From Academic Kids


eGovernment, a neologism and contraction of electronic government, is the utilization of electronic technology to streamline or otherwise improve the business of government, oftentimes with respect to how citizens interact with it.

Nawar (2005) defines it as follows:

"E-Government refers to the use by the general government (including the public sector) of electronic technology (such as Internet, intranet, extranet, databases, decision support systems, surveillance systems and wireless computing) that have the ability to transform relations within the general government (bodies) and between the general government and citizens and businesses so as to better deliver its services and improve its efficiency."

The most frequent use of the term eGovernment (also spelled e-government as well as egovernment, Egovernment, E-government, E-Government, e-Gov, egov, EGOV, E-GOV and EGovernment and described as online government) is related to:

  • the delivery of public services, where there is an online or Internet based aspect to the delivery of the services (online government services are sometimes called e-Services, often a label which is considered to be a distinction from e-commerce but in some cases e-services and e-commerce are practically interchangeable terms).
  • the conduct of government business where the activities of those involved in the process of government itself (such as legislators and the legislative process) where some electronic or online aspect is under consideration.
  • voting where some technological aspect is under consideration.

Non-Internet aspects of eGovernment

It would be easy to make the mistake of assuming that eGovernment was all about "online government" or "Internet based government"—many non-Internet based "electronic government" issues exist under the eGovernment heading. Similarly, it would also be an error to imagine that all Internet-related eGovernment is about government websites.

Non-Internet aspects of eGovernment include:

  • Telephone and telecommunications issues in a government context, including:
    • the provision of government services by telephone (such as in call centers)
    • the use of fax in the provision of government services and the conduct of government business
    • the use of mobile phone (and PDA) based communications technology (such as SMS text messaging and MMS as well as 3G, GPRS, WiFi, WiMAX and Bluetooth) in the provision of (and as a means of access to) government services and the conduct of government business
  • general Government IT, which is now starting to be reclassified as eGovernment, in many cases because it is becoming ever more difficult to disentangle internal (i.e., non-"citizen-facing") IT resources and projects (which have hitherto mostly not been seen as part of eGovernment) from external (and thus mostly already seen as eGovernment) service provision. This reclassification is by no means universal and is often controversial.
  • Surveillance systems, CCTV, tracking systems, RFID, biometric identification, road traffic management and regulatory enforcement
  • Identity cards, smart cards and other NFC applications
  • Polling station technology (where non-online e-voting is being considered)
  • TV and radio-based delivery of government services (this often has a crossover with the Internet, but also includes many non-Internet based aspects and projects such as Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) Digital TV and High Definition TV (HDTV) provision)

Non-website-specific aspects of Internet-based eGovernment

Aspects of Internet-based eGovernment that aren't specific to websites include:

Development and implementation issues

The development and implementation of eGovernment involves a wide range of issues:

