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E-government: Theory and

Practice
Structure of the Presentation
 Introduction
 Rationale for E-government
 E-government in B’desh
 E-government in B’desh: State of the Art
 Major Obstacle
 Concluding Remarks

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 Introduction

With the advent of globalization
and simultaneous Information &
Communication Technology (ICT)
revolution throughout the World, a
unique concept of electronic
government (e-government) emerged and
has become
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a popular concept in the field of public
administration in the late 1990s (Moon:
2002).
Until today, various technologies have been
applied to support the unique haracteristics
of e-government, including electronic data
interchange, interactive voice response,
voice mail, email, web service delivery,
virtual reality, and key public
infrastructure.
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 It is argued that e-Government must be a
shared vision. Countries must encourage
the stakeholders—government and non-
government—to participate in defining the
vision. If the public and private sectors are
consulted only after e-Government plans
have been developed and implementation
has begun, e-Government programmes
risk being underused or even irrelevant.

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 To ensure that public and stakeholders
are partners in e-Government effort, it is
important to try to build trust in
government. Lack of trust by the public
can lead to the failure of or serious delay
in e-Government initiatives.

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 What is an E-government?

E-Government can be seen as
“application of information and
communication technology to enhance
the productivity of legislature,
judiciary and administration.” E-
government helps making the government
and government services available to the
citizens on line.

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Various Stages of E-government (primary
delivery models) —
 G2C: Government-to-Citizen-
interactions between government and
private individuals
G2B: Government-to-Business-
interactions between government and the
commercial business sector
G2G: Govt.-to-Govt.-interactions among
government bodies/agencies
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 Why E-government?
E-government is about transformation and
here technology is a tool.

There are too many possible reasons and goals
for e-government (World Bank, 2005) such as-

 Improving services to citizens

 Improving the efficiency of government
agencies
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 Strengthening the legal system and law
enforcement

 Promoting priority economic sectors

 Improving the quality of life for
disadvantaged communities

 Strengthening good governance

 Broadening public participation
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 Boosting efficiency and streamlining
government processes
 Provision of quality services tailored to
the needs of the citizen and businesses
 Significantly increase the quality of
public services
 Increase the transparency of public
administrations, and
 thus fight corruption and encourage better
implementation of public policies
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Three Phases of e-Government

 Phase 1: Informational–Provides
Access to Government Information to
Citizens

Government generates huge volumes of
information, much of it potentially useful to
individuals and businesses.

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 The Internet and other advanced
communications technologies can bring
this information quickly and more directly
to citizens. Informational sites seek to
disseminate information about
government and information compiled by
government to as wide an audience as
possible. In doing so, informational sites
serve as the leading edge of e-
Government.

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 “Informational” implementations of e-
Government diverge widely in their design
and content, but Bangladesh generally
can start the process of e-Government by
publishing government information online,
beginning with rules and regulations,
documents, and forms.

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 Thus enabling citizens and businesses to
readily access government information
without having to travel to government
offices, stand in long lines or unfair
activities can be a revolutionary advance
for us.

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Phase 2: Interactive – Provides Online
Interaction

 E-Government has the potential to involve
citizens in the governance process by
engaging them in interaction with
policymakers throughout the policy cycle
and at all levels of government.
Strengthening civic engagement
contributes to building public trust in
government.
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 Interactive e-Government involves two-
way communications, starting with basic
functions like email contact information for
government officials or feedback forms
that allow users to submit comments on
legislative or policy proposals

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 This phase of e-Government may also
include the creation of citizen/government
forums, and such forums constitute online
communities where people can exchange
ideas, broaden public awareness of
issues, and establish new opportunities for
activism not constrained by distance.

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Phase 3-Transactional: Provides Secure
Transactions with High Level of
Authorization

 A transactional website offers a direct link to
government services, available at any time.
Government services such as land registration
or the renewal of Passport requires long waits,
confrontation with bureaucracy and the
occasional unfair activities. Innovations such as
citizen centric information center (kiosks) or
portable government computers that can be
carried into rural pockets of Bangladesh may
bring e-Government directly to the rural
community.
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 One of the biggest incentives for the
Government in utilizing and providing ICT
services is to streamline currently
bureaucratic and labor-intensive
procedures, which can save money and
increase productivity in the long-run.
Furthermore, by automating and
revamping procedures and processes,
especially in revenue-generating areas
such as tax and fine collection,
governments hope to stem corruption and
graft, improving revenues while elevating
trust
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 Transactional sites can enhance
productivity in both the public and private
sector by making processes that require
government assistance or approval
simpler, faster, and cheaper. But because
these are several steps (and in some
cases, a quantum leap) above “publish”
sites, governments need to be aware that
implementation will neither be simple nor
cheap. Consequently, transactional sites
may require significant changes in the
country’s legal framework and government
workforce.
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Phase 4-Tranformational: All information
systems are integrated
 In the transformational phase , all
information systems are integrated and
the public can get services at one virtual
counter. One single point of contact for all
services is the ultimate goal. The complex
aspect in reaching this goal is mainly on
the internal side e.g. the necessity to
drastically change the culture, processess
mind set and responisibilities with the
government institutions
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Intrinsic Features Slow
Progress
 The goal structure has an extraordinary
complexity.
 Public agencies are not spurred by competition;
on the other hand they have to serve everybody.
 Legal norms are dominant; consensus building
and negotiation are supplementary mode of
work:

