Every citizen needs to engage with the government at some point in their lifetime. By its sheer size and quantity of activities, the Government is the only primary source for the creation and supply of relevant data. This gigantic database and its numerous activities are processed and made available also for its customers.
The client of the government includes other government agencies, private sector organizations, government workers, and regular people. With the continuous increase in the client base of the government, the management of business becomes complex. To deal with such situations, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is required to manage its functioning. So the need to go digital/electronic way is inevitable.
In other words, e-governance is supporting and stimulating good governance. The aims of e‐governance are similar to that of good governance. An exercise of financial and political management of national affairs by the administrative authority at multiple levels is called good governance. People in developed countries can now think of a scenario where they can engage with the government, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through a single counter without waiting in lines.
What comes under e-Government
Government Process Advancement - e-Government
The e-Government program under this section deals with the enhancement of the internal functioning of the public sector. That includes:
Minimizing process costs - Optimising the input: output ratio by reducing financial and time expenses.
Process and performance management planning, tracking, and managing system resources(human, financial, and other) performance.
Creating strategic connections
Linking government sectors, departments, levels, and data stores to create efficient ways to study, establish, and enforce the strategy and policy that drives government processes.
Innovative empowerment - Innovative empowerment allows the smooth flow of power, authority, and resources from their existing locus to new locations for processes.
Connecting Citizens: e-Citizens and e-Services
It is about the relationship between government and its citizens. Citizens mean voters or stakeholders, basically consumers using the benefits of public service. The change in processes needs to get integrated into these initiatives. However, they also include a broader remit.
Addressing citizens: presenting information on public sector operations to residents. It will help in improving answerability, holding officials more responsible for their actions.
Listening citizens: making use of valuable feedbacks from people to plan public sector decisions and actions. This participate model will help strengthen the democratic structure.
Upgrade public services: providing better services to people in terms of efficiency, accessibility, and cost.
Building External Interactions - e-Society
It is about the partnership between public agencies and other institutions. Other institutions include public entities, private sector corporations, non-profit organizations, and civic groups. Such programs initiated with the cooperation of citizens can well implement the needed change in the process. They also contain a broader remit.
Working better with businesses: by strengthening Government-Business interactions. It involves digitization regulation of, procurement from, and services to businesses, to improve efficiency, usability, and expense.
Develop societies: creating local communities' social and economic capabilities, and resources.
Building partnerships: forming organizational groupings to achieve economic and social objectives. Though the public sector occasionally acts as a facilitator for others, it will always be one of the partners.
Pillars of e-Government
Four pillars holding basic e-government structure are:
Long-term vision and engaged leadership should exist
Top administrative and political divisions of government need long-term plans and sustaining leadership. The government's Legislative part should be taking care of it.
The responsibility of meticulous planning should be of 2nd level bureaucracy and other frameworks of the public service. Design and enforce clear policy statements, for example: enforcing an ordinance for e-transaction. If needed, design provisions for reviewing the architecture of the government system, like New Public Management(NPM). Legislative and judicial parts of the government have to make sure such changes happen.
Always look for best practices to provide a reasonable level of service at manageable costs. Partnerships and collaborations need to be encouraged through e-governance for meeting the efficient and effective completion of essential tasks. Those who partake in enriching the process will be empowered.
That means all levels of government, including businesses, research institutions, and foundations. The executive branch of government is responsible for taking care of it.
- Technology and Infrastructure
Government re-engineering and implementation processes through advanced internet technologies which require structural and functional adaptations can be an evolutionary process. The public can avail information regarding resources, services, and goods anywhere and at any time through the internet. For example: IT security and public key infrastructure(PKI). All of this requires the right infra and implementation, with clear accountability for results. The government's legislative and judicial branches have to ensure this part of the process.
To provide an extended portfolio of efficient and cost-effective public services is the ultimate aim of e-government. E-government enables transparency in everything. Transparency is fundamental because it allows the public to stay informed about the ongoing government policies as well as in those in the pipeline. Simple tasks are possible in a lot easier way through online access to electric government. Changes in marital status or modification of addresses can take people to go through lengthy processes and paperwork. E-government helps individuals to execute these functions effectively with greater ease. E-government is a simple way for the public to engage more in the electoral campaigns. It could increase the consciousness of electors, which could lead to an increased involvement of people in elections. For companies, it's simple and cost-effective. Public benefits incredibly well by getting easy access to the most accurate information available without having to invest time, energy, and resources on accessing it.
To bring a decisive shift in public policy is the advent of e-government, which signaled the recognition of Internet access as a resource that could be used to improve performance, minimize costs, and change the way governments have historically communicated with people.