it enables them to build trust towards the government because of openness and transparency. With this, it can help in order to prevent one of the most important problems, if not the most important, in the government processes – corruption. Without corruption, the living condition, social inclusion, economic condition and the environment of the citizens will change. The citizens will be ensured that the tax they are paying and the entire revenue of the government will be spent to adequate projects and programmes at a reasonable cost. Thus, it can help in order to create a friendly environment for businesses, which can help in order to attract more investors and improve the overall image of the country or community. 

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Appendices

Appendix A: Questionnaire

Implications of IT in E-Governance

Direction: Kindly answer all the questions as accurately as possible because the result of this survey will be used in the investigation and study about the different factors that are related with e-governance, particularly the implications of IT in e-governance. The author guarantees that all of the information you will provide will be used for academic purposes only.

 

This survey should take more or less 10 minutes

 

Part 1: Demographic

Instruction: Please tick the box which corresponds your answer

 

1.       Which group do you belong?

  Government Employee

  Citizen

 

2.       Age

  Under 25

  26 – 39

  40 – 53

  54 – above

 

3.       Marital Status

  Single

  Married

  Widow/Widower

  Divorced/Separated

 

4.       Gender

  Male

  Female

 

5.       Line/Department of Work (to be answered by government employee only)

  IT

  Housing/Infrastructure/Environmental Protection

  Finance/Accounting/Statistics /Population

  Human Resource/Research and Development/Human Resource

  Education

  Justice

  Public Health

  Others: please specify: _________________

 

6.       Occupation (to be answered by citizen only)

  Management, professional and related

  Service

  Sales and Office

  Farming, fishing, forestry

  Construction, extraction and maintenance

  Production, transportation and material-moving occupations

  Others: please specify: _________________

 

7.       Annual Income

  Less than £4,745

  £4,745 – 8,000

  £8,000 – 15,000

  £15,001 – 50,000

  £50,001 – above

 

8.       Do you have Internet access at home?

  Yes

  No

 

9.       For those who answer No, are you planning to have in the near future?

  Yes

  No

 

10.   Type of connection at home

  DSL

  Cable

  Wireless

  T-1

  T-3

  Satellite

 

 

 

 

Part B: Implications of IT in E-Governance

 

Instruction: Please tick the box which corresponds to the level or degree of your agreement to the different statements presented below by checking the appropriate number in this scale:

 

5 – Strongly Agree

4 – Agree

3 – Not Sure

2 – Disagree

1 – Strongly Disagree

 

Statement

5

4

3

2

1

Political

 

 

 

 

 

1. IT helps to modernize government process in terms of the connecting the different departments and agencies of the internal environment which enables improvement of information sharing, internal communication, alignment of organization, connection with employees and training











2. IT helps to maintain and improve the relationship and communication of the government to the different stakeholders in the society, including business, non-government agencies and the public or the citizens.











3. IT helps to boost the feedback process to managers and policy makers











4. IT helps in order to quickly and continuously monitor the changes in the environment and come up with the actions or strategies to be implemented to prevent problems and risks











5. IT can drive and improve greater transparency, openness and facilitation of information sharing











6. IT can help to combat corruption











7. IT can help to advance democracy











8. Some regulations and legislatives in the government can affect application of IT (data sharing and collaborations)











9. Financial incapacity of the government and the overall demographic and social characteristics of the society can affect application of IT in the government processes











Social

 

 

 

 

 

10. With the use of IT in connecting the citizen with the government, improvement of quality of government services level up. This enable the government to become customer-focus by considering the demand and preferences of the citizens











11. Satisfaction of the citizens can be improved by improved network connections inside the government and between different departments, agencies and teams











12. IT enables the citizens to be well informed and aware about the information and data regarding the different activities, actions and strategies of the government as well as the current performance of the entire community











13. IT enables the government to hear the voice or the opinions of the citizen and involved them in decision-making process











14. IT can cause digital divide or the problem which pertains on the accessibility of the technology, particularly the Internet, which can affect the convenience and availability of the e-services to all the citizens











Technological

 

 

 

 

 

15. IT helps to create an efficient and effective channel of communication and flow of data between the government and all stakeholders











16. IT helps to deliver public services in quick, handy and effective manner











17. IT can cause technological bias











18. IT can cause risks about privacy and confidentiality and other technological threats (virus etc.)











19. IT can cause problems in government human resource’ (resistance) productivity











Economic

 

 

 

 

 

20. IT can help to save money in handling and processing data in different parts of the government. (i.e. expenses for paper and other utilities will be lessen)











21. IT enables the government to save cost in terms of additional human resource. (i.e. e-government website enables to serve the people 24/7)











22. Due to the intensive needs for resources, IT implementation needs huge initial capitals for the hardware, software, processes, training, maintenance











23. Because IT can help to create and maintain transparency and democracy, it can help to lessen or prevent corruption, which can help in order to ensure that all of the necessary resources will be spent on the appropriate projects, thus help to build strong relationship between the government, the citizens, the private sector, etc.











24. Good relationship between the stakeholders and the government can help in order to maintain good economic condition











25. Application of IT can cause problems in e-governance in terms of the differences of economic status of people











                             

                                                           

Thank you very much!

 

 

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