UN E-Government Survey in Media

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E-Government Survey in Media



  • 1 Delivery models and activities of e-Government
  • 2 Non-internet e-Government
  • 3 Potential benefits and risks of e-Government
    • 3.1 Risks
      • 3.1.1 Hyper-surveillance
      • 3.1.2 Cost
      • 3.1.3 Inaccessibility
      • 3.1.4 False sense of transparency and accountability
    • 3.2 Benefits
      • 3.2.1 Democratization
      • 3.2.2 Environmental bonuses
      • 3.2.3 Speed, efficiency, and convenience
      • 3.2.4 Public approval
  • 4 Technology-specific e-Government
  • 5 UN e-Government Readiness Index
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links
    • 8.1 Official eGovernment websites
    • 8.2 eGovernment news websites
    • 8.3 General resources

Delivery models and activities of e-Government

The primary delivery models of e-Government can be divided into:

  • Government-to-Citizen or Government-to-Customer (G2C)
  • Government-to-Business (G2B)
  • Government-to-Government (G2G)
  • Government-to-Employees (G2E)

Within each of these interaction domains, four kinds of activities take place:

  • pushing information over the Internet, e.g: regulatory services, general holidays, public hearing schedules, issue briefs, notifications, etc.
  • two-way communications between the agency and the citizen, a business, or another government agency. In this model, users can engage in dialogue with agencies and post problems, comments, or requests to the agency.
  • conducting transactions, e.g: lodging tax returns, applying for services and grants.
  • governance, e.g: online polling, voting, and campaigning.

Non-internet e-Government

While e-government is often thought of as “online government” or “Internet-based government,” many non-Internet “electronic government” technologies can be used in this context. Some non-Internet forms include telephone, fax, PDA, SMS text messaging, MMS, wireless networks and services, Bluetooth, CCTV, tracking systems, RFID, biometric identification, road traffic management and regulatory enforcement, identity cards, smart cards and other NFC applications; polling station technology (where non-online e-voting is being considered), TV and radio-based delivery of government services, email, online community facilities, newsgroups and electronic mailing lists, online chat, and instant messaging technologies.

Potential benefits and risks of e-Government


There are many considerations and potential implications of implementing and designing e-government, including disintermediation of the government and its citizens, impacts on economic, social, and political factors, and disturbances to the status quo in these areas.


Increased contact between government and its citizens goes both ways. Once e-government begins to develop and become more sophisticated, citizens will be forced to interact electronically with the government on a larger scale. This could potentially lead to a lack of privacy for civilians as their government obtains more and more information on them. In a worse case scenario, with so much information being passed electronically between government and civilians, a totalitarian-like system could develop. When the government has easy access to countless information on its citizens, personal privacy is lost.


Although “a prodigious amount of money has been spent” on the development and implementation of e-government, some say it has yielded only a mediocre product. The outcomes and effects of trial Internet-based governments are often difficult to gauge or unsatisfactory.


Main article: Digital divide

An e-government site that provides web access and support often does not offer the “potential to reach many users including those who live in remote areas, are homebound, have low English proficiency, exist on poverty line incomes, suffer from chronic illness, are single parents or older adults.”

False sense of transparency and accountability

Opponents of e-government argue that online governmental transparency is dubious because it is maintained by the governments themselves. Information can be added or removed from the public eye (i.e. the Internet) with or without public notice. For example, after the World Trade Center in New York City was attacked on September 11, 2001, United States federal officials removed a large amount of government information from its websites in the name of national security. This act went relatively unnoticed by United States citizens. To this day, very few organizations monitor and provide accountability for these modifications. Those that do so, like the United States’ OMBWatch and Government Accountability Project, are often nonprofit volunteers. Even the governments themselves do not always keep track of the information they insert and delete.


The anticipated benefits of e-government include efficiency, improved services, better accessibility of public services, and more transparency and accountability.


Main article: E-democracy

One goal of e-government will be greater citizen participation in the nation’s capital. Through the internet, people from all over the country can interact with politicians and make their voices heard. Blogging and interactive surveys will allow politicians to see the views of the people they represent on any given issue. Moderated chat rooms can place citizens in real-time contact with elected officials and their offices, allowing voters to have a direct impact and influence in their government. These technologies can create a more transparent government, allowing voters to immediately see how and why their representation in the capital is voting the way they are. This helps voters better decide who to vote for in the future. A government could theoretically move more towards a true democracy with the proper application of e-government. Government transparency will give insight to the public on how decisions are made and hold elected officials accountable for their actions. The public could become a direct and prominent influence in government legislature to some degree.