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 A high fragmentation of the Public Sector.
In contrary to the private field a big
number of actors gets involved.
 Administrative culture and historically
grown structures may impede change.
 Inertial forces are reinforced by
bureaucratic attitudes.

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 The Broad Focus: Zones of
Regard
 Grossly, governance can be seen
covering three zones.
 Inner: The machinery of government – the
administration
 Middle: The policy cycle
 Outer: The shifting balance of public and
private; also the role of new actors
(intermediaries, NGOs) and new means
(PPPs)
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 The Policy Cycle
 The whole policy cycle is regarded: agenda
setting, policy analysis, formulation,
implementation and evaluation.
 So governance takes a broader view on
modernisation of administrations including their
environment as well.

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 There is also an ideological component
according to Lenk. One is a co-evolution
of public governance and e-
Transformation another the stimulation by
the corporate governance discussion.
 In some way ideas from the Sixties are
recalled (e.g. political cybernetics with
Luhmann etc).
 There is an actual interest on policy
spurred by rankings.

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 e-Participation and e-Voting
 Taking governance serious leads to e-
Democracy. It intends to improve
democratic decision making by stressing
citizen participation.

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 Also public information (often via client
self-service) has become increasingly
common in the public sector and has
made information available.
 This leads to more insights into how
government works (and fosters
transparency).

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 cntd.
 Democratic processes improving the interaction
between individuals and organizations are
evolving. e-Participation means assisting
democratic deliberation with IT.

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 Multiform are technical ways: establishing
mailing lists, building fora, blogging,
videoconferences, etc.
 There are also numerous projects on e-
Voting – yet restricted mainly to bodies of
a lesser sensitivity (student association,
working groups etc) Cf. later foil on ID-
management.

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e-Inclusion
 Thus e-Inclusion is key. It starts with possibility
of access: some initiatives install free internet
access in public buildings.
 Examples are post offices in France, parish
churches in Portugal and tobacco shops in
Austria.
 Policies has to go in two directions,
counterbalancing deficiencies and starting
promotions for special groups.
 Special promotions concentrating on individual
groups of addressees: rural areas, traditionally
under-served communities, the young in
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disadvantaged districts, ethnic minorities,
 Access in Rural Areas
 Access in rural areas is a high priority.
 It is a special topic in developing
countries.
 The availability of physical access to
internet and cost therefore are big
obstacles.
 An example is a proposed project in
Botswana on Community User
Information System kiosks that empower
people in rural areas.
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Legal Modelling Assisting 
Legislation
 In e­Government the legal modelling grows in 
importance  ­ for some applications it even becomes a 
must. 
 One argument for the growing importance is based in 
the domain itself; the quasi ubiquity of legal norms, 
the quantity of rules, the diversity of regulations in 
various realms, such as international, European, 
national and local. 
 Another basic reason is in semantic interoperability. 
It becomes necessary that data carry along their 
specific legal­administrative context. 
 A third point is the use for drafting regulations. Here 
the POWER project is a good example. Several issues 
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Identity Management
 In administrative matters an e-identity is needed
in most transactions.
 Differences in urgency appear between sectors:
wrong passports may be more severe than a
credit card misuse.
 Applications comprise different areas with
different importance and sensitivity.
 An annotation: privacy regulations claim for
separated domains.
 E.g. some city cards are less sensitive – also
tax declaration that often are managed by a
password only solutions.
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 Applications comprise different areas with
different importance and sensitivity.
 e-Identity for passports and visa and e-Voting
are particular sensitive realms.
 For theses applications technical problems are
rather high.
 For e-Voting it is the demand on anonymity is
extreme.
 For passports and visa further requests come
in: e.g. a broad reading capability (in several
countries); durability and validity; lamination of
chips on paper.

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Service Orientation and
Process Rebuilding
 It starts with thinking in service categories; then
understanding the nature of an administrative
process is essential; later rebuilding comes in.

 Rebuilding has to integrate divers demands from
citizens, businesses and public authorities.

