The Italian Initiative on E-Government for
Development – Document Structure
Provides a background to the
Provides a background to the
document (e.g. international
document (e.g. international
context and “reason why”),
context and “reason why”), Introduction
focusing on the main aspects of
focusing on the main aspects of
the Italian Initiative on e-
the Italian Initiative on e-
Government for development.
Government for development.
From Outlines the complexities to be
Outlines the complexities to be
Government to faced when implementing an e-
faced when implementing an e-
Government structure and
Government structure and
e-Government defines the main enabling
defines the main enabling
factors to be considered.
factors to be considered.
Describes the main components
Describes the main components
of the e-Model (Application
of the e-Model (Application Reference
Architecture, Service Channels,
Architecture, Service Channels,
Regulation) and their
Regulation) and their e-Model
Defines methodological steps to
Defines methodological steps to
E-government be followed when implementing
be followed when implementing
Methodology providing also frameworks and
providing also frameworks and
practical examples for projects’
practical examples for projects’
Summarizes the key messages
Summarizes the key messages Conclusions
and the overall approach of the
and the overall approach of the
Provides detailed information on
Provides detailed information on
topics already exposed in the
topics already exposed in the
Annex other sections, particularly on
other sections, particularly on
cross and functional
cross and functional
applications supporting the
applications supporting the
Table of Contents
Section 1: INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 BACKGROUND 1
1.2 E-GOVERNMENT: THE GLOBAL PICTURE AND TRENDS 1
1.3 ITALIAN INITIATIVE ON E-GOVERNMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT 4
1.3.1 A GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE 4
1.3.2 A MULTIDIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO E-GOVERNMENT. 5
1.3.3 VALUE OF THE APPROACH 6
1.3.4 ARTICULATION OF THE ITALIAN INITIATIVE 7
1.3.5 STATUS OF THE INITIATIVE 8
Section 2: FROM GOVERNMENT TO E-GOVERNMENT 10
2.1 GOVERNMENT AS A COMPLEX SYSTEM 10
2.2 E-GOVERNMENT MAIN ENABLING FACTORS 12
2.2.1 LAWS 12
2.2.2 ORGANISATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES 13
2.2.3 TECHNOLOGY 15
2.2.4 INFORMATION 17
2.3 A STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPMENT 17
Section 3: E-GOVERNMENT REFERENCE MODEL: THE E-MODEL 20
3.1 INTRODUCTION 20
3.2 VALUE OF THE E-MODEL 20
3.2.1 BASIC PRINCIPLES 21
3.2.2 E-MODEL OVERVIEW 22
3.3 APPLICATION ARCHITECTURE 23
3.3.1 APPLICATION ARCHITECTURE REQUIREMENTS 24
3.3.2 INTEROPERABILITY 25
3.3.3 IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES 27
3.3.4 COMMON DATA MANAGEMENT 29
3.4 PUBLIC ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS 34
3.4.1 A FRAMEWORK FOR PUBLIC ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS 34
3.4.2 MODERNIZATION OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS: IMPLEMENTATION 36
3.4.3 ACCOUNTABILITY 37
3.5 SERVICE CHANNELS 39
3.5.1 MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY 40
3.5.2 CHANNEL SELECTION CRITERIA 41
3.5.3 ONE-STOP-SHOP SERVICE DELIVERY 42
3.5.4 “LIFE EVENTS” APPROACH 43
3.5.5 SERVICE DELIVERY AND AUTHENTICATION 45
3.6 INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE (INFO-STRUCTURE) 47
3.6.1 GUIDELINES TO EVALUATE INFO-STRUCTURE NEEDS 48
3.6.2 GUIDELINES TO DEFINE AN IMPLEMENTATION PLAN 55
3.7 REGULATION 55
3.8 CROSS AND FUNCTIONAL APPLICATIONS 57
Section 4: E-GOVERNMENT METHODOLOGY 58
4.1 USE OF THE E-MODEL 58
4.2 E-READINESS ASSESSMENT 59
4.3 DEFINITION OF STRATEGIC GOALS 61
4.4 DEFINITION OF STRATEGIC PLAN 62
4.4.1 PRIORITISATION OF PROJECTS AND APPLICATIONS 62
4.4.2 A GENERAL FRAMEWORK FOR E-GOVERNMENT IMPACT EVALUATION 65
4.5 DEFINITION OF OPERATIONAL PLAN 71
4.6 MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTING 71
Section 5: CONCLUSIONS 74
Section 6: ANNEX 76
6.1 INTRODUCTION 76
6.2 ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE IMPACT/BENEFITS OF POSSIBLE E-
GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS 77
6.3 E-GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE INDICATORS 80
6.4 CROSS APPLICATIONS 86
6.4.1 MANAGEMENT SUPPORT APPLICATIONS 86
6.4.2 SHARED GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS 86
6.5 FUNCTIONAL APPLICATIONS 89
6.5.1 FINANCE 89
6.5.2 HEALTH 90
6.5.3 SOCIAL SECURITY REVENUE MANAGEMENT 91
6.5.4 TRADE & INDUSTRY 92
6.5.5 AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERY 92
At the last G8 Summit in Genoa, the leaders endorsed the DOT Force Report, “Digital
Opportunities for All: Meeting the Challenge” (www.dotforce.org), which contains a
forward-looking Action Plan with nine priority areas as a basis for enabling the developing
countries to achieve sustainable ICT-enabled economic and social development.
In the Action Plan, the DOT Force referred to the importance of e-government and e-
governance in several instances. Endorsing the DOT Force Plan of Action, the G8 leaders,
taking up the proposal of the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, in the Final
Communiqué of their last summit encouraged „…the development of an Action Plan on how
e-government can strengthen democracy and the rule of law by empowering citizens and
making the provision of essential government services more efficient…‟.
For the implementation of the Genoa Action Plan, the Government of Italy took
responsibility for the e-government initiatives, and has since developed a comprehensive
program for „E-Government for Development‟. This initiative is designed to make an
effective and original contribution to enhancing awareness, planning, and implementing e-
government in countries that have either not, or have only partially, exploited the potential of
this important tool for bridging social and economic divides.
This commitment reflects the Government of Italy‟s belief that e-government offers unique
opportunities for fostering democracy, efficiency and transparency, offering countries greater
possibilities to attract foreign investment and, in the case of the developing countries,
1.2 E-GOVERNMENT: THE GLOBAL PICTURE AND TRENDS
During the past decade, many governments all over the world have embraced the digital
revolution to improve domestic and foreign government operations.
According to a recent study by the United Nations,1 in 2001, 169 of the 109 Member States
used the Internet to deliver information and services. The report noted that national e-
government program development by the United Nations Member States had generally
advanced dramatically in 2001 in comparison with previous years.
1 United Nations Division for Public Economics and Public Administration: „Benchmarking E-government: a Global Perspective‟,
Despite the improved quality and the greater presence of governments on the Web, e-
government programs and applications still remain at the information provision stage. Only
a few countries (17) offer citizens the opportunity to conduct on-line transaction, for
example, to pay for a national government service or to pay their taxes, as summarized in
Table 1: Online profile of UN Member States
UN Member States 190 %
with a government web site presence 169 89
with a national government website presence 84 44
with single entry portals 36 19
with sub-national government websites 84 44
with online transaction capacity 17 9
An analysis of the determinants of successful e-government programs shows that the key
factors are the countries‟ political will, the strength of their human capital, their
telecommunications infrastructure, and the presence of administrative priorities.
The United Nations Report develops and presents a synthetic „e-Government index‟ that
reflects and incorporates the countries‟ official on-line presence, evaluates their
telecommunications infrastructure and assesses their human development capacity. In other
words, the index reflects the „requisite conditions‟ that constitute an enabling environment
for e-Government. On the basis of the level of this index, the report classifies the countries
into four categories, as shown in Table 2.
As stated in the Report, the index reflects the countries‟ general economic and social
development levels; people in the industrialized countries enjoy the benefits of better access
to information and a more interactive and participatory relationship with their government.
Most of the countries in the “deficient e-Government capacity” group are some of the
poorest in the world, whose national priorities focus on basic survival issues. Nevertheless,
the Report notes some best practices amongst poor countries: for instance Gabon‟s national
government site is a „de facto‟ single entry portal and provides users with access to 14
official national government sites, while Guyana and Botswana are in the process of moving
on to the next level. This is encouraging for both the developing countries and the donor
community active in this field: national commitment and leadership can match the external
expertise and resources, and lead countries into a virtuous circle where e-Government can
act as a powerful locomotive force to enable every country to participate in the networked
world and reap the benefits of the Internet.
Table 2: The 2001 E-Government Index
Global Index: 1.62
High e-gov capacity Medium E-gov capacity Minimal E-gov capacity Deficient E-gov capacity
2.00 – 3.25 1.60 – 1.99 1.00 – 1.59 Below 1.00
USA 3.11 Poland 1.96 Armenia 1.59 Cameroon 0.99
Australia 2.60 Venezuela 1.92 Brunei 1.59 Cent. African Rep. 0.98
New Zealand 2.59 Russian Fed. 1.89 South Africa 1.56 Ghana 0.98
Singapore 2.58 Colombia 1.88 Paraguay 1.50 Nepal 0.94
Norway 2.55 Latvia 1.88 Cuba 1.49 Thailand 0.94
Canada 2.52 Saudi Arabia 1.86 Philippines 1.44 Congo 0.94
UK 2.52 Turkey 1.83 Costa Rica 1.42 Maldives 0.93
Netherlands 2.51 Qatar 1.81 Panama 1.38 Sri Lanka 0.92
Denmark 2.47 Lithuania 1.81 Nicaragua 1.35 Mauritania 0.91
Germany 2.46 Ukraine 1.80 Djibouti 1.35 Bangladesh 0.90
Sweden 2.45 Bahamas 1.79 Dominican Rep. 1.34 Kenya 0.90
Belgium 2.39 Hungary 1.79 Trinidad & Tobago 1.34 Laos 0.88
Finland 2.33 Greece 1.77 Indonesia 1.34 Angola 0.85
France 2.33 Jordan 1.75 Jamaica 1.31 Haiti 0.84
Rep of Korea 2.30 Bolivia 1.73 Iran 1.31 Mauritius 0.84
Spain 2.30 Egypt 1.73 Azerbaijan 1.30 Tanzania 0.83
Israel 2.26 Slovakia 1.71 India 1.29 Senegal 0.80
Brazil 2.24 Slovenia 1.66 Kazakhstan 1.28 Madagascar 0.79
Italy 2.21 Mongolia 1.64 Belize 1.26 Zimbabwe 0.76
Luxembourg 2.20 Oman 1.64 Barbados 1.25 Burkina Faso 0.75
Unit. Arab Emir. 2.17 Ecuador 1.63 Guyana 1.22 Zambia 0.75
Mexico 2.16 Suriname 1.63 Honduras 1.20 Mozambique 0.71
Ireland 2.16 Malaysia 1.63 El Salvador 1.19 Sierra Leone 0.68
Portugal 2.15 Romania 1.63 Guatemala 1.17 Cambodia 0.67
Austria 2.14 Belarus 1.62 Gabon 1.17 Comoros 0.65
Kuwait 2.12 Peru 1.60 Turkmenistan 1.15 Guinea 0.65
Japan 2.12 Uzbekistan 1.10 Namibia 0.65
Malta 2.11 Vietnam 1.10 Togo 0.65
Iceland 2.10 Samoa (Western) 1.09 Gambia 0.64
Czech Republic 2.09 Cote d‟Ivoire 1.05 Malawi 0.64
Argentina 2.09 China 1.04 Mali 0.62
Estonia 2.05 Pakistan 1.04 Ethiopia 0.57
Bahrain 2.04 Nigeria 1.02 Chad 0.55
Uruguay 2.03 Kyrgyzstan 1.01 Niger 0.53
Chile 2.03 Botswana 1.01 Uganda 0.46
Lebanon 2.00 Tajikistan 1.00
Source: United Nations Division for Public Economics and Public Administration: „Benchmarking E-Government: a Global
Perspective‟, May 2002.
