Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Who benefits more from eGov: Public authorities or citizens?

Public authorities. This is one of the findings of an important study* commissioned by European Union and carried out by Capgemini, Netherlands and TNO-Strategy, Technology and Policy, in its final report, final version.

The objective of the study was "to investigate if it is worth investing in eGovernment initiatives, and to identify the back office changes required for that." The study selected and studied in detail eight European exemplary public services ("eurexemps") from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain. The conclusion of the study is that "eGovernment does pay off and that back office changes are required to achieve

The returns on e-government have been divided into seven categories:
1. Improved quality of information and information supply, 2. Reduction of process time, 3. Reduction of administrative burdens, 4. Cost reduction, 5. Improved service level, 6. Increased efficiency; and 7. Increased customer satisfaction. These seven returns are interconnected. The study is wound up by making a number of recommendations.

The results of the case studies show that "the use of ICT in the public sector can indeed be rewarding. All case studies show different degrees of improved service delivery (more digitised information, more transparency, more flexibility, faster delivery), and a reduction of transaction costs (reduction of process time,
saving on costs, more efficiency and -especially for businesses- a reduction of administrative burdens)."

The study also reports "different returns for customers on the one hand, and governmental/public authorities on the other hand: the public authorities themselves appear to benefit most from investments in e-government." The most striking result of this study, according to the report, "is that quick wins in particular can be obtained relatively easily, that is, without fundamental
organisational changes."

Dr D.C.Misra
May 25, 2005.
*European Public Administration Network (EPAN) (2004): Does E-
Government Pay Off? Capgemini, Netherlands and TNO- Strategy, Technology and Policy, Final report, Final version, December 6, 55 pp, available:

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