  • "rate of take up" of eGovernment services
  • Digital divide: The effect of non-use, non-availability or inaccessibility of eGovernment, or of other digital resources, upon the structure of society
  • broadband provision and its effect rate of take up of eGovernment services
  • accessibility (impediments to take up of eGovernment services, especially through disability, but also through geography, cost, and public education as well as any shortcomings in the design and implementation of eGovernment services)
  • service integration
  • interoperability (e.g., e-GIF) and semantic web issues
  • local eGovernment
  • international egovernment (including pan-national, trans-national, multinational and world eGovernment)
  • Internet governance including ICANN, IETF and W3C
  • transactional services / e-Services
  • cost of implementation / effect on existing budgets
  • effect on civil service jobs / job cuts / change of roles
  • centralisation (of government, public services and eGovernment)
  • decentralisation (of government, public services and eGovernment)
  • self government
  • e-Administration
  • public education (concerning the availability of eGovernment services, but also adequacy of skills, confidence, interest and choices, also e-learning issues)
  • education policy (including the effect of eGovernment upon non-eGovernment education issues)
  • "legacy technology" (making "pre-eGovernment IT" work together with or be replaced by eGovernment systems)
  • environmental effect
  • effect on bureaucracy / waste / "employment flexibility"
  • social effect
  • political effect
  • use of online consultation
  • technology policy effect, including choices between open source and proprietary software, choices between different programming languages choices between different microprocessor technologies, choices between different networking technologies
  • science policy effect
  • legislative effect
  • political blogging especially by legislators
  • freedom of information
  • privacy / data protection
  • effect of eGovernment on commerce and trade (e.g., public vs. private resourcing)
  • effect on transport policy (e.g., telecommuting issues)
  • effect on the legal system and the judiciary
  • effect on Internet Service Providers and Internet infrastructure
  • effect on crime
  • gender issues of eGovernment (e.g., "women in IT")
  • age related issues in eGovernment (e.g., online pension payment, special provision for the elderly)
  • e-democracy and e-citizenship
  • e-justice
  • cultural effect
  • e-enablement
  • political disintermediation
  • effect on party politics
  • effect on government departmental structure, compartmentalisation/integration
  • effect upon geopolitical boundaries
  • effect on government procurement (including but not restricted to e-procurement issues)
  • effect upon (non-eGovernment) business practices, industry and trade
  • health and safety policy (effect of eGovernment upon work practices, the health industry) and also e-health issues like Internet addiction, stress, work-life balance
  • GIS (Geographical Information Systems)—"spatial data" systems (mapping and location data) in government and GIS interoperability
  • e-campaigning (including election fundraising)
  • effect on taxation (including e-taxes)
  • effect on government revenues, debt, Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • effect on broadcast and telecommunications legislation
  • anti-spam legislation
  • telemarketing legislation
  • effect on civil liberties and personal freedom
  • effect on wealth distribution
  • effect on "free at the point of use" vs. chargeable public services
  • eGovernment CRM (Customer Relationship Management, or perhaps "Citizen Relationship Management", or even "Consumer Relationship Management")
  • effect on housing and planning (zoning) policy (relevant to homeworking and commuting issues)
  • effect on social cohesion
  • effect on economic migration
  • effect on multilingual information provision
  • effect on organised labour (trades unions)
  • effect on cultural diversity
  • effect on regional autonomy
  • effect on literacy, numeracy, education standards and IT literacy
  • assessment and benchmarking of government websites and e-services
  • funding—effect of eGovernment on government funding processes and also funding of e-government projects
  • effect on corporate governance (e.g., the Sarbanes-Oxley Act)
  • e-records including eGovernment impact on census issues and record preservation
  • e-recruitment including eGovernment impact on public and private staff hiring practices, offline and online
  • e-management
  • e-publishing
  • e-readiness—preparedness for meeting eGovernment implementation/availability deadlines
  • government intranets and extranets
  • mobile government or m-government
  • effect on human rights, human rights legislation
  • effect on Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • effect on single issue politics
  • effect on consumer advocacy
  • effect on government transparency, scrutiny, review processes
  • effect on government constitutions, constitutionalism
  • effect on treaties
  • effect on sovereignty
  • effect on diplomacy and consular functions
  • effect on consumer choice
  • effect on lifestyle
  • effect on minorities
  • effect on population distribution
  • marketing of eGovernment, both online and offline, in order to raise public awareness of and increase attractiveness and use of eGovernment and well as the use of online marketing (e-marketing) to promote both eGovernment and non-eGovernment public services
  • impact on arts policy—how do recent technological changes influence the commitment of government to support the provision of artistic and cultural resources to the public, how do those changes shape the scope and character of such support?


Mobile government, sometimes referred to as mGovernment, is the extension of eGovernment to mobile platforms, as well as the strategic use of government services and applications which are only possible using mobile telephones and wireless internet infrastructure. For example, in an emergency, a mass alert can be sent to registered citizens via short message service, or SMS. Proponents of mGovernment argue that the ubiquity of these devices mandates their employment in government functions.

To quote mGovernment theorist and proponent Ibrahim Kuchshu, "As e-business evolves towards m-business, eGovernment seems to follow the trend with a few but significant mobile government (mGovernment) applications."

Benefits of mGovernment include:

  • added convenience and flexibility
  • ability to reach a larger number of people through mobile devices than would be possible using wired internet only

Issues with mGovernment include:

  • wireless and mobile networks and related infrastructure, as well as software, must be developed.
  • to increase citizen participation and provide citizen-oriented services, governments need to offer easy access to mGovernment information in alternative forms.
  • mobile phone numbers and mobile devices are relatively easily hacked and wireless networks are vulnerable because they use public airwaves to send signals.
  • many countries have not yet adopted legislation for data and information practices, which spell out the rights of citizens and the responsibilities of the data holders (government).

See also


External links

eGovernment news websites

  • David Fletcher's Government and Technology Weblog ( — News and issues related to eGovernment.
  • Democracies Online Newswire (Do-Wire) ( Announcements from Steven Clift about E-Democracy, E-Government, Politics Online and More.
  • Development Gateway's e-Government Page ( — Depository of various e-government resources.
  • eGov monitor ( — Daily news covering developments in UK and Europe, plus comprehensive weekly newsletter.
  • Federal Computer Week ( — FCW eGovernment coverage is comprehensive, US based.
  • Gotzeblogged ( — Blogging e-government, e-democracy and other e's.
  • Government Computer News ( — GCN eGovernment coverage is comprehensive, US based.
  • Kablenet ( — eGovernment coverage is comprehensive, especially UK.
  • SupportInsight ( has an eGovernment sub-site, eGovernment coverage is international.
  • UNPAN eGovernment News ( — news from UN Division for Public Administration on eGovernment worldwide.

eGovernment Sites

  • eGovernment Unit (— Part of the United Kingdom Civil Service.




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