1.3 ITALIAN INITIATIVE ON E-GOVERNMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT
1.3.1 A government to government initiative
The Italian initiative is based on recognition of the fact that good governance is a
fundamental factor in a country‟s democratic and economic development.
Good governance depends on a delicate blend of legal, administrative, organizational,
regulatory (technical and market-related), technological and human resource requirements.
Each of these factors, depending on their comparative importance and the socio-economic
level of development of the country in question, has a part to play in ensuring the efficient
operation of the administration concerned.
Government reform must therefore be brought about by combining the dynamics of a whole
range of factors. Ultimately, the reform must come about through changes in practices, for
which ICT will be a catalyzing – but not the sole – force. The operational groundwork must
also be laid in the administrative system from which to systematically direct all the actions
required to address all the factors involved.
The structural shortcomings in public administration systems that are still "incomplete",
which is frequently the case in developing countries, often make it very difficult to meet the
growing demand for a type of state organization capable of providing direction and support
to a rapidly evolving system. This why it has been felt necessary to provide an external
impetus to drive these administrations along the path of development. In other words, we
must transfer existing e-Government experience to these governments and enable them to
share, on a completely equal footing, the wealth of knowledge and opportunities that e-
Government has to offer. In this way, these countries can be steered away from the
ineffective and wasteful use what is needed to improve the organization of the state. While
fully respecting the cultures, traditions and social values of the developing countries and the
choices they have made in their quest to achieve development, we have to make a decisive
contribution to transforming their governments hand-in-hand with the transformation of civil
society as a whole.
Since the know-how required is based on experience built up during the transformation of
public offices, it is a particularly valuable commodity that is not easily found on the
"market". This experience has given rise to e-Government programs leading to the
development of digital public offices that are capable of employing new methods to deliver
services to society. It is only thanks to this know-how that the process of change can be
triggered. And once it has begun, the process can encompass virtuous growth mechanisms
by defining of specific operational arrangements for actions which may not actually produce
solutions to the problems (because solutions are extremely difficult to transfer from their
original context), they might nevertheless lead to the adoption of intelligent procedures for
adapting the solutions that are already in place.
The Italian proposal is two-pronged. Firstly, it involves the systematic definition of action to
be taken to transform governments that have not yet reached the development stage.
Secondly, it involves the implementation of projects requiring the broad participation, jointly
with the government, of private businesses, local and international non-governmental
organizations, and all other organized sections of civil society with the capability of
attracting support, democratic participation and tangible results.
To achieve this ambitious aim and make the reform and development of the governments in
these countries a reality, a methodological framework of reference has been designed to
enable us to work with the countries participating in the first stage of the project to identify
the areas of particular interest. It will enable us to identify the priorities as they emerge and
incorporate them into the more general program for the systematic development of
government services, taking due account of the needs of all sections of their civil societies.
The development of a methodological approach to the design and longer-term maintenance
of government reform projects has been set out in a Reference Model for Digital Civil
Service Development. This model transcends specific socio-cultural references and proposes
a general blueprint for the production of highly effective operational solutions that can fully
and effectively exploit the specific socio-economic and technological local benchmark
framework. That is to say, there are no ready-made solutions: they are based on experience,
methods of analysis, selection, and adaptating and implementing solutions that have already
been tried and tested elsewhere.
Close attention has been given to maintaining and developing projects already in place or in
the course of completion. The intention here is to map out a means of identifying and
eventually acquiring the resources needed to ensure that the solutions put in place will
continue to operate adequately, and be updated to keep pace with political, social and
The priority areas of action that have been jointly identified in this manner are carried
through in the field in the form of projects in which the contribution to the “whole” of an
organically designed administration will be fully exploited, and which will incorporate the
specific know-how acquired to develop more advanced systems of government.
1.3.2 A multidimensional approach to e-Government.
For a long time, government reform used to be carried out by giving pride of place to
legislative measures, but these failed to take due account of the need to actually implement
the reforms, in compliance with specific time and investment constraints. Another common
form of action was to introduce changes limited to individual administrative procedures or
vertical functional areas.
The reorganization of government offices and the installation of technological and logistical
support infrastructures have been the direct result of these legislative changes. The changes
have often had to be introduced separately for each vertical area of the administrative
functions, according to timeframes and other constraints set out in the legislation itself.
This modus operandi has produced results that have occasionally proved excellent for
individual services or functional areas, but they have not always contributed to the
systematic and consistent development of government as a whole.
More recent experiences under re-engineering programs have involved broader sections of
government, making it possible to take a more comprehensive over-view of the whole
situation, in which regulatory reforms have played a part in redefining functions and
delivering innovative services.
Similarly, an objective re-reading of the experience of implementing e-Government policies
based on only one single resource - technology - leads to the inescapable conclusion that this
approach was flawed, because it neglected all the other variables that are generally relevant
to the institutional, organizational and administrative aspects of the public sector, and which
constitute other, equally important, dimensions in relations between public agencies and
departments and civil society. The difficulties raised by attempts to introduce changes
against the enormously complex background of any system of government, taking a one-
dimensional approach based on specific legislation, or functions, or technology, necessarily
lead to the conclusion that a more comprehensive and multidimensional approach is required
for government modernization using instruments that interact simultaneously with its
different operational parts.
The Reference Model described in these pages, E-Model henceforth, is an instrument for
analysis and a means of supporting change. The adoption of this model makes it possible to
act systematically on the whole range of relevant factors, taking account of the properties
that are specific to each factor and the likely effects of change. The focus of the model may
be adjusted as required by applying it to specific sets of administrative processes, without its
losing general applicability. It may also be used autonomously and independently of the
organization of the functional and operational levels of the administration, and how
advanced or backward it is in terms of information technology resources.
1.3.3 Value of the approach
The Italian Initiative possesses four features that constitute true innovative value-added:
1. It is a „fully comprehensive integrated program‟: as explained below and in Exhibit
1, it comprises a co-ordinated sequence of phases and complementary sub-programs
that will progress together though a learning process based on the implementation
experience in the partner countries.
2. It is based on a concrete approach: the Government of Italy – with the provision of
both financial aid and know-how – will provide assistance with the implementation
of specific e-Government projects and initiatives in the partner countries.
3. It is a government-to-government exchange of expertise. The experience
governments have learned by reforming their administrations through ICT cannot
be found „on the market‟. Only a government-to-government approach can cover
the broader approach to e-Government, including redesigning procedures,
functions, services, laws and norms, with all their related critical features.
4. It is a dynamic and continually evolving initiative: the E-Model, the areas it covers,
the international partnership network – of donors and beneficiaries – will all evolve
and grow as a result of the experience.
1.3.4 Articulation of the Italian Initiative
The Italian Government‟s „E-Government for Development‟ initiative is designed to achieve
five main objectives (presented in Exhibit 1):
Exhibit 1: The Italian initiative: a fully comprehensive integrated program
1. Formulating a draft proposal to the DOT Force of an Action Plan on how e-
Government can strengthen democracy and the rule of law by empowering citizens
and making the provision of essential government services more efficient;
2. Developing a “reference digital model” of the government architecture, functions and
services, tailored to meet the specific country requirements, henceforth „E-Model‟.
3. Establishing partnerships with developing countries to validate the E-Model and
implement specific e-Government projects and applications based on the E-Model in
priority areas defined by those countries.
4. Establishing an international network of partners to provide financial support for the
project and ensure their long-term sustainability.
5. Developing a strategy for communication with the International Community to
enhance the awareness of the opportunities offered by e-Government for
Development. The milestone event in this strategy was the International Conference
on E-government for Development hosted by the Government of Italy in Palermo on
10-11 April 2002.
The E-Model is applicable to a large range of government functions, but during its initial
implementation phase the Italian Initiative will focus on a sub-set of functions indicated in
ML9.9.22/02 - 240102 - 36935/MBU
Government functions within the Government functions out of the
scope of the model scope of the model
• Financial and fiscal affairs • Defense & Army
• Education • Culture, Youth and Sport
• Health • Foreign affairs
• Public infrastructure and • Scientific Research and
• General Public Services • Energy and Telecom
• Public Order and Safety • Consumer protection
• Social protection
• Agriculture, forests and fisheries
• Commerce, Trade and industry
• Urban development/ territory
Source: UN Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG); task force analysis
Exhibit 2: E-Model: main functions covered
1.3.5 Status of the Initiative
Plan of action
At the last DOT Force meeting in Canada in May 2002, the Italian Government presented
the „Plan of Action on e-Government for Development‟, which was developed with the
assistance of the United Nations and an international team of e-Government experts. The
Plan of Action, which invites the donor community to support the reform of developing
countries‟ governments by transferring know-how and best practices, is the reference
benchmark of the Italian Initiative.
The first version of the E-Model has now been finalized and is presented in this document.
E-Model version 1.0 will be expanded and updated in the light of the e-Government projects
that will be carried in an increasing number of developing countries.
The Italian government is initially partnering five countries, Albania, Jordan, Nigeria,
Mozambique, and Tunisia, where the first projects will be launched in September 2002.
At country meetings last March in Rome the Italian authorities and delegations from the five
partner countries considered the possibility of launching fresh projects relating to the
definition of e-Government programs and a broad range of administrative functions. The
first feasibility studies are scheduled for completion by the end of the current year, and work
will begin on the implementation of the projects early in the New Year. The purpose set by
the Italian government is to extend its Initiative to other developing countries in order to
contribute to disseminating best administrative and technological practices.
The Italian Government has established partnerships with leading international organizations
to provide financial and technical support to the Initiative, particularly regarding the
launching and implementation of the projects on the ground. The initial funding needed to
launch the Italian Initiative has been pledged by our Government, which has set up a Trust
Fund with the Department of Social and Economic Affairs of the United Nations
(UNDESA). The Italian government will also be working in close cooperation with other
United Nations bodies such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and
possibly also with the UNICT Task Force, with which various types of cooperation can be
tried after the DOT Force has finished its work. A close working relationship has also been
established with the World Bank and the Gateway Foundation, through which the funding
available for single projects has already been increased. Work is in progress to set up an
Italian-resourced Trust Fund with the Interamerican Development Bank, that will become
operational in July 2002, and support projects in Latin America based on the E-Model.
On the communication side, the Italian Government, with the assistance of the United
Nations (Department of Economic and Social Affairs), hosted the Palermo International
Conference on e-Government for Development. More than 700 high-level participants from
91 countries attended, and more than 40 international best practices exemplified a multitude
of innovative applications. In partnership with the Gateway Foundation Italy will also be
developing a global portal on e-Government with the aim of making it the ultimate source
and reference point for information on e-Government for Development and a collection of
best practices, and the coordination of supply and demand of know-how and funding.
2 From Government to E-Government
2.1 GOVERNMENT AS A COMPLEX SYSTEM
Policy implementation takes place through “service processes”, which we might define as
the organizational unit responsible for carrying out the administrative functions needed for
the effective implementation of a given policy in a given sector.
A service process uses various factors, namely:
the general legislative framework;
technical regulations (in our case, these would refer to the possibility of using
electronic documents or digital signatures);
the specific jurisdiction of the public office concerned;
To these should be added another specific resource that is acquiring great importance in
many administrative processes: information.
