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Title: Digital Government: overcoming the systemic failure of transformation
Other Titles: Digital transformation through policy design with ICT-enhanced instruments
Authors: Waller, Paul
Weerakkody, Vishanth
Keywords: e-government;online services;policy;public administration;instruments
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University Press
Citation: Citation: Waller, P. and Weerakkody, V. (2016). Digital Government: overcoming the systemic failure of transformation. Working Paper 2. London: Brunel University Press.
Series/Report no.: Working Paper;2
Abstract: The “transformation of government” has often been proposed as an objective of e-government; frequently presented as a phase in stage models following the provision online of information and transactions. Yet in literature or official documents there is no established definition of transformation as applied to government. Implicitly or explicitly, it mostly refers to a change in organisational form, signalled by the terms “joining-up” or “integration”, of government. In some work, transformation is limited to changing processes or “services”— though “services” is a term unhelpfully applied to a multitude of entities. There is in academic or other literature little evidence of any type of “transformation” achieved beyond a change in an administrative process, nor a robust framework of benefits one might deliver. This begs the questions of what it actually means in reality and why it might be a desired goal. In essence, this working paper aims to develop a structured frame of reference for making sense of how information and communications technologies (ICT), in all their forms, really fit within the world of government and public administration. After a brief historical review, the paper starts by considering what governments and public administrations actually do: specifically, policy design and implementation through policy instruments. It redefines transformation in terms of changing the policy instrument set chosen to implement policy and sets out broad rationales for how and why ICT can enable this. It proposes a frame of reference of terminology, concepts and objects that enable the examination of not only such transformation, but e-government in general as it has developed over two decades. This last is done, with suggestions on several areas where more research or development of the detail is required. Our way of viewing the issues supports a review of past e-government practice and research, which critiques the predominant approaches that are based on flawed models of government as a service industry and thus have stymied progress. The paper points to ways forward for practice and further research. It draws mainly on UK illustrations with which we are familiar, but its principles are applicable across most nations.
Description: By disseminating this working paper on an open access platform, the authors hope to entice wider discussion among the research and practitioner communities engaged in public sector and digital government research about the ideas and propositions presented. Parts of the working paper will be converted into a journal publication and later extended into a book.
ISBN: 9781908549259
Appears in Collections:Brunel Business School Research Papers

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