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International Handbook of Public Management Reform

International Handbook of Public Management Reform

Elgar original reference

Edited by Shaun Goldfinch and Joe L. Wallis

This major Handbook provides a state-of-the-art study of the recent history and future development of international public management reform.

Chapter 6: ‘E-Government’: Is it the Next Big Public Sector Trend?

Robin Gauld

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, public policy


Robin Gauld ‘E-government’, like many trends that influence public policy and administration, is a multifaceted and nebulous idea, easily applied to a range of different situations, across the entire gamut of government and society, and with differing intentions. There are wide ranging claims made for e-government, considerable hopes pinned on it and substantial commitments – financial and otherwise – made to it. The concept has been embraced by political leaders. It is being used to drive changes to public sector organization and service delivery, and to legitimize investment of public money in information and communication technology (ICT). E-government is also core to the strategies and business of many private sector information technology companies for whom government is an important and lucrative income source (Dunleavy et al. 2007). ‘E-government’ continues to evolve as ICT progresses and becomes embedded in government and society. In response, governments are constantly altering their e-government strategies in keeping with new policy initiatives and technology. This chapter considers the following questions: ● ● ● What is ‘e-government’, what is expected of it, what is driving it and what are the implications for the structure and functions of the public sector? As an evolving concept, what are the developmental phases of e-government? What e-government strategies have governments in different parts of the world developed, and what challenges do they face? The key conclusions of the chapter are that it is early days in the development of e-government. There are great expectations for ICT driving government transformation, yet e-government developments could mean a complex...

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