No service process used by a public office can function without reference to all these
factors, and the way they are combined and the extent to which they are applied will not only
influence the ability of the office to achieve its policy objectives, but also determine the
overall efficiency of the administrative function in question.
In the next paragraph we shall examine in more detail the most significant of the factors
A service process in a public office is unlikely to make optimum use of all the factors:
misalignments will occur in the allocation of human resources (unfilled vacancies,
inadequate skills, etc) or in the regulatory sphere (shortcomings in the general legislative
framework, lack of technical rules, entrenched administrative practices that no longer
respond to the needs of final users, etc.). Misalignments may also occur with respect to
specific factors whose contribution to the overall process no longer matches requirements
(often a question of obsolescence) or a more efficient degree of “usability”. Information may
also be superseded, incomplete or wrong. Nor should it be forgotten that while some of
these factors are available on the market, others, which are essential for the organization of
the administrative process, are crucially dependent on “exogenous” regulatory processes,
which are often particularly ill suited, in terms of timing and adaptability, to the operational
requirements of the environment concerned.
The factors within a given government system will have various degrees of “viscosity”
(resistance to change) and varying levels of flexibility and adaptability. In terms of usability,
crucial differences will exist between them with respect to their capacity to effect change.
As a rule, regulatory and legislative factors tend to be rather rigid and do not readily respond
to the operational needs peculiar to each administration. Their adaptation to local
circumstances will always suffer from delays of varying length.
The only factors that are always (or at least more often) close to their optimum level of
utilization are those with a high technological content. This is because they may be
purchased on the market, and are therefore usually available in the latest and most advanced
version. The use of the most advanced technologies may, however, be compromised by the
inadequacy of other organizational components, by constraints on the use of the proper
professional resources, or by failures in the essential flows of information that are critical to
the functioning of the entire process.
The difficulty of operating systematically throughout the whole administration increases in
proportion to the degree of divergence in the flexibility of the factors involved. The greater
the difference in their capacity and speed of adaptation, the greater the viscosity and
slowness and, in the last analysis, the higher the degree of failure (or success) of the
processes involved in reforming the administration. When we examine the layers of
production within a complex administration, the “legacies” we can observe are seen to be
the result of the differing speeds with which various factors adapt to new policies, which
derive in turn from changes in the society that the administration itself is intended to serve.
The transformation of an administration to keep it functioning in step both with the changing
needs of society and with the shifting objectives of public policy is a task that requires an
organic approach to the whole range of production factors. Accordingly, it also means being
able to manage the problems that derive from the differing degrees of inertia with respect to
change that are intrinsic in each factor. All this raised a highly complex management
problem, since it entails planning and implementing actions to produce different solutions,
tailored to each of the factors under consideration that often cannot be handled within the
single public office. We need only consider, for example, the lengthy timescales required to
introduce changes to regulations and competencies, and therefore to bring about
organizational changes in these areas, compared with the much shorter timescale required
for even a major re-engineering of technological systems.
The different degrees of “viscosity” of the factors we have mentioned above introduce yet
another strategic variable to the already complicated task of managing administrative
change. This variable is the administration‟s own capacity to manage these complex reform
mechanisms. And, since it must operate simultaneously on institutional and market factors,
the whole change management process becomes extremely complex indeed. In this respect,
the presence or absence of the professional skills and tools needed for effective change
management is yet another element that is absolutely crucial for the implementation of
policies for administrative reform.
In addition to those aspects covered thus far that typically refer to back office processes,
there are other aspects that can also affect the promptness with which an administration will
respond to change. One of these, which can be expressed as the “relationship” that is
established with society, constitutes a further area of specialization in an administration‟s
production process, in this case, with respect to the formal relationships that the
administration is capable of establishing with civil society, the front office. The relations
linking the public office and the various elements of civil society on a more day-to-day,
operational, basis largely refer to the manner in which the office relates to and
communicates with citizens and enterprises, in terms of the citizens‟ “life cycles” and
enterprises “business cycles”. Public offices and society interact in many ways, because each
category of rights and duties needs to be set alongside single individuals with highly diverse
physical and socio-economic features.
All this means that the choice of one or another form of contact or communication through
which a public office actively or passively addresses a given user will help to determine the
effectiveness of a given policy. This in turn suggests that we can group certain types of users
in terms of the desirable, or more effective, features that should characterize their relations
with the public office concerned. Once we have identified the features by which we can
divide these social actors into “segments” with reference to the types of relationship they
have with the state, we may then also define the functional, organizational and technological
“channel” through which the relevant public offices should approach them – without, of
course, breaching any of the rules that regulate the permitted forms of relationship. In
addition to the “productive” specialization that is specific to each administration, we must
now introduce into the organizational structure specific methods for contacting various
sections of civil society.
2.2 E-GOVERNMENT MAIN ENABLING FACTORS
In discussing the chief factors contributing to the development of digital government, and
involving all of its powers and functions, we have frequently referred to the various tiers of
regulation and the effect on organizational systems. The organizational system itself,
although generally expressed in terms of established practice, needs to be regulated by
legislation, beginning with the various levels and degrees of autonomy of government.
One essential step towards the development of e-Government will, therefore, be to revise the
current legislative framework.
The point of departure from which the move towards e-Government must necessarily begin
is recognition of the legal validity of electronic documents and the digital or electronic
signature. From a technological-regulatory perspective, the challenge is to address the
problem of interconnection with open networks, for which purpose the international
regulatory framework, drawn up to deal with precisely this issue, has laid the foundations for
a digital society.
The drafting of an E-Model for the protocols and logical relations for communication
between two systems has led to the definition of the later levels of electronic documentation
and made it possible to lay down the security criteria with which any document transfer
system must comply or, to put it another way, the security standards that transmitted
documents themselves must attain.
The security protocols to be adopted must be capable of guaranteeing that transmitted
documents are complete, because this ensures that the documents cannot be tampered with.
It is also necessary to lay down precise and uniform criteria for recognizing the legal value
of an electronic document, and for the validation of the various forms for authenticating the
authorship of the document. The standardization of electronic documents and signatures
proposed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is a
valid starting point that has already achieved a significant degree of standardization.
The legal recognition of electronic documents, and consequently of digital signatures,
enables the creation, transmission and storage of digital documentation, the validation of
notices, certificates and even legislation, as well as their successive publication and
Two other consequences stem from the recognition of the legal validity of electronic
documents, namely the digital protocol and the electronic identity card when applicable.
Once these elementary criteria have been met it will be possible to build a valid model for
all the relations that will be established between public offices, citizens and business.
The progressive application of the technical and regulatory requisites as defined in specific
e-Government policies has had further major ramifications regarding the question of privacy
and the protection of personal data. The enormous power that derives from the concentration
of personal data must be counterbalanced by specific technical, regulatory and
organizational measures to ensure security in the processing of documents, and databases
containing personal information. Privacy legislation imposes limits on digital government.
Criteria and standards relating to the processing, storage and accessibility of sensitive data
must therefore serve as an adequate counterweight to the “enabling” features mentioned
above, in order to ensure transparency and confidentiality within the context of systematic
policies for the development of a digital administration.
2.2.2 Organization and Human resources
It is important to stress that the transformation of government by introducing e-Government
tools will not be possible without a parallel and extensive process of change involving
organization and human resources, which are the most valuable asset in the labour-intensive
world of government.
As far as organization is concerned, if the changeover to e-government is to be effective,
two fundamental guiding principles must be respected:
A “process view” should be introduced, as well as a greater integration in the
working phases: the need to give priority to supplying efficient high-quality
services to the public is concentrating attention everywhere on the process which
produces them, gradually shifting the focus from the organizational function to the
final output. Current civil service/Government structures, with a few exceptions
and recent developments, are typically broken down into offices and services,
often poorly integrated and all events without any process-led direction. This
certainly makes it difficult to monitor the quality and the efficiency of the output,
because both the organizational model and the managerial tools available tend to
focus on individual phases, losing sight of the global flow. Above the funeral of
activities by process will require ever closer integration between the various phases
of service production, leading to a reduction in the level of compartmentalization
of the structures both horizontally and vertically. In essence, it is likely that we
shall have narrower and flatter structures, with fewer levels of responsibility and
greater operational focus.
The culture of the designer team must be established, with a cross-functional
approach: today's government offices and departments and wish to gear their pace
to that of the community for which they work, must have a high capacity to react
and the technically able to respond to external demands. These needs and demands
(for example, to design new services and use new media for their delivery) and the
complexity and highly technical nature of internal change will require an enhanced
culture on the part of the design team, to acquire horizontal skills with a clearly
identified person in charge to accompany the vision of a process in an operational
With regard to human resources, attracting, selecting, training, developing and retaining (or
managing the departure of) the right resources in as effective and efficient a manner as
possible will become a key challenge for the private and public sectors alike, referring to
both management and staff.
The move to e-Government will compel public sector managers to make great changes to
their skills and to become familiar with the tools of advanced technology and new
The speed and means by which information is passed on to managers will change,
and this will occasionally create difficulties in the handling and management of
this resource. Skill in the analysis and rationalization of information is likely to
become critical to the decision-making process, especially for those who are
experienced mainly in handling the formal aspects of processes.
The transparency of information and inward communication flows will require
managers to acquire communication skills that are not commonly found today, and
force the to realize that communication is often a key to power and consensus, and
poor communication is often the cause of failure. The ability to communicate with
the outside world will become an even more important skill because greater
transparency in procedures and the increased responsibility of managers towards to
the users of public services will bring them into closer contact than ever before
with the final customer.
Finally, at a very simple level, managers will have to learn basic computer skills so
they are able to use a PC properly. This may seem a banal observation to make, but
it actually points to one of the chief obstacles to change, and refers not only to
management but to all workers, especially those in the older age brackets.
Experience teaches us that managing the acquisition of the necessary skills is a key task in
the successful transformation of a government, and one on which the increasing penetration
of the tools of e-Government is having a profound effect.
Apart from the technical-functional knowledge needed to perform their work, public sector
workers must also have:
Basic skills in the use of the new systems, which must keep pace with the gradual
replacement of obsolete systems and mainly manual processes;
Breadth of vision. In an organizational system where work is primarily process-
based, it will no longer be possible, for middle-ranking staff at least, to take a
compartmentalized view of their functions;
The capacity for self-development and learning. Hitherto, the substantially
unchanging nature of roles and responsibilities and the slow pace of change in the
content of the public service have generally not demanded much flexibility in
terms of skills. The increasingly rapid pace of change and the welcome
introduction of more flexible job profiles will present new variables that individual
employees must be able to manage using such innovative means as self-teaching.
The reach and the depth of the transformation of skills and, as a result, the impact on
training and teaching, will need to be managed through traditional means (the classroom)
and through the new channels opened up by e-Government, such as e-Learning (components
of the Government to Employee portals) and the creation of knowledge-sharing centers.
