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Information technology Dissertation: E-Government



Chapter 1
Problem and its Background

1.0 Introduction
At the dawn of the computer age, government institutions are making their moves in adopting Information Technology (IT) in their systems. IT has many known benefits. It makes transactions and jobs faster. It allows access to valuable information in remote systems. And, it provides convenience.
Gone were the days when people have to stand in long lines to receive service from government institutions. Gone were the days of tons of paper trails and the necessity to travel from one place to another to retrieve specific documents or information.  
In the United Kingdom (UK), a strategic framework for public services was created through the creation of the Electronic Government or e-government. This was to support the Prime Minister’s Aim to make all public services available online by 2005. The e-government has four guiding principles. These are: building services around citisens’ choices; making government and its services accessible; fostering social inclusion; and, using information better (IDABC E-government Observatory, 2005).
The emergence of the e-government will automatically spell convenience for citisens who are in need of or who will be needing public services. E-government makes use of information technology or the internet to improve the delivery of government services to citizens, businesses and other government agencies (Seifert, 2003). Through this system, citisens can retrieve public information or process government transactions anytime of the day, on Sundays and even on holidays at channels which would be convenient for them.
Services are generally Custom ThesisCustom Dissertation,automated, easy to use and can be electronically delivered. Aside from the internet, public services can be accessed through mobile phones, personal computers, digital televisions and call centers. These channels are also expected to enhance personal contact when required (IDABC E-government Observatory, 2005).
The full implementation of the e-government is not instantaneous. There are technical, economic and political issues to battle first before its full potential is achieved. Seifert (2003) mentioned that e-government projects can be divided into four stages of evolution. These are presence, interaction, transaction and transformation. There are also potential opportunities and challenges incorporated at each stage. Potential opportunities would include the introduction of new services and the increased participation of citisens in the government especially those who are experts in the field of IT. The potential challenges, on the other hand, would be information security and privacy, disparities in computer access, and management and funding requirements.
Generally, the goal of e-government is to improve the management and efficiency of government information technology resources. “It is a process or a means to an end, rather than an end in and of itself” (Seifert 2003). The citisens’ understanding, acceptance and trust to the use of IT in government-based transactions are critical to the development of the e-government. The e-government should also evolve along with the developments made in electronic technology so it will become even more beneficial and convenient to its end-users.



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