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 Processes in Government are very
particular, often they cut across different
government levels – local, regional or
national - and different types of agencies
 Cooperation joins up different branches
and levels needing close and pertinent
contact among all actors involved.
 Public administrations work via a complex
tissue of cooperation involving quite many
acting entities.

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cntd.
 A restructuring of administrative processes
needs a broad perspective including
vertical and horizontal cooperation as well
as external partners.
 BPR in administrations has its limitations with 
particular functions of actors and boundaries 
involved.
 Ensuring procedures are bound to the rules of 
law. 
 Protecting the rights of citizens. 
 Safeguarding privacy and legal validity. 
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 E-government in Bangladesh: State of the Art

In an effort to determine the extent of the global
e-government landscape, in 2003, the United
Nations Division for Public Economics and
Public Administration (UNDPEPA) and the
American Society for Public Administration
(ASPA) conducted a study of the approaches,
progress, and commitment of the 190 United
Nations member states in adopting e-
government.
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The study tried to determine each country's e-
government environment and its capacity to
sustain on-line development through a
comparative analysis of fundamental
information technology indicators and critical
human capital measures for each U.N. member
state.It attempted to examine a country's
official on-line presence, evaluates its
telecommunications infrastructure, and
assesses its human development capacity.

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The index identifies, underscores, and
weighs the importance of the requisite
conditions that enable a country to sustain
an e-government environment thus
ensuring that every segment of its
population has unconstrained access to
timely, useful, and relevant information
and services.

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The UNDPEPA/ASPA survey (2003) found that
Number and % countries E-government status

21 countries (11%) No E-government at all
32 countries (16.8%) Emerging E-government
65 countries (34.2%) Enhanced E-
government
55 countries (29%) Interactive E-
government
17 countries (9%) Transactional E-
government
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The survey placed Bangladesh (0.90)
among the countries with a "deficient
e-government capacity" where e-
government registers a low priority on the
policy agenda.

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 However, in 2004 government has declared ICT as
the “thrust sector”. Since then, public spedning on
E-government is on the rise compared to earlier
period.
 Govt. spending on E-government (In Crore Tk.)

2003 60
2004 130
2005 170
2006 300

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In the current year, all 64 districts
administration and 300 out of 460 Upazilas are
connected to the sub-marine cable.
Government has recently earmarked 4% of
each Ministry’s total budget which is to be
spent on ICT/E-government initiatives each
year and suggested that this would go on until
2015. Additional Tk. 200 crores have been
allocated to the entprepreneurs investing in
ICT related activites.
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Much of this money is generated from
foreign aid and the donors are also
funding the training programmes for the
government officials to make them
familiar with the E-government process.

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At present, Bangladesh has one official
government homepage
(www.bangladeshgov.org) and some official
websites for government agencies, such as the
Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General
(www.cagbd.org), Ministry of Finance
(www.gobfinance.org), Bangladesh Bank
(www.bangladesh-bank.org), National Board
of Revenue (www.nbr-bd.org), and the
Ministry of Science and Information &
Communication Technology (www.most-
bd.org) that offer statistical information to the
user.
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The country's parliament--the Jatiya
Sangsad--also has a web entity. Thus far,
five ministries and thirty-seven
government agencies have their own
websites which represent less than 7%
percent of the total government, and no
website provides the facility to access or
search in-depth information about a
specific topic (Government of
Bangladesh, 2006).
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In spite of Government’s pledges, there is no
recognized IT cell/department in government
agencies to supervise websites yet. There also
has been no attempt to update existing
websites with up-to-date information
regularly. Almost every government agency
website contains obsolete information, giving
a negative impression of the country. Thus far,
no website provides the facility to access or
search in-depth information about a specific
topic or official document.
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Among the more progressive authorities
within the government, the National Board of
Revenue is perhaps more advanced than
others. It has undertaken a program to link
customhouses through an on-line networking
system.

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ICT has made global trade transactions easier,
cheaper, and quicker, but the business community of
Bangladesh is still reluctant to pursue electronic
trade because existing laws accept only paper
documents, signatures, and checks to verify business
activity. As global trade is increasingly dependent
on electronic forms, Bangladesh urgently needs a
proper law to facilitate electronic commerce and
eliminate barriers. Singapore enacted the Electronic
Transactions Act of 1998, and India enacted the
Information Technology Act of 2000. In
Bangladesh, however, a similar law is still at the
draft stage.
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Besides, key factors such as the status of a
country's telecommunications
infrastructure, the strength of its human
capital, the political will and commitment
of its national leadership, and shifting
administrative priorities influence how
decision makers, policy planners, and
public sector managers elect to approach,
develop, and implement e-government
programs. At present, Bangladesh lacks
many of the factors necessary to establish
e-government.
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