Technologies that facilitate the widespread distribution of information and services, and
above all network technologies, not only form the physical substratum on which effective
cooperation between different government processes is based, but also constitute a major
enabling factor for administrative decentralization. Their development must, however, be
subject to planning processes that are consistent with the effective needs and general
development plans of public offices, with respect to both geographical coverage and
capacities and basic technologies. These infrastructures can draw on a multitude of different
technological options (such as traditional telephone and data networks, wireless technology,
satellite channels etc.). These technologies vary enormously in terms of their potential and
the investment required for their installation, launch and management. Potentially they are
capable of catering for any demand for the transmission of information and documents. Yet
it is precisely because of the variations in the investment required and the technical skills
needed to run the systems that they must evolve in parallel with the “demand for
information” in order to avoid making expensive investments with, inevitably, uneconomic
The availability of information systems and communication infrastructures has made it
possible to pursue strategies that cut out the middle tier of intermediation and provide
citizens and enterprises with direct access to information and services. The aim here is to
make the relationship between public offices and the outside world more efficient, and speed
up the delivery of services. This process needs to be pushed forward at a pace that matches
the socio-economic development of each country, and must also provide for the activation of
multiple and diverse access channels from both an organizational and a technological
perspective. Traditional offices must be flanked by access channels such as telephone, fax
and videotext communications, Internet portals and so on, but distributed in a balanced way
that is appropriate to the culture of the users and the degree of technological penetration in
the area concerned. Naturally, the balance will shift over time and modern technologies will
occupy an increasingly important position as the infrastructures are enhanced and the
necessary technology culture spreads.
From a purely technical point of view, the principles guiding the choice of technologies
must be inspired, on the one hand, by their capacity to integrate and work together and, on
the other, by their capacity to adapt, rapidly and inexpensively, to the fast-changing
requirements and evolving situation that will accompany the implementation of e-
The adoption of mutually compatible architectures will help obviate the frequent
'sectorialization' and consequent incompleteness of information systems and favour the
development of strategies that focus more closely on service and on responding to the real
needs of society.
The achievement of full cooperation between information systems, which can also require
an appropriate redesign of the way public offices are organized, will signal the attainment of
the most advanced model of interaction with society. At an operational level, this will take
the form of unified logical access points to public offices that can be reached using physical
channels that will vary depending on the preferences and capacities of users.
Information is a critical resource in any administrative process. The availability - or the lack
- of information makes an essential difference to the effectiveness of a service process and
its organizational structure. Indeed, in the absence of specific information, a service process
may well be unable to work or, if it works on the basis of defective information (outdated,
incomplete or inexact), it will risk generating unintended results.
The specialization of processes, and hence also of information, means that if the same
information is necessary during several different service processes two options will be
available. One is to multiply (i.e. make it resident) the information within all the service
processes that require it. If we wish to avoid this, the alternative is to make the information
accessible from outside the system - i.e. from service processes other than those that
originally generated the information. It is therefore necessary to organize and manage flows
of information across various different service processes.
One of the chief objectives of the reform of any government and, in particular, of specific e-
Government programs, has been to rebuild an comprehensive information system for the
entire administration by gradually completing of the service processes, the outcome of which
will be higher quality services.
In order to avoid squandering the enormous potential for the innovation of service processes
that ICT offers, it is essential for the analysis of the organizational impact and the
identification of possible solutions to become an integral and mandatory element of the
feasibility studies for the digitalization of service processes. The digitalization process does
not set out with incomplete information and later somehow acquire complete information,
regardless of whether the organizational and administrative aspects of the service process
framework have been completed On the contrary, if the organizational dimension is
incomplete, the completion of the IT aspect alone will not translate into an effective
improvement in the quality of the service process.
2.3 A STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPMENT
There are certain key processes within the government whose correct functioning paves the
way for the successive construction of a large number of more advanced functions. We are
referring, for example, to the series of basic functions dedicated to the management of
essential information relating to citizens, enterprises and the local environment. The
information flows that arise from these basic records are capable of sustaining a large
number of policies. Obviously, the more specific a policy is, the more specialized the
information it will require; but it is equally obvious that many of the functions of an
administration rely on a limited amount of key information.
Analyzing the information requirements and the means by which information is transformed
and managed can serve as a cornerstone for analysing and planning the integration of the
different functions of public offices.
The next stages of the development of the e-Government can proceed along various paths,
each with its own ramifications, depending on the different priorities and conditions
obtaining at the point of departure. But the chosen method of analysis, which we anticipated
in the description of our E-Model, will enable us to provide a clear definition, for all the
growth objectives, of the most direct path to follow in order to achieve the desired level of
development. This can be measured retrospectively in terms of qualitative improvements in
output, whatever form this may take.
In a similar context, the problem of sustainability – i.e. the possibility of maintaining the
desired level of service over time – is of central importance both to the effective use of
investments and with regard to long-term strategies.
Capitalizing fully on long-term investment means, of course, that the products, as well as the
technical, organizational and management solutions, need to be maintained at the planned
level of efficiency and operations over time, and be protected from unexpected or
unmanaged failures of the relevant factors of production.
Particularly important among these factors of production are human resources, which are
typically affected by turnover and the “ageing” of skills, which can seriously compromise
any innovation policy. These events must therefore be offset by policies for training, the
recruitment of new staff, and professional refresher courses, which must be planned and
presented as integral parts of the e-Government projects.
The application of stable and lasting strategies is essentially connected with the concept of
flexibility. Any innovation strategy that seeks to maintain a lasting and constant capacity for
continuous innovation must be capable of modifying the organizational framework,
infrastructures and resources and even the general regulatory framework in which the
strategy is to be implemented, and of doing so in a reasonably straightforward and rapid
All these aspects, which are tied essentially to the problem of the sustainability of e-
Government initiatives, are highly complex. They should be handled by deploying the
professional skills that can guarantee absolute excellence in the planning, design and
implementation of projects, as well as in risk management and encouraging the interaction
of all the parties involved, by putting in place management structures that provide for the
constant monitoring of results.
3 E-Government reference model: the E-Model
In order to develop an e-Government strategy and identify concrete opportunities, an E-
Model identifying guidelines for e-Government initiatives is required. The model (version
1.0) should provide an integrated, evolving blueprint that highlights the links that need to be
established, in as seamless a fashion as possible, between laws, technologies, regulations
and skills, in a dynamic operational environment.
Interested countries can use the model as a benchmark against which to diagnose their own
starting situation, identify their needs, and define and prioritize potential e-Government
projects to be carried out.
This document is only the first step towards the definition of the e-Government model.
Indeed, the model is under constant development: it will continue to be improved and
enhanced by a dedicated team within the Italian Ministry of Innovation and Technologies in
cooperation with interested countries and G8 countries.
The model is a tool for dynamic development and will be implemented with input that draws
on the lessons learned from the projects launched in the five selected partner countries
taking part in this initiative, at the same time building up a constantly evolving knowledge
3.2 VALUE OF THE E-MODEL
The E-Model provides value in several ways:
1. by providing interested countries with a set of guidelines to evaluate the opportunities
opened up by e-Government;
2. by offering interested countries some concrete guidelines to design “good practice in
government administration” in terms of:
legal framework: enabling laws, simplification/rationalization…
organization and human resources: skills, mobility…
technologies: ICT applications, infrastructures, channels…
functionality of applications;
3. by identifying the best existing e-Government solutions, thus allowing interested
countries to avoid the process of trial-and-error experienced by other countries;
4. by providing a modular framework for e-Government applications, allowing the re-
use of common architecture components and preventing duplication;
5. by conforming to current best practice in terms of up-to-date technical infrastructure
and info-structure, open technical architecture standards, and multi-channel strategy;
6. by highlighting the major legal and regulatory prerequisites that enable the
digitalization of services and underpin the process of meaningful integration,
especially over virtual channels (e.g. Internet, call centers).
The challenge arises because of the different starting points for countries‟ e-Government
programs (e.g. existing levels of digitalization, info-structures available), the complexity of
government requirements, and the need to define a model that is independent of specific
government organizations and local infrastructures.
In order to be independent from the starting situation of each country, the E-Model will
provide a set of guidelines and good practice reference points that can be used by the
implementing countries to determine their own e-Government model and the path to be
followed to put it in place. In other words, the model can be applied to a real situation in
order to identify the gaps to be filled to apply good practice in government administration.
The E-Model can be applied by all interested countries, as it has been designed to function
independently of the institutional/constitutional framework, government organizational
structure (centralized / decentralized), country size, and local ICT infrastructure.
3.2.1 Basic principles
The model is designed following these guiding principles:
It focuses on the end-to-end integration of administrative processes, since
coordination between different government functions, processes and activities (G2G),
is of fundamental importance in ensuring that the end users receive the services they
are entitled to, in terms of quality, timeliness and accountability; the end-to-end
integration of processes also guarantees consistency between the different steps. End-
to-end integration also enables improvements in process timing and tracking, as it
helps to reduce lead time, which usually takes up a good deal of the total time it takes
to deliver a service, and reduces the waiting time between activities. Clearly, such
integration, especially when more than one office or function is involved, is only
possible if the process is designed with interoperability in mind.
It supports front office activity vis-à-vis citizens and enterprises (G2C and G2B); any
government that intends to implement an e-Government program must always bear in
mind the fact that the end users of its activities are citizens and businesses. The
government must satisfy citizens‟ and businesses‟ needs and simplify their lives, by
providing them with transparent access to government processes and information and
easier access to government for its “customers”, and, as far as possible, by
guaranteeing a one-stop-shop system and a one-step-service provisioning system.
One-step and one-stop are pivotal points in providing a high level of service to
citizens and enterprises.
It also supports the efficiency and effectiveness of government back office activities,
which are usually not as efficient and effective as they might be. The e-Government
program will automate the processes and re-design them to better exploit the
digitalization of the activities in question. By doing this, the digitalization of
government enables savings in resources and the introduction of new services not
3.2.2 E-Model overview
In order to follow the guidelines outlined above, it is necessary to operate on several aspects
of government administration, taking a comprehensive approach. In particular, the main
components to be taken into account are illustrated in Exhibit 3.
ML9.9.22/02 - 220102 - 36935/MBU
Web Call Front Mobile Third
Channels / portals center offices phones, parts
Are integrated with
Is compliant with
Exhibit 3: E-Model components and relationships
The E-Model is composed of four main components:
Each of these components will be described in more detail below.
There are two other relevant components that should be borne in mind, even though, since
they are highly country-specific, they are not explicitly covered by the E-Model:
Government processes (both front and back office). Processes must be redesigned,
with a view to end-to-end integration. The re-engineering of processes is a necessary
initial step if administrations are to achieve the greatest improvement that e-
Government programs can provide; processes must be reshaped and refocused on the
final objective of the activity, which is to provide the best service to
citizens/enterprises/other government agencies. From a traditional point of view, a
digitalization program would not take a process redesign into account, as processes
would be considered as given. To take full advantage of the new ICT opportunities,
however, there must be a deep rethinking of all the activities of government.
Processes must not be “function specific”, but cross-functional, bearing in mind the
final product of the chain. With an end-to-end approach, it is possible to introduce the
concept of organizational performance management, together with quality
Organization. Organizational change requirements include the tuning or redesign of
organizational systems and the training of government employees in the context of a
change management program. A focus on change management might well be needed,
as experience has shown that the main challenge of the e-Government program will
come from the human resource side, as employees need to shift the emphasis of their
routine activities from a “things to do” approach to the solution of “customer
3.3 APPLICATION ARCHITECTURE
e-Government application projects are strongly influenced by existing data, systems and
processes, which constitute a legacy that in many cases requires a “rethink”, rebuilding and
renovation of the underlying data system and application architecture. Moreover, e-
Government programs need stronger and more flexible support to be provided by
applications to improve the efficiency/effectiveness of government administration, deliver
services through different channels and integrate the back office processes in a
This E-Model provides a set of guidelines to be followed in order to identify the target
architecture for a country that wishes to start an e-Government program, a guide to the
common risks that countries normally face during the implementation phase, and a (by no
means exhaustive) collection of good practice references for e-Government solutions.
The guidelines are based directly on the guiding principles that identify “best practice in
government administration” and on the general legacy constraints of implementing
3.3.1 Application architecture requirements
The application architecture requirements follow on directly from the main requirements for
e-Government as outlined above (see Exhibit 4).
