E-Government is defined as the employment of the internet and the world wide web for delivering government information and services to the citizens.
It can also be seen as the utilization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and other Web based telecommunication technologies to improve and enhance on the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in the public sector.
Government promotes and improves broad stakeholders contribution to national and community development as well as deepen the governance process.
E-Government describes the use of technology to facilitate the operation of government and the dispersement of information and services.
E-government, short for Electronic Government deals heavily with internet and non-internet applications.
EXAMPLES OF E-GOVERNMENT AND E-GOVERNANCE
E-government should enable anyone visiting a city website to communicate and interact with city employees via the internet with Graphical user interfaces (GUI) instant messaging (IM), and audio/video presentation.
The primary delivery models of E-government can be divided into:
Government – to – citizen or Government – to – consumer (G2C)
In this model, the G2C models apply the strategy of customer relationship management (CRM) with business concept. By managing their customer (citizen) relationship, the business (government) can provide the needed products and services and fulfill the needs of the customer (citizen).
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, SMS text messaging, mms wireless networks and services, bluetooth, CCTV tracking systems, biometric identification road traffic management and regulatory enforcement, identity cards, smart cards, etc.
Internet and Non-Internet Application
Most Agencies, departments and ministries deal heavily with internet and non-internet applications. For examples:
- Nigerian Immigration Services.
- Nigerian Customs Services.
- Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
- Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
- JAMB, WAEC, NECO etc.
ADVANTAGES OF E-GOVERNMENT
- Ultimate goal: The ultimate goal of the E- government is to be able to offer an increased portfolio of public services to citizens in an efficient and cost effective manner. E-government allows for government transparency. This is important because it allows the public to be informed about what the government is working on as well as the policies they are trying to implement.
- Efficient performance: Many changes such as marital status or addresses can be a long process and take a lot of paper work for citizens. E-government allows these tasks to be performed efficiently with more convenience to individuals.
- Political participation: E-government is an easy way for the public to be more involved in political campaigns . It could increase voter awareness which could lead to an increase in citizen participation in elections.
- Convenient and cost effective: It is convenient and cost-effective for businesses and the public benefits by getting easy access to the most current information available without having to spend time, energy and money to get it.
- Accessibility: E-government helps to simplify processes and makes access to government information more easily accessible for public sector agencies and citizens.
- Reduction in costs: In addition, E-democracy services can reduce costs.
- Accountability: E-government transparency will give insight to the public on how decisions are made and hold elected officials or public servants accountable for their actions. The public could become a direct and prominent influence in government legislation to some degree.
- Interaction with computers: E-government allows the citizen 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.
- Quicker processing time: Improved accounting and record keeping can be noted through computerization and information and forms can be easily accessed, equating quicker processing time.
- Administration: On the administrative side, access to help find or retrieve files and linked information can now be stored in database and hard-copies stored in various locations.
- Individuals with disabilities: 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, accessing information.
- Application On-line: E-government reduces the use of too much paper in governance e.g. employment seekers can apply on-line.
DISADVANTAGES OF E-GOVERNMENT
- Lack of equality: One of the disadvantages of E-government is the lack of equality in public access to the internet.
- Hidden agenda: Unreliability of information on the web and hidden agenda of government, groups, that could influence and bias public opinions.
- Lost of personal privacy: When the government has easy access to countless information on its citizens, personal privacy is lost.
- Expensive to develop: It costs a lot of money to develop, maintain and even implement E-government.
- Inaccessibility: People in the rural area cannot easily gain access to E-government.
- Open attacks: Because of E-government, Cyber Caf? are open or vulnerable to attacks and disturbances.
- Low literacy level: E-government cannot be used successfully in developing countries due to low literacy level.