Environmental bonuses

Main article: Paperless office

Proponents of e-government argue that online government services would lessen the need for hard copy forms. Due to recent pressures from environmentalist groups, the media, and the public, some governments and organizations have turned to the Internet to reduce this paper use. The United States government utilizes the website http://www.forms.gov to provide “internal government forms for federal employees” and thus “produce significant savings in paper.

Speed, efficiency, and convenience

E-government allows citizens to interact with computers to achieve objectives at any time and any location, and eliminates the necessity for physical travel to government agents sitting behind desks and windows. Improved accounting and record keeping can be noted through computerization, and information and forms can be easily accessed, equaling quicker processing time. On the administrative side, access to help find or retrieve files and linked information can now be stored in databases versus hardcopies stored in various locations. Individuals with disabilities or conditions no longer have to be mobile to be active in government and can be in the comfort of their own homes.

Public approval

Main article: e-participation

Recent trials of e-government have been met with acceptance and eagerness from the public. Citizens participate in online discussions of political issues with increasing frequency, and young people, who traditionally display minimal interest in government affairs, are drawn to e-voting procedures.

Although internet-based governmental programs have been criticized for lack of reliable privacy policies, studies have shown that people value prosecution of offenders over personal confidentiality. Ninety percent of United States adults approve of Internet tracking systems of criminals, and fifty-seven percent are willing to forgo some of their personal internet privacy if it leads to the prosecution of criminals or terrorists.

Technology-specific e-Government

There are also some technology-specific sub-categories of e-government, such as m-government (mobile government), u-government (ubiquitous government), and g-government (GIS/GPS applications for e-government).

UN e-Government Readiness Index

The United Nations conduct an annual e-Government survey which includes a section titled e-Government Readiness. It is a comparative ranking of the countries of the world according to two primary indicators: i) the state of e-government readiness; and ii) the extent of e-participation. Constructing a model for the measurement of digitized services, the Survey assesses the 191 member states of the UN according to a quantitative composite index of e-government readiness based on website assessment; telecommunication infrastructure and human resource endowment.

The following is the list of the top 50 countries according to the UN’s 2008 e-Government Readiness Index.

Rank Country Index
1  Sweden 0.9157
2  Denmark 0.9134
3  Norway 0.8921
4  United States 0.8644
5  Netherlands 0.8631
6  South Korea 0.8317
7  Canada 0.8172
8  Australia 0.8108
9  France 0.8038
10  United Kingdom 0.7872
11  Japan 0.7703
12  Switzerland 0.7626
13  Estonia 0.7600
14  Luxembourg 0.7512
15  Finland 0.7488
16  Austria 0.7428
17  Israel 0.7393
18  New Zealand 0.7392
19  Ireland 0.7296
20  Spain 0.7228
21  Iceland 0.7176
22  Germany 0.7136
23  Singapore 0.7009
24  Belgium 0.6779
25  Czech Republic 0.6696
26  Slovenia 0.6681
27  Italy 0.6680
28  Lithuania 0.6617
29  Malta 0.6582
30  Hungary 0.6494
31  Portugal 0.6479
32  United Arab Emirates 0.6301
33  Poland 0.6134
34  Malaysia 0.6063
35  Cyprus 0.6019
36  Latvia 0.5944
37  Mexico 0.5893
38  Slovakia 0.5889
39  Argentina 0.5844
40  Chile 0.5819
41  Ukraine 0.5728
42  Bahrain 0.5723
43  Bulgaria 0.5719
44  Greece 0.5718
45  Brazil 0.5679
46  Barbados 0.5667
47  Croatia 0.5650
48  Uruguay 0.5645
49  Liechtenstein 0.5486
50  Jordan 0.5480

See also

  • Digital Government Society of North America
  • E-democracy
  • Electronic voting
  • E-Authentication
  • E-participation
  • E-Government Unit
  • eRulemaking
  • E-procurement
  • Electronic services delivery
  • Knowledge policy
  • Online consultation
  • Online deliberation
  • Open source governance
  • Transformational Government
  • National Center for Digital Governance
  • Privacy
  • Identity document
  • Egovernment factsheets


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Source Date: 4/20/2009

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