ML9.9.22/02 - 060302 - 36935/RB
Digital government requirements architecture requirements
• Integration of the end-to- • Support administration processes
end public administration with an integrated approach and
processes (G2G) data sharing between different
• Support the efficiency and
effectiveness of • Define a set of rules for
government back office interoperability and workflow
processes coordination between different
• Support front office activity
towards citizens and • Divide the front office part of the
enterprises (G2C and G2B) architecture from the back office
• Flexibility to organizational
Exhibit 4: Government application architecture requirements
These government requirements can be translated into a set of architecture requirements that
must be complied with. In particular, a good practice government application architecture
must be able to:
Support both specific government functions (through “vertical” applications) and
shared government functions (through “horizontal” applications) and adopt an
integrated approach to this process. To do this, it is necessary to define a set of
general rules that can drive both the integration between “horizontal” and “vertical”
applications, and data sharing between different applications.
Deliver services with an end-to-end approach to processes, integrating all the
government functions involved in them. To satisfy this requirement it is necessary to
define a set of rules for interoperability and workflow coordination between different
Allow a multi-channel strategy. The target architecture must be designed taking a
multi-channel approach (even if the multi-channel distribution is not immediately
implemented), separating the front office part of the architecture from the back office
Respond flexibly to organizational changes. To do this it is necessary to subdivide
processes into elementary and consistent steps that can easily be assigned to different
Legacy constraint problems must be evaluated case by case; clearly, they are more relevant
in cases where the government has been investing in ICT for several years.
The overall integration and harmonization of public transactions and data is particularly
relevant to the processes that must be established to manage the data flow and exchange of
services among different agencies, both for back and front office activities.
The adoption of a common general model to ensure cooperation between architectural
applications enables a smooth interaction between citizens and the various agencies,
independently of the specific platforms and solutions adopted by each agency.
In this way citizens who needs to interact concurrently with several agencies can rely on a
single seamless interface that will allow them to navigate through different services,
provided by different sources, with as little inconvenience as possible. Similarly, when two
different agencies need to interact to establish common back office procedures, the presence
of a standard exchange interface ensures that the data and service flows are set up correctly.
The presence of a common, standard exchange interface ensures technological
heterogeneity, which is intrinsic to the growing “pathway” of ICT infrastructures within
each agency, and ensures that local technical solutions are independent. This kind of plug-in
communication interface is shown in Exhibit 5.
Exhibit 5: Plug –in communication interface.
Through the adoption of a common exchange interface that acts as a standard plug-in for any
application, a common cooperative process is established to automatically exchange
information and services between ICT applications, complying with all the requirements of:
Integrity and privacy
This solution provides, without any impact on any information system that may already be in
place, the maximum degree of integration between agencies. The deployment of such a
solution only requires the definition and agreement of some common communication
services and the way in which they are to be interchanged.
The creation of a cooperative process between the ICT applications of different agencies
covers several needs:
Events communication: one agency automatically notifies to one or more other
agencies the occurrence of a life event of a citizen or enterprise
Queries: requests for access or notification to one or more agencies of data managed
by one or more other agencies
Transactions between agencies: transactional services, which modify the content of
the information managed in the local info-base of another agency.
3.3.3 Implementation guidelines
This section provides a set of recommendations that can help interested countries in
validating their implementation options.
Addressing integration issues
Share across-government functions and the development of applications that support
common administrative processes (for example, procurement, document
management, human resource management. See also Exhibit 6).
Integrate the application across the end-to-end processes by defining a standard set of
rules for interoperability.
o Each application must interact with the others through clearly identified
o Data common to several processes must be collected and managed as a shared
resource (one single logical database).
o Process steps, rules and actors must be modeled and automated through
workflow, particularly when process changes are frequent and there is a strong
need for tracking controls. To achieve these objectives, it is necessary to
distinguish processes that are common to more than one function (horizontal
processes) from those that are function-specific (vertical processes) to
eliminate any overlap of software layers and reduce data redundancy.
o Data exchanges between functions must be certified and tracked in order to
manage the responsibility clearly.
Enhance the portability of services to a multi-channel distribution model. To do this it
is necessary to completely separate the front office side of service provisioning from
the back office operations. Using this approach, a service can have the same back
office process and application and a different front office process and application for
each distribution channel, thus simplifying the portability of the service over different
ML9.9.22/02 - 270202 - 38961/MT
Vertical solution Integrated solution
application Channel Channel … Channel
Channel Channel Function … Function
Logic Logic End-to-End process integration
Data Data Cross government administration application
Exhibit 6: From vertical solutions to integration
Managing implementation risk
Adopt a low-risk project implementation plan: think big, start small and scale fast.
In most cases, the migration from the old to the new architecture is a highly complex,
long-term project. Reduce complexity, with a short-term deliverable approach, by
dividing the entire effort into subsets of small independent milestones that can be
Avoid lack of continuity, which can destroy the incremental benefits. Like all long-
term projects, an e-Government migration program requires continuity to establish
credibility and show constant progress. Constantly starting, stopping and restarting
efforts of this type destroys the credibility of the entire program.
Ensure commitment and leadership in all the government functions involved. Almost
all the important projects grow in complexity because of the increased number of
government functions involved. End-to-end process integration and the separation of
front office and back office operations require tight coordination between more
government functions than was previously the case.
Ensure whenever possible the utilization of all investments already made and try to
integrate existing solutions with the new approach.
Adopt, whenever possible, package solutions instead of developing custom
applications. “Ready to apply” solutions accelerate delivery and reduce the overall
risk of the project and the cost of implementation.
Preparing the integration/migration strategy
Define at the outset a meaningful migration and integration strategy from the old
system to the new. In particular, focus on “how to dismiss the legacy system” issue in
o Avoid duplicating investments (old and new application evolution and
o Achieve the main project benefits as soon as possible, leaving smaller
enhancements for later.
o Reduce the risk of operation parallelism between the old and new systems.
Ensure legacy data collection, sanitization and certification before loading the legacy
data onto the new system. This can be a major undertaking, particularly when data are
duplicated across systems, but it is also a significant opportunity for government in
terms of quality enhancement and capability control.
3.3.4 Common data management
Data management must be considered critical when moving to e-Government. The
government of any country owns significant information assets, in terms of documents and
electronic data, which cover all citizens‟ and enterprises‟ significant life events (economic,
social, local and so on).
These data, named common data, are those critical pieces of information that must be
accessible if citizens and enterprises are to exercise their rights and fulfill their obligations.
Common data can also be defined as the complete set of data, owned by the government,
which have been collected and/or processed, within the administrations‟ institutional
competencies, using public funds.
The stakeholders in this process are the public agencies, who “own” and must make
available the data, the private actors in question (any individual or enterprise) and the
community as a whole.
The set of rules that need to be applied to make the public data available to all the subjects
involved are described using the term “common data availability”.
Common data can be made available in three different ways.
Access: the process is started by the user, who can search for the required data and
gain access directly over the network; it is worth noting that here by “user” we mean
either a person or an automated application which is part of an information system;
Communication: the process is started by a public agency or by a user, who makes a
request, and consists of delivering data to one or more recipients by electronic means;
Dissemination: this is an initiative by the government, through which data are made
available to a large audience, not determined in advance, using the Internet or more
Public agencies, which are entrusted with the process of gathering, processing and
publishing common data, must set the rules for the following fundamental aspects:
classification, availability, security and usability.
For those issues relevant to data classification it is necessary to:
select, from all public data, those which should be considered essential;
enact regulations (legislative) to ensure their availability;
issue technical regulations to prevent, or make as difficult as possible, the building of
new files, based on the essential public data, that might violate the privacy of citizens
or enterprises. Specifically, this measure must play a part in enhancing the level of
privacy using whichever means are feasible;
set out rules to ensure that access to sensitive data is only allowed when strict
procedures are complied with.
Table 3 shows the significant characteristics that must be taken into account when
classifying common data.
Table 3: Data classification parameters
Type personal or anonymous
Source delivering agency, date
Level of aggregation with which the aspects of reality to be investigated are described
Usefulness for those users who intend to access it
Level of elaboration from raw data to final indicators
With reference to common data availability, it is important to ensure that the following
conditions are in place:
the ability of the public owners to inform users about the availability of public data
and clearly explain how to reach them (through access, communication or
dissemination) according to the nature of the data and the user authorization level;
data availability by means that do not cause disadvantages to any particular category
of users compared with other categories;
the definition of models for public data availability, such as:
o ability of the owner (citizen or enterprise) to access, verify and, if needed,
update directly his or her personal data or the business data;
o search facilitation and access, by all members of the public, to anonymous
the definition of access policies, organizational rules for publicly accessible data
repositories and their relative service levels vis-à-vis end users;
the adoption of technical and organizational solutions to offer users quick and high
adequate dissemination of the conditions (e.g. responsibilities, timescale, service
levels, assistance, security etc) under which non-essential data are made available,
along with their quality characteristics.
The issue of common data security (see Table 4) addresses all those aspects that are
common to public and private data distributors, in relation to:
the adoption of internal security measures to ensure the availability, confidentiality
and integrity of public data;
the formulation of external security measures that final users (i.e. citizens and
businesses) are required to comply with if they wish to access public data;
the identification of the person(s), in terms of role(s) inside the government, with
responsibility for the security of public data.
Table 4: Data access levels
(can be accessed by anyone)
Essential accessible data
Essential personal data data
(confidential – maximum security)
Finally, usability as used here means ease and simplicity of access by any authorized user,
through the enabling platforms made available by the latest technologies. Here again, the
approach must be a non-discriminatory one that takes into account any possible obstacle to
the access and dissemination policies. Usability is measured, in terms of effort required
from the user, by:
ease of learning, for users to gain the ability to use the technologies necessary to
access the data;
understandability, for users to understand how the technologies work;
operability, for users to actually make use of the technologies to access the data they
are interested in.
In an inter-networked information system, quality aspects of common data are crucial; these
aspects must ensure for all exchanged data:
correctness: the data must correspond exactly to the observed information;
timeliness: when the phenomenon they represent changes, data must be updated fast
enough for the update to be effective for subsequent use of the data ;
consistency: between the different representations which can co-exist in networked
non-redundancy: to minimize the number of different occurrences of data describing
the same phenomenon in different, interacting information systems;
accuracy: measurability of the precision of the data.
pertinent and non-superfluous information: in relation to the use that will be made of
Only if all the above-mentioned quality aspects are complied with can the establishment of
reliable, optimized and easily manageable dataflow be ensured, both between agencies and
towards final users (citizens and enterprises).
When designing or re-engineering an information system or part of one, it is essential to
avoid, or at least to keep to a minimum, data redundancy and duplication, since these
generate an unproductive workload, in terms of to managing data mismatches and assessing
Therefore, it is strongly recommended that rules and obligations be clearly defined, with the
appropriate level of detail, for each agency, in terms of access, management and protection
and dissemination of public data.
With reference more specifically to back-office processes, responsibilities must take into
account the questions of ownership and authorized access levels (i.e. browse, update, delete,
manage) for data processed by applications shared between different agencies.
It will therefore be necessary to set common rules to:
define representation standards for the information exchanged between agencies;
enable each agency to determine the different types of data and information that are
to be made available;
draw up, with the involvement of all the agencies concerned, a map of all data of
common interest owned by an agency.
