Friday, September 15, 2006

E-Government 2.0

I am preparing a lecture on e-government for my trip to Johannesburg (South Africa). In the framework of the World Summit Award Roadshow (WSA), I will present a lecture.

I have taken two angles to start from: e-government and the European Union (EU), as I am a European citizen, and e-government as a category of the World Summit Award. For the EU part I was helped very much by a benchmarking report on the state of e-government services in the EU. For the WSA I could fall back on the catalogues of the 2003 and 2005 competition and use some stunning examples.

The benchmarking report tells about the improvement of government services, making it easier and more efficient for citizens and companies to communicate with government and semi-government departments. Most of these services are instituted in order to streamline procedures and bring down the number of officials. So they are more in the interest of the government departments than to make the citizen enthusiast about local and national democracy. For this I will be using the WSA examples like the 2005 Dutch entry of Bestuur Online (Governance Online), which helps the citizens to check their local town council by remotely viewing the meetings, checking the voting behaviour of representatives and going back into the archives.

But this week I discovered that there is a trend in e-government which can be compared to the Web 2.0 movement. E-government is finally starting to take personalisation seriously. One of the projects in the Netherlands is called Bekendmakingen (Announcements). This database collects announcements from the local government up to the national government. Citizens and entrepreneurs can make a profile and will receive new announcements, whenever they are published. In this way citizens and entrepreneurs get custom fit information and do not have to bother a lot of not relevant information. The project is still in an experimental phase, but received an award from the local Dutch chapter of ISOC a few days ago. In this case, the citizen still has to compose his/her profile. But here the Dutch tax service wants to go further. It is working on a project by which every tax paying citizen gets a personal page, showing the tax and levies to be paid, but also supplements people will receive. In this way people will see their score with the tax man, but also see measures, which they can claim. Presently the tax service has already such a service for companies. Administrators can see what forms they still have to submit and whether the VAT still has to be paid. To me this is e-government 2.0.

BTW I still have time in Johannesburg for guest lectures from October 5-10.

Tags: e-government

Blog Posting Number: 509

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