What is e-Government?
E-government is the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) to
transform the traditional government by making it accessible, transparent, effective
and accountable. E-government does not mean putting more computers on the desks
of government officials. And e-government is more than just a government website on
the Internet. Political, social, economic and technological aspects determine egovernance. It establishes a relationship between government officials and citizens,
providing greater access to government information and services by making the
government accessible online; promoting citizen participation by enabling citizens to
interact more conveniently with government officials, such as by requesting
government service and filing required documents through website; increasing
government accountability by making its operations more transparent, thereby
reducing the opportunities for corruption; and supporting development goals by
providing business, rural and traditionally underserved communities with information,
opportunities and communications capabilities. E-government is not only used in
developed countries. Some of the most innovative uses of the Internet in governance
are being successfully used in the developing countries, as well.
E-government will not be successful just only buying more computers and putting up
websites. It’s not sufficient to automate administrative practices from the paper system
to digital system. Rather, e-government is a process of transforming government; it
requires planning, political will and a sustained dedication of resources. Success of egovernment will not be guaranteed with the mere purchase of advanced technology or
the direct automation of complex procedures until it can increase the rate of citizen
participation there by bringing about the greater effectiveness in government.
Technology introduction can not change the mentality of bureaucrats who do not view
the citizen as valued customer of government or an important participant in decisionmaking.
We are in the process of building "New Nepal". "New Nepal " should not become only
a popular slogan but really the "New Nepal" with all the positive values and
aspirations of its citizens geared towards the peace and progress. There are many
dimensions streamlined and drivers identified to make our "New Nepal" dreams come
true. One of such dimensions is the reformation of the government. Governance and
its service process should be well reengineered to fulfill the aspirations of its citizens.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its tools can help its effective
and efficient transformation.
With the advent of the information age, the ways we work, study, and live have been
experiencing dramatic changes. Due to the influence of economic and information
globalization and the rise of the digital economy, governments are "reinventing"
themselves to meet new expectations and the priorities of citizens and businesses.
These dynamics are compelling many governments to create a new vision for its
relationship with businesses and citizens and to create a new organizational structure
to fulfill its mandate. E-Government can fulfill the mandate of government formulating
a new vision of how government views its citizens, employees and businesses, and
building a citizen-centered, service-oriented, public-participative government with
efficient, accountable, transparent and performance government system. ICT based
online service is the most democratic and unbiased service system. It offers equal
opportunity to all races, genders, ethnic groups.
E-Government breaks the barrier of geographical diversity and makes the government
services handy to all citizens at villages who are even not connected by roads and
opens up many opportunities, provided Internet connectivity is available either through
wireless communication, fiber optic cables, dial-ups, VSATs or whatever other
Besides providing service to citizens, it’s important to empower and motivate
government employees to expect better service from them. E-Governance should
transform the government workers into empowered knowledge workers. Nepal should
not miss the benefits of global economy and specially the benefits offered by Internet.
Strategic Objectives of e-Governance:
The strategic objective of e-governance is to support and simplify governance for all
parties - government, citizens, businesses and its employees. The use of ICTs can
connect all three parties and support processes and activities. There may be two major
objectives of e-governance:
1. Service to the Public:
This objective of e-government is to satisfactorily fulfill the
public’s needs and expectations on the front-office side, by simplifying their interaction
with various online services. The use of ICTs in government operations facilitates
speedy, transparent, accountable, efficient and effective interaction with the public,
citizens, business and other agencies.
2. Efficient Government:
In the back-office, the objective of e-government in
government operations is to facilitate a speedy, transparent, accountable, efficient and
effective process for performing government administration activities. Significant cost
savings (per transaction) in government operations can be the result.
For implementing these strategies into reality, government must be subjected to
The transformation process is not so easy and not so simple. It requires a coherent
strategy and should begin with an examination of the nation’s regulatory environment
and the ability of the population to make use of planned technologies. The primary
driving factor for e-government reform should not be the potential it offers to save
money and reformation does not mean cutting staff. The savings incurred from egovernment initiatives most often benefit the businesses and citizens utilizing the
improved system more so than the government agencies that invested in them to begin
with. In order to realize the benefits of transformation themselves, governments must
develop a citizen-centric model involving key stakeholders outside of government—
community, businesses, professional associations, scientists, academics and NGOs.
Without their input and demand, even e-government projects that focus on internal
government processes may not prove successful because citizens are unlikely to use a
system that does not respond to their needs.
Process reform, leadership, strategic investment, collaboration and citizen participation
are essential elements in the transformation process. Once government makes
strategies to transform the governance process, it must prepare to meet the significant
challenges and opportunities that will arise during implementation. The
implementation process should address the issues of infrastructure development, law
and public policy, e-literacy, accessibility, privacy, security and workforce issues.
Awareness, education and rollout programs are also needed. To make the egovernance initiative successful, a good marketing program is required through out
the country to encourage citizens to make use of them.
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