Given the strong need, as mentioned above, for data of common interest to be unique and
non-redundant, once these maps are complete and data representation is determined and
agreed, the next step in the model is to build common information bases for this kind of
data, where the pieces of information are stored just once in a standard representation
All the applications from several different agencies will share this single common data
repository, which will be made accessible with the appropriate level of authorization; a
typical example is the public register for citizens and enterprises. In this way the quality
requirements can be met with the minimum investment and operational effort.
3.4 PUBLIC ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS
3.4.1 A Framework for Public Accounting Systems
While analyzing a model for Public Accounting systems, it may be useful to introduce a
reference framework that is designed to provide an overall view of what the systems should
Exhibit 7 illustrates the four critical stages that an
integrated public accounting system should
1. Strategic Planning is the phase during which
high-level goals and public missions are set,
typically at a political level
2. Target setting is closely connected to the
previous phase, since quantitative targets are
identified in relation to previously defined
3. Budgeting and Critical Forecasting deploys
the State‟s financial and non financial
resources to achieve the goals defined,
according to the expected targets
4. Performance Measurement, through the
timely collection of information about
public expenditure, monitors the
achievement of objectives and the overall
Exhibit 7: Public accounting system performance of the government with respect
framework to stated goals
This framework requires the identification of different layers of information systems that are
needed to support the different stages in the framework itself, and the different levels of
responsibility, with regard to public bodies (Ministries, Cabinet, etc.).
Exhibit 8 illustrates those layers.
Exhibit 8: Public accounting system layers
Strategic Planning and Target Setting are supported by a “goal settings and monitoring”
system that allows for the definition and monitoring of strategies and detailed objectives that
relate to either the State or the single administrations. This system is typically managed at
the level of the Cabinet.
Strategies and goals, once set, need to be monitored through an integrated suite of systems
The local component of the “goals‟ setting and monitoring” system that makes it
possible to define and monitor local goals (e.g. the goals of each ministry), in a way
that is closely integrated with the central system and strategies described above;
The Budgeting and Management Accounting systems that are intended to support the
estimate of financial expenditures, with respect to the goals set out above, and the
financial analysis as seen from a management perspective and not necessarily from
the point of view of the rigid rules of Public Accounting;
The General Accounting module forms the base of the ideal pyramid of systems,
integrating the ledger of public accounts with sub-ledgers that perform specific
functions such as accounts payable, assets management, etc. From a general point of
view, accounting and financial information are recorded in sub-ledgers (e.g. an
invoice received from a supplier is recorded in the accounts payable sub-ledger) and
aggregate data are then transferred automatically to the general ledger.
This suite is typically implemented in every ministry and in central government (central
government offices) and, optionally, at the regional level (local government). While for
ministries and central government offices the use of the systems is mandatory, at the local
level the system is used on a voluntary basis.
As shown in the illustration, there is a middle layer that collects budgeting, financial and
management information from each Ministry, at the lowest level, and consolidates
information in order to prepare the official public account statements; typically this role is
assigned to the Ministry for the Economy. Of course, such a Ministry will also be provided
with the system suite described above, as will all the operational units.
Finally, systems between the three levels are integrated and connected, so that the middle
layer can perform statutory controls over local expenditures and accounting practices.
3.4.2 Modernization of public accounting systems: implementation
Some considerations need to be taken into account when planning significant changes to
public accounting systems:
Safeguarding of investments. Normally all the modernization efforts build upon an
existing substratum of systems, accounting practices and financial rules. No “big-
bang” approaches are suggested; public accounting and financial rules should not be
changed unless necessary.
Use of commercial software packages. Commercial software (e.g. ERPs) should be
used as far as possible, to exploit the benefits of upgrades by new releases, avoid the
costs involved in maintaining custom-developed systems and ensure the evolution of
systems. Open source environment should be evaluated.
Training. The use of standard platforms across various public bodies can optimize
training costs and help to create a professional family of public financial experts
across government as a whole
Quality of financial data. The use of common rules, accounting practices and
techniques helps to increase the comparability and transparency of public finance
Gradual approach. Due to the complexity of the subject and its wide impact, changes
should be introduced gradually. This is discussed in further detail in the next
International experiences suggest a gradual implementation process, starting from a “Pilot
Ministry” and then extending the system to the remaining Administrations (see Exhibit 9).
Exhibit 9: Implementation approach
The Pilot phase is based on the realization of a common nucleus (the “kernel”) containing
the basic functionalities that support common administrative activities, along with
extensions needed to perform the specific administrative functions of the Pilot Ministry.
The extensions are then used to implement the system (kernel and specific extensions) in the
Bilateral and multilateral donor agencies recognize the need for greater accountability as a
factor to enhance the effectiveness of the aid flow.
Accordingly, special attention needs to be devoted to the improvement of records systems, in
order to support financial management (from budgeting to auditing) and reduce the risk of
mishandling of funds. Such improvements imply the deployment of targeted electronic
information systems, as a tool to manage the ever-increasing amount of documentation
related to government operations (e.g. payrolls, tenders, contracts etc).
Building upon the expertise already available where such issues have already been taken
into account, an E-Model has been drawn up as a collection of good practices relevant to:
managing the financial records;
monitoring the performance of record keeping systems;
from the national (central) level to the local authorities and specialized bodies, according to
the specific structure of each organizational context.
On the basis of this expertise, the main functionalities of a records management and control
system are essentially listed as:
registration and classification;
access and retrieval;
maintaining audit trails;
scheduling and retention;
The operation of such a system is not just a technical task; rather, it has to rely upon a well-
defined framework, with reference to:
legal and regulatory issues;
standards and operational procedures;
institutional legacies and requirements.
Exhibit 10 provides a useful picture of the different components of this framework.
Source: Principles and Practices in Managing Financial Records: A Reference Model and Assessment Tool, World Bank
Information for Development Program (infoDEV). March 2001
Exhibit 10: Financial Management and accountability Framework
In order to correctly deploy such systems, the need to focus on accountability issues at the
design stage (that is, in advance of the resource-consuming implementation phase) is
becoming increasingly important. This is a challenge for the industry, if it is to succeed in
meeting the real needs of the public sector; it is also a challenge for the public sector, if it is
to be able to recognize and endorse the validity of the solutions offered by the industry.
To correctly meet such challenges (also taking into account the specific context in terms of
legal and cultural legacies), a conceptual framework (that is tailored to the requirements of
financial accountability) would prove to be very valuable.
Some instances of such conceptual frameworks are already being made available. A
thorough analysis of their capabilities to assess the adequacy of current systems, to provide
input for the design of the new system, and to steer the implementation process, would
appear to be useful. In conclusion, the solution suggested is the following:
General accounting principles should be set, while detailed internal rules can be the
result of a country-specific process of customization
The management of financial records should be considered as a key factor and
stringent principles and practices should be applied. A suggested model is outlined in
“Principles and Practices in Managing Financial Records: A Reference Model and
Assessment Tool”, World Bank Information for Development Program, March 2001.
The technological solution should be preferably found within the existing ERP
platforms, in particular in the available “government” suites. The ongoing effort is
directed at ensuring the compliancy of these platforms with the criteria set out in the
points listed above. The availability of open source environment option should be
3.5 SERVICE CHANNELS
The choice of delivery channels for services is of strategic importance for governments,
which are likely to be the biggest service providers in their countries. This chapter is divided
into five sections, covering the main aspects involving service channels:
Multi-channel strategy, explaining the concept of multi-channel, the reasons for the
key role of this strategy in a modern government, and how a multi-channel strategy
affects the other aspects of the government administration.
Channel selection criteria, outlining the guidelines to be followed during the process
of choosing the various service channels.
One-stop-shop service delivery, covering the characteristics of a one-stop-shop
approach and its impact on the other aspects of the government administration.
“Life events approach”, describing the approach followed in designing the unified
national portal to interact with citizens and enterprises.
Service delivery and authentication, explaining the means of access to different
services, taking into consideration the important issue of authentication
3.5.1 Multi-channel strategy
Citizens and enterprises expect to be offered rapid and simple channels of communication,
which vary in relation to several underlying conditions: for example, businesses want to
access government services quickly and through “one-stop-shopping”, using, maybe, a Web
portal or a kiosk.
In order to best satisfy the needs of citizens, enterprises and other government agencies, a
multi-channel strategy is the most advantageous (although not the only) option, as it makes it
possible to take into account the different features that influence the choice of delivery
channel for a given government service: type of service, economic aspects, usability aspects,
infrastructures, social and cultural aspects, geography of the country, etc. Even though a
service might be delivered to best effect through one single channel, the set of government
services, taken as a whole, is likely to need different delivery channels for different services.
A well-implemented multi-channel strategy can also help governments to dramatically
reduce the cost of delivering services, while increasing the service level offered to citizens
and enterprises. For example, delivering government-related information through the
Internet, call centers or kiosks not only increases the service level for citizens living in rural
areas, who cannot easily get to government offices, but could also reduce the cost of
delivery by reducing the degree to which the more expensive physical delivery channels
need to be used.
A multi-channel strategy comprises both physical locations (government offices, third party
offices, kiosks) and virtual channels (Web portal, mobile phones, call centers), both mono-
directional (radio, TV) and bi-directional (government offices, Web portal, call centers,
The opportunity for citizens and businesses to interact with government through different
channels can also reduce the burden of obtaining services; for example, the United Nations
Human Development report suggests that in Bangladesh a single call to obtain information
can provide real savings amounting to 3-10% of the average family‟s monthly income to
individuals, schools and health centers, benefiting poor householders who use village
phones for calls instead of more expensive channels (e.g. going to the closest government
office) to collect information.2
In the long run, another advantage of a well-implemented multi-channel strategy could be to
foster participation in public life, since it provides simple and rapid ways for citizens to
interact with government at all levels.
The implementation of a multi-channel strategy influences all the other aspects of
government: processes, organization, human resources and ICT. Processes need to become
adaptable to service provision through different channels; the organizational framework
might need a redesign in order to better respond to the characteristics of different channels
(for example, the introduction of a call center channel usually needs a dedicated
organizational structure). Human resources might need additional training to learn how to
2 Source: UNDP, “Human Development Report 2001”.
interact with end users through different channels, and how to maintain the different
channels; while ICT, obviously, must often be upgraded, as many channels are ICT enabled
(Web, kiosks, but also call centers).
3.5.2 Channel selection criteria
The selection of the channel (or channels) best suited to deliver a given class of services is,
in general, very complex and a structured approach is needed to take into consideration all
the elements involved in this selection.
The suggested approach considers three dimensions in order to evaluate, for each service,
the appropriate delivery channels. This framework enables the implementing country to
understand the feasibility, appropriateness and costs of each service delivery channel (see
Exhibit 11). The dimensions to be assessed are:
Characteristics of each service to be delivered: some of the parameters considered in
this dimension are: number of hits (high versus low utilization), type of interaction
required for the service to be accomplished (for example the service may require a
physical contact to deliver a document), kind of information being dealt with (for
example private versus public information), nature of service provider (for example
public security officers, government officials, etc.), legal issues (for example,
privacy, security, specific regulations).
