E-government is also known by different terms such as Electronic Government, Electronic Governance, Digital Government, Online Government, e-Gov etc. In fact, there are many definitions for the term e-Government and differences reflect the priorities in the government strategies. Fang (2002) defined e-government as a way for governments to use the most innovative information and communication technologies, particularly web-based Internet applications, to provide citizens and businesses with more convenient access to government information and services, to improve the quality of the services and to provide greater opportunities to participate in democratic institutions and processes.
Moreover, the term “e-government”, as used by the OECD E-government Project, applies to the use of ICT as a tool to achieve better government. Therefore, e-Government is not about business as usual, but should instead focus on using ICT to transform the structures, operations and, most importantly, the culture of government. The OECD report highlights that e-government is an important component in terms of overall reform agendas because it serves as a tool for reform; renews interest in public management reform; highlights internal consistencies; and underscores commitment to good governance objectives. World Bank, (2001) define E-government as the government owned or operated systems of information and communication technologies that transform relations with citizens, the private sector and/or other government agencies so as to promote citizens’ empowerment, improve service delivery, strengthen accountability, increase transparency, or improve government efficiency.
TYPES OF E-GOVERNMENT
E-government offers services to those within its authority to transact electronically with the government. These services differ according to users’ needs, and this diversity has given rise to the development of different type of e-government. E-government functions can be classified into four main categories.
The majority of government services come under this application, towards providing citizens and others with comprehensive electronic resources to respond to individuals’ routine concerns and government transactions. Government and citizens will continuously communicate when implementing e-government, thus supporting accountability, democracy and improvements to public services.
The primary goal of e-government, is to serve the citizen and facilitate citizen interaction with government by making public information more accessible through the use of websites, as well as reducing the time and cost to conduct a transaction. In applying the idea of G2C, customers have instant and convenient access to government information and services from everywhere anytime, via the use of multiple channels. In addition to making certain transactions, such as certifications, paying governmental fees, and applying for benefits, the ability of G2C initiatives to overcome possible time and geographic barriers may connect citizens who may not otherwise come into contact with one another and may in turn facilitate and increase citizen participation in government.
Government to business, or G2B, is the second major type of e-government category. G2B can bring significant efficiencies to both governments and businesses. G2B include various services exchanged between government and the business sectors, including distribution of policies, memos, rules and regulations. Business services offered include obtaining current business information, new regulations, downloading application forms, lodging taxes , renewing licenses, registering businesses, obtaining permits, and many others.
The services offered through G2B transactions also play a significant role in business development, specifically the development of small and medium enterprises. The government-to-business G2B is as useful as the G2C system, enhancing the efficiency and quality of communication and transactions with business also, it increase the equality and transparency of government contracting and projects.
This refers to the online communications between government organizations, departments and agencies based on a super government database. Moreover, it refers to the relationship between government and its employees as outlined below. The efficiency and efficacy of processes are enhanced by the use of online communication and cooperation which allows for the sharing of databases and resources and the fusion of skills and capabilities. It renders information regarding compensation and benefit policies, training and learning opportunities, and civil rights laws in a readily accessible manner. The vital aim of G2G development is to enhance and improve inter-government organizational processes by streamlining cooperation and coordination .On another G2G front, the use of information technologies by different governmental agencies to share or centralize information, or to automate and streamline intergovernmental business processes such as regulatory compliance, has produced numerous instances of time and cost savings and service enhancement.
Government to employee is the least sector of e-government in much e-government research. Some researchers consider it as an internal part of G2G sector and others deal with it as a separate sector of egovernment. G2E refers to the relationship between government and its employees only. The purpose of this relationship is to serve employees and offer some online services such as applying online for an annual leave, checking the balance of leave, and reviewing salary payment records, among other things. It is a combination of information and services offered by government institutions to their employees to interact with each other and their management.
G2E is a successful way to provide e-learning, bring employees together and to encourage knowledge sharing among them. It gives employees the possibility of accessing relevant information regarding compensation and benefit policies, training and learning opportunities, and allowing them access to manage their benefits online with an easy and fast communication model. G2E also includes strategic and tactical mechanisms for encouraging the implementation of government goals and programs as well as human resource management, budgeting and dealing with citizens.
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