Friday, February 24, 2012
Global Public Sector e-Governance Issues
Global Public Sector e-Governance Issues
Governance is the act of governing. It relates to decisions and actions that define what is expected, assign power, or assess and verify performance. It is derived from the ancient Greek word ‘kyvernao’. To distinguish the term ‘governance’ from ‘government’ it is worth noting the following. ‘Governance’ is what a ‘government’ does. It might relate to a national, state or provincial government, a corporate government for private companies and public organizations (including non-profits, NGOs, etc.), a socio-political government for tribes, families, etc., or any number of different kinds of government, but governance is the physical exercise of management power and policy. ‘Government’, on the other hand, is the collective mechanism that does it. The term government is also used more abstractly as a synonym for governance, as in the Canadian motto, "Peace, Order and Good Government".
Governance in every-day life has to do with the quality of being governed by others or governing other people, commonly identified by how we relate to our mother country, our society, our laws, and the ways we practice ruling others.
It is one of the universal values for all peoples of the earth as identified by Schwartz and his associates belonging to the category of power, which includes authority, leadership and dominance.
Governance is also recognized as a human right in article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by the United Nations Assembly on 10 December 1948, France) which states that ‘Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures’.
The term ‘eGovernance’ implies technology driven governance. E-Governance is the application of Information and communication Technology (ICT) for delivering Government Services, exchange of information communication transactions, integration of various stand-one systems and services between Government-to-citizens (G2C), Government-to-Business(G2B), Government-to-Government( G2G) as well as back office processes and interactions within the entire government frame work.
Through the e-Governance, the government services will be made available to the citizens in a convenient, effective, efficient and transparent manner. The four main target groups that can be distinguished in governance concepts are Government, Citizens, Businesses and Special Interest groups.
The model for eGovernance is a one-stop portal, such as the ones used by the U.S. federal government, or Canada Service, or the New Zealand model, where citizens have access to a variety of information and services.
eGovernance is not the introduction of IT using the government's existing organizational model, but the optimization of government processes using IT.
The main technological challenges, infrastructure, security, reliability, and availability, seem to be solvable.
On the other hand, socio-cultural challenges are more difficult to tackle. These include social exclusion, adaptation of legal standards, public employee culture and user skills.
eGovernance involves access to information and services. These include legal information systems, access to geographic information, patent information, e-democracy, e-procurement, workflow and knowledge management. Many of those can be implemented in an anywhere-anytime fashion (e.g. through WAP phones) and personalized to the needs of the individual citizen.
Current eGovernance global implementations (according to U.N’s 2010 e-Government Readiness Index Study) show that South Korea (index: 0.87), U.S. (index: 0.85) and Canada (index: 0.84), are the top three performers, followed by U.K. (index: 0.81), Netherlands (index: 0.80), Norway (index: 0.870, Denmark (index: 0.78), while the rest of Europe fall below. Australia is quite good (index: 0.80) while the rest of the world countries score below 0.55.
The low score countries and their public sector organizations suffer from a number of drawbacks.
They are based on market provided proprietary solutions, their contents are not updated regularly (static rather than dynamic), integrated transactions are not always supported, and many existing applications are not integrated with others.
The basic reason behind this problem is the national government's chronic underinvestment and mismanagement in public administration effectiveness and efficiency, internal controls, organization systems, public service cultural approach, management controls, IT and lack of external (citizens) stakeholder involvement.
New bold initiatives and actions are needed.
John Kyriazoglou, CICA, B.A(Hon), is an International IT and Management Consultant, author of the book ‘IT STRATEGIC & OPERATIONAL CONTROLS’ (published in 2010 by www.itgovernance.co.uk), and co-author of the book CORPORATE CONTROLS’ ( to be published in 2012 by www.theiic.org), with Dr. F. Nasuti and Dr. C. Kyriazoglou.