User base for the service: some of the parameters considered in this dimension are:
location (for example rural area versus big city), level of education (especially literate
versus illiterate), level of wealth, nature of the user (for example business versus
private citizens) and language spoken (one language for all versus different
Infrastructures needed to deliver the service: some of the parameters considered in
this dimension are: geographical characteristics of the territory (for example,
morphology, environmental conditions, population density and distribution); channel
availability (for example, presence of cable/broadband/satellite); channel penetration
level (for example, number of phone lines per 1000 people); stage of technological
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Selection criteria Selection drivers
• Characteristics of the • Frequency
service • Type of interaction
• Type of information treated
• Entity responsible for the service
• Legal issues (e.g., privacy)
• Characteristics of the • Urban/rural
user base (citizens/ • Education, literacy
enterprises) • Language
• Infrastructure needed to • Geographical characteristics
deliver the services • Availability of channels and
Exhibit 11: Criteria for channel selection – Example
3.5.3 One-stop-shop service delivery
Service delivery channels must be defined keeping in mind the basic guidelines laid down in
the model, and must therefore guarantee transparency, accessibility, one-stop-shop access,
and one-step service provisioning. The one-stop-shop concept means that each channel must
be able to deliver all the services that the user needs to achieve an objective (e.g. start a new
business), through a single point of access. This approach is needed to improve the service
level of the government administration: a one-stop-shop approach implies that it is possible
to reach all the services/information needed through a single contact, be it a Web portal, a
government office, etc., without the need for the user to understand which back office is
involved. Even though some channels should remain function-specific (for example, local
citizens‟ centers are unlikely to be suited to collecting citizens‟ reports of crimes, for which
police stations remain the most appropriate channel), the one-stop-shop approach should be
extended as far as possible.
An example of implementation of a one-stop-shop approach is given by a government Web
portal structured around life events (either of citizens or of businesses).
The implementation of a one-stop-shop approach to service delivery implies, as explained
above, that for any kind of channel strategy that is to be coordinated among different
functions or channels, most aspects of the government administration will need to be
adapted: processes must be suitable for interaction with different delivery channels, and also
for reciprocal coordination to provide a well structured service delivery process. The
organization must be pulled into such a shape that it is able to increase its capacity for
interaction with and between different government agencies/functions, as a one-stop shop
will provide services that are “owned” by different organizations. The government
organizational structure should divide front office organization from the back office, in
order to better coordinate delivery activities. Human resources should become more familiar
with the new services they must provide, which might require additional training. Obviously,
the ICT infrastructures also need to be reshaped in order to provide citizens and enterprises
with a one-stop shop; the introduction of technologies that make it possible to divide
delivery processes from the back office and to coordinate different back offices through one
front office, and different front offices through one back office, is a key factor in exploiting
to best effect the multi-channel and one-stop-shop concepts.
The introduction of a multi-channel and of a one-stop-shop service delivery strategy will
have a much greater impact if they are planned and implemented together, as both strategies
have far-reaching effects on all the aspects outlined above, and both share the same basic
needs: division of back office processes from front office activities, streamlining of the latter
and coordination of back office and front office activities, both internally and in their
3.5.4 “Life events” approach
In order to have only one single point of access for all the information spread across the
public agencies, it is important to have a unified national portal that is able to inform and
interact with citizens and enterprises.
The portal must be designed in an innovative way, with the emphasis on citizens‟ needs,
rather than on the source or process, and with the contents organized on the basis of a logical
flow related to life events, with simple intuitive access to information and services (see
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• Birth certificate
Birth • Paternity recognition Possible events
• Name change • Fiscal information
• Public jobs • Estimated income of a
• Studies information • Job search • Filing for tax returns
• School/University Education • …. • Tax payments
• Admission criteria • Wedding information
• Admission test Transport
• Marriage certificate
• Enrollment • Foreign marriage
• Educational aid Job • Certificate of domicile
• Opportunities to study Tax
Car • National Health Service registration
• Driving school Marriage • Medical expenses refund
• Driving test • National insurance contributions
• Temporary driving
• Medical treatment for self-employed
• Permanent driving • Building licence workers
• Property certificate
• International driving • Rent aid Culture & sport
• Authorization and Health
• Car registration financing for
housing renovation • Request for rest home
• Request for assistance Pension
Exhibit 12: Services: Life events for citizens
The other important factor is to collect and integrate in a unified single portal all the services
and information that is already available, but difficult to find through single public agencies
In order to avoid any possible exclusion, the portal must have internal graphics and editorial
solutions that also provide for easy interaction for the disabled, older people and senior
The portal must also take into account the multilingual issue, where applicable. As a single
point of access, the portal must be an important step in the e-Government transformation
process, from the organizational and transactional points of view, on a methodological and
philosophical basis that hinges on collaboration between central and local environment.
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• Average service utilization • Takes into account:
frequency – Number of people interested in the service
– Frequency of usage by interested user
– Number of necessary interactions to provide the
• Value added of the service for • Based on a selected set of parameters*, with
the user “return” and “license” services preferred to
“income” and “registration”
• Familiarity of target users with • Prioritizes services to students, professionals…
• Compatibility of average payment • It is difficult to fulfill online payments worth more
with online transaction methods than 250 USD
• Presence of a better performing • If there is another channel that works better than
service channel the Internet, it is not worth putting the service
online (e.g., bill payment through bank accounts)
• It is important not to prioritize services that should
• Elimination of “false services” not be performed (e.g., provide a certificate with
information already known to the government
* “Return”: services that the government provides in return for tax payments; “license”: licenses and authorization for economic activities;
“income”: fiscal services; “registration”: identification documents, citizen registrations
Exhibit 13: Criteria for identification of priority services
3.5.5 Service delivery and authentication
Providing online service delivery does not necessarily mean that each individual needs to be
able to access the service personally from their office or home, by using a personal computer
or any of the other possible channels, such as mobile phones. In many areas of the world this
goal is certainly not among governments‟ current priorities, being, rather, a long-term goal
(see Exhibit 13).
In any case, services will have to be provided online either through direct access by end-
users or indirectly, through intermediaries. However, services that are not organized in a
way that is relevant to people will limit the achievement of the broader access objectives:
they will actually increase divides rather than, in this case, using information technology to
A service integration model, where services and content are presented according to user‟s
requirements, is needed. The adoption of a life events approach is fairly standard practice in
e-Government today. This approach overcomes the old administrative way of interacting
with government - the one often referred to as a single agency transaction model - where you
need to know which administration is delivering what service and to interact directly with
This new interaction paradigm has the potential and capability of “hiding” from the user the
organizational and administrative complexity of the government. This idea is in principle
very attractive. However, its implementation may not be at all easy, as it will require the
deployment of application integration IT solutions and will clearly require different
approaches in different countries.
The integrated service model raises the relevant issues of citizens‟ identification for access
and unique citizen identifiers. If providing government electronic services to citizens is the
centerpiece of all e-Government strategies, the issue of authentication is perhaps the main
problem for an advanced e-Government policy.
The issue of authentication is generally a matter of concern with regard to security and
private data protection. These are of course not only technical issues, but also have
significant political implications.
No matter which channel is considered for service delivery, the question of how much
authentication is required to make sure that the right person gets the right service, is to date
an unresolved issue that needs to be addressed. Another question that we need to answer is
whether authentication for access is implemented in a centralized way or can be better dealt
with by using a distributed model.
Many e-Government services do not require strict authentication. Many other e-Government
services work well with passwords, personal identification numbers and other software
authentication systems. Although no significant problems have been reported so far with the
use of these systems, this approach will prove impractical in the long run. Apart from
security issues (passwords can be stolen, or guessed), the burden and complexity for the user
arise from the need to register with many different service providers and keep track of many
different passwords or personal identification numbers. Moreover, passwords and personal
codes do not allow a secure association with the personal identity of the citizen.
For all those services concerning access and changes to sensitive personal data, and for the
most vulnerable transactions, such as payments and fund transfers, there is a need to provide
a more acceptable and safer solution.
This provision is more than a technical security requirement, it is actually an enforcement of
basic rights and citizens‟ privacy protection requirements. Although private data protection
depends on local regulations, the problem of ensuring that only the entitled person can
access or modify sensitive data needs to be addressed in all countries.
Smart-card technology can be used to develop “service cards” that provide the
authentication required for these services and the high level of security made possible by
electronic keys stored on the card. Therefore, one of the most frequently discussed subjects
when it comes to e-Government is the development and deployment of smart cards for
In fact, these cards can hold either personal citizen information, electronic keys for digital
signatures, possibly biometrics information such as retina scans or fingerprints, and/or
information needed for the delivery of a variety of services such as social security or
Of course, to avoid the situation arising where service cards become more a constraint than
an enabler in the provision of online services, government agencies - both central and local -
should develop their electronic services without assuming that a smart card of any kind is
available. Even if it is, they must obviously be prepared to serve citizens or residents who
will not be in possession of such a card for a long time.
Nevertheless, in many countries it is gradually being acknowledged that without the level of
identification and authentication made possible by smart service cards, the delivery of most
services would be inappropriate, if not impossible. Therefore, the deployment of e-
Government strategies through the development of electronic service delivery to citizens
would appear to go hand in hand with the massive deployment of smart cards. The key
players here are not only governments but also financial service providers.
Some countries have tackled the problem of providing citizens with a strong means of
authentication by planning the delivery of national ID cards, i.e. identification documents,
such as passports or driving licenses, which also can clearly benefit from the adoption of
The main purpose of ID cards, issued by the central government or by other public
authorities, such as those related to policing and national security, is to allow recognition.
However, in many countries and cultures it is not acceptable to oblige citizens to carry an
identification document and to provide proof of their identity. Consequently, it is
inappropriate to consider the government-issued ID card as the unique service card
From a more global perspective, we need to find a solution for enabling each and every
person all over the world, be they citizens or residents, to access services online without
been obliged to carry an identification document. When a service card is required, it should
not have the same characteristics as an identification document. It should be like a credit or
debit card, bearing no personal identification; and, most importantly, it should not be
delivered by government authorities.
3.6 INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE (INFO-STRUCTURE)
Info-structures are a set of technology solutions for citizens, enterprises and governments
that enable the creation of e-Government. They are a core element for any e-Government
program because they constitute a fundamental prerequisite for the delivery of e-
Government ICT solutions and services through virtual channels.
The use of advanced technologies responds to the need to get applications built in different
environments to communicate with one another. Among these, “web service” systems make
it possible to separate the delivery of a service from the technology with which it was built,
and can guarantee integration between different application environments, simplicity in the
development of applications, and the intensive use of already existing application
components to protect previous investments.
Software itself is evolving continuously towards application systems that are ever more
integrated and standardized. Another step forward is the use of open standards and the
uptake of open source software.
This section provides a set of guidelines that interested countries can apply to evaluate their
info-structure needs and to develop an info-structure implementation plan within the overall
e-Government implementation strategy. It also provides some examples of good practice.
This chapter is organized in the following sections:
Guidelines to evaluate info-structure needs.
Guidelines to define an implementation plan.
3.6.1 Guidelines to evaluate info-structure needs
Starting from the guiding principles that identify good practices, it is possible to define the
general info-structure requirements that must be considered within the overall e-Government
strategy. In particular, the info-structure must be able to:
Guarantee connectivity between citizens/enterprises and government and between
different administrations. The need to integrate processes with an end-to-end
approach requires government offices to be connected with one another; the multi-
channel strategy also requires citizens and enterprises to be connected with the
Guarantee overall system security. The digital interactions between government and
citizens/enterprises require a security system that ensures the confidentiality,
integrity, accountability and availability of public and private data.
Guarantee privacy for all personal data: specific procedures are required to ensure
confidentiality of sensitive data/information in all model components.
Provide the e-enablers (e.g. e-payments, e-signature, e-records and e-learning) that
are prerequisites for the “virtualization” of the relationship between government and
Connectivity is a fundamental prerequisite for any e-Government program.
The concept of Government Network can be described as the set of logical ICT
Infrastructures (e.g. different public networks, site networks such as WAN and LAN, access
e-channels etc.) that are able to support the communication (e.g. voice, Internet & data) and
e-work (e.g. advanced services) demands of each domain, along with the demands for inter-
domain e-work (e.g. data sharing) and service provisioning to citizens and enterprises
through e-channels (e.g. Internet, mobile phones etc).
Consequently, for each macro-component of a Government Network, there is not just “one
optimum solution” but a set of options with pros and cons depending upon the specific e-
government domain requirements, the geographic context and the availability of
telecommunications infrastructures (e.g. fixed network, mobile network, Internet backbones,
satellite networks, etc).
From an implementation point of view, the main issue is related to the choice between the
use of a public or a private network (or a hybrid solution). This decision must take into
account the following issues:
Security: even if a private network is safer than a public network, today new
encryption technologies make it possible to have a high security environment in a
public network as well.
Costs: overall implementation and maintenance costs must be considered. In most
cases a private network is more expensive than a public network.
Timeframe constraint: the time needed to implement the network should be
considered when choosing the type of network to be used. Usually a private network
requires more time to be developed when public networks are already available in the
Infrastructure availability: infrastructure availability can strongly influence the
choice; the existing network, in most cases, is a legacy constraint that limits the
choice to one specific solution that might not be the optimum one.
The network must be designed taking into account not only the current bandwidth, but also
the medium and long-term evolution of the network, and the convergence of voice and
video, following a standard common approach and the evolution of the Internet.
A public network, like for instance Internet, is based on a broad number of nodes and peers
that share information in a free way for groups of users normally not homogenous.
A private network is based on machines that normally belong to the same organization and
share information each other within the same organization. The users know they are the only
one authorized to access the private network and that the information exchanged can be
viewed only the belongers to the same group. LAN (Local Area Network) and WAN (Wide
Area Network) are examples of private network.
The border between public and private is given by gateway routers, where the enterprises or
institutions put their firewalls to avoid to external users to access to the private network.
The exploiting successful expansion of Internet pushed the adoption of these new
technologies for internal to homogenous organizations communications processes (Intranet).
A virtual private network (VPN) is a way to simulate a private network, using a public one.
If we build a private network without using physical connections, but using the public one,
we are creating a VPN.
A virtual private network is normally based on software components put on the nodes, either
in the severs, either in the clients.
Another evolving step in the network is the VPN solution “on demand”, that is able to create
a VPN in the same instant when the user asks the access to a specific service for which he is
authorized, with all the security criteria saved. With VPN on demand the users with a web
browser connected to Internet, can access to the network in an absolute secure way, without
predefined software on the client station.
The VPN on demand in particular gives additional advantages like no modification in the
client of the user and available to everybody, no additional servers, a security management
based on cryptography at application level instead of IP layer, but mainly introduces a strong
cost reduction, moving the users from traditional dial-up connections to the Internet
In other words with this new and well accepted technology VPN can create and extend
flexible and dynamic internal intranet, including inside the internal network for instance
mobile employees, other close organizations, partners, managing the access to the intranet in
a secure, saving money, and flexible way.
Information assets are, in general, more fragile than others; in fact, information cannot be
physically secured, and it is more easily destroyed, altered or stolen than any other asset.
The growing digitalization of contacts between enterprises/citizens and government changes
the security issue from an internal problem to a public interaction problem. Moreover, the
requirement of integration and data exchange between governments requires the availability
of private information on the network, thus raising security requirements. The security
problem is therefore becoming one of the major issues in e-Government programs, and
governments must provide citizens and businesses with assurances that their privacy is not
being violated. This means that an e-Government security project must address both internal
(e.g. transaction accountability) and external security requirements, such as the info-
structure needed for the digital authentication of citizens and enterprises.
In order to launch a security project, the security requirements must be defined in keeping
with the overall e-Government program, focusing on “what” is needed:
Confidentiality. The security program must be able to identify and authenticate user
accesses and define the set of data or resources that each authenticated user, program
or device can read or manipulate.
Integrity. The security program must be able to ensure that data has not been
modified in storage or transit without authorization.
Accountability. The security program must be able to monitor processes, user
accesses to the system and data utilization. It must also be able to provide assistance
in identifying unforeseen system events, providing automatic alerts to specified
Availability. The security program must be able to ensure that if one part of the
system is compromised this does not mean that all connected systems are also
compromised; that after the compromise the system can continue to operate with
minimal disruption; and that it is possible to restore the system to normal operation
after it has been compromised.
The use of ICT instruments has expanded the global reach of technology (e.g. e-commerce,
online communication systems, video-surveillance, Internet) and has had a strong impact on
citizens’ private lives.
The need to bring legislative frameworks into line with these developments, with laws and
rules designed to confer system dignity to the vast network sector, especially from the point
of view of the confidentiality that is inherent to the transfer and circulation of information
on line, is becoming increasingly important.
One particularly delicate task is that of providing an internationally valid legislative
framework for the complex structure of the Internet, whose activity involves regulatory
issues affecting e-markets, with related contractual implications.
In the personal information market, stronger guarantees need to be put in place, given the
possibility of using particularly sensitive data, such as information regarding people’s
private life (health, sex life, religious beliefs, political and trade union affiliations,
philosophy, racial or ethnic origin).
An initial distinction needs to be made with regard to the data-handling operations carried
out: on the one hand, paper-based operations, and on the other operations wholly or partly
based on electronic or other automated instruments.
This last category can be sub-divided into a further three categories:
treatment of personal data by computers that are not accessible by other computers or
treatment of personal data by computers accessible on a network basis. This category can
in turn be divided into:
o computers accessible by other computers only through networks not available to the
o computers accessible through a telecommunication network available to the public;
treatment of personal data for purely personal purposes through computers regularly
accessible by other computers.
Care must also be taken to check that documents containing personal data are stored in
select-access archives, or in other words organized in such a way that the stored files are
sub-divided by subject, type, common features, etc. Access must therefore be organized on a
selective basis, with reference only to the elements needed for any given type of
Digital services that allow activities such as recognition, signatures, service payments, and
document certification are needed if services or information are to be obtained from a
government through virtual channels.
e-Enablers are the set of applications and technological solutions that allow the completion
of these common activities through virtual channels (see Exhibit 14).
ML9.9.22/02 - 270202 - 38961/MT
Traditional service delivery channel Virtual service delivery channel
• Authentication • E-Authentication
Face-to-face • Signature • E-Signature
• Payment • E-Payment
• Protocol • E-mail • E-Protocol
Exhibit 14: Info-structure e-Enablers
Even if e-enablers differ from one another, it is possible to integrate them into a single tool
(e.g. smart card), radically simplifying citizens‟ and enterprises‟ interactions with
government and at the same time speeding up the diffusion of the tool; the e-enabler
delivery strategy must consider this opportunity from the outset in order to ensure long-term
validity of the adopted solution.
Moreover, to ensure the success of e-enablers, the government of the interested country must
bear in mind the fact that the involvement of the local industrial and financial institutions
can dramatically increase the diffusion and usability of the tools (e.g. ATM use for payment
of government taxes/services); this means that the technical standard for the e-enablers must
be defined together with to the industrial/financial associations and (as far as possible) kept
compatible with pre-existing solutions already widely available in the country. Furthermore,
a set of regulatory prerequisites must be developed in order to provide the appropriate legal
validity to e-enablers, which must be completely equated with the relative non-digital
Obviously, the e-enabler requirements are an outcome of the overall e-Government program
and are strongly dependent on the country‟s initial situation (e.g. literacy rate, infrastructure
e-Payment services are an adaptation of the payment methods used in physical delivery
channels to virtual delivery channels (where possible).
e-Payment services are a fundamental prerequisite for all government services that require
money to be exchanged when they are delivered through a virtual channel (e.g. services that
are provided for a fee, as well as tax payments).
Key success factors for implementation are:
Existing payment methods must drive the choice of which e-payment solutions to
adopt: the e-payment methods implemented must be strictly related to commonly
used payment methods, whenever it is possible to digitalize them (e.g. e-Payment
through credit cards).
Specific policies are a prerequisite for any e-payment solution: it will be necessary to
regulate the interaction through virtual channels between citizens/enterprises and
government (e.g. electronic identification, data encryption, private data management)
and to give legal validity to e-payment services, equating them to traditional payment
methods (e.g. giving legal validity to electronic payment receipts).
e-Signature services are an adaptation of the physical document signature to the electronic
document signature; in this sense, e-signatures must be able to cover the same function and
have the same validity as the traditional signature.
e-Signature services are a fundamental prerequisite for the implementation of other e-
enablers (e.g. e-protocol uses the e-signature to certify the origin and authenticity of the
document) and, in general, for all e-Government processes where the identification of the
user is required.
Key success factors for implementation are:
Specific policies must be defined in order to equate the e-signature with the
traditional signature, giving them the same legal validity.
A standard e-signature solution must be adopted throughout different administrations,
in order to ensure the inter-operability of e-signature services.
e-Record services are defined as the set of services that are able to electronically certify the
origin of documents and their acquisition date, in order to univocally identify each single
document treated by a government office.
e-Record services are a prerequisite for almost all government services that manage digital
documentation, and they are also fundamental prerequisites for all government offices that
decide to implement a digital document or workflow management system.
Key success factors for implementation are:
Specific policies are a prerequisite for e-records solutions: it will be necessary to
equate the electronic documents with the relative paper documents, giving electronic
document the same legal validity.
Standard e-records solutions must be adopted in order to allow document exchange
and inter-operability among government offices.
e-records solutions must be integrated (or integrable) with document and workflow
management systems in order not to create a legacy constraint for the implementation
of document or workflow management systems.
e-Government must be accompanied by organizational reform and human resources will
have to be re-skilled and redeployed internally or elsewhere.
To face the challenges created by e-Government, the public sector needs to review its
recruitment and training and re-training standards. All of these aims can be obtained using
innovative tools. In particular, the best way to improve the training and re-training of civil
servants is e-learning, defined as a set of services to deliver content via all electronic media,
including the Internet, intranets, extranets, satellite broadcast, tape, CD-ROM, and
But effective learning requires much more than simply delivering content, it requires
creating a total learning experience including task analyses, learning objectives,
performance goals, feedback to the learner, and a managed performance environment that
connects the learning process to performance and business outcomes. e-Learning concerns
these elements and definitions:
Content: course structure; graphics, videos, sounds and multimedia; simulations, tests
Services: these consist of an evaluation of users‟ needs, components of plan creation,
(design, content development and programming), technical and systems integration,
site management and hosting, maintenance and online support
Solutions: these include training elaboration tools, course management systems,
collaborative software and tools for virtual lessons. They do not include hardware and
network infrastructure such as routers and firewalls
3.6.2 Guidelines to define an implementation plan
After the identification of the info-structure needs, an implementation plan must be defined.
This plan must be closely related to the overall e-Government implementation plan.
Some key success factors must be kept in mind during the design and implementation of the
Info-structure projects are, in most cases, expensive; a prioritization of different info-
structure projects is fundamental to correctly drive the investment.
Standard info-structure solutions are, in most cases, the best solution to implement;
even if in the short term some non-standard solutions might seem most favorable, in
the long-term they can reveal their compatibility limits
Info-structure implementation should be started as soon as possible, since, in general,
it requires more time to implement than other e-Government applications.
Communication and change management programs must be defined in order to
encourage the diffusion of the info-structure solutions adopted.
Partnerships with industrial and financial institutions are fundamental in order to
increase the usability and diffusion of the info-structure solutions.
Items to be regulated must be addressed upfront, in order to provide the chosen info-
structure solutions with the necessary legal validity.
The rules and regulations necessary for e-Government programs differ greatly from country
to country, depending on the current social, constitutional and regulatory situation in the
It is therefore necessary to define only the guiding principles that the regulatory system
needs to follow. In fact, regulatory reform is one of the critical issues that