Chapter 12: Policy Implications of Top-down and Bottom-up Patterns in E-Government Infrastructure Development
12. Policy Implications of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Patterns of E-Government Infrastructure Development Anne Fleur van Veenstra and Marijn Janssen INTRODUCTION Governments all over the world implement electronic government initiatives (OECD e-Government Studies) to create better service delivery to citizens and businesses and to facilitate information sharing between public agencies (Chen 2002). E-government can be defined as the use of information and communication technologies for creating better government, especially in the field of public service delivery (Curtin et al., 2004). Over the past decades, many government agencies and organizations have developed websites providing information as well as transaction facilities such as online tax filing or driver’s license renewal (Coursey and Norris 2008). Furthermore, generic functionalities such as identification and authentication mechanisms, centralized registries and portals have been set up (Klievink and Janssen 2009). Thus, basic national e-government infrastructures are emerging that provide generic functionalities that can be used by a large number of government organizations (Janssen et al. 2009). The facilities that make up these infrastructures function as building blocks that public agencies can use (or re-use) to create websites. This has the advantage that organizations do not have to develop or purchase certain services themselves, but they can simply use or connect to these infrastructure facilities. Many public organizations, however, are not aware that certain facilities are already available, or they do not acknowledge the applicability of solutions developed elsewhere. As they have in the past, individual organizations continue to make local design decisions, which in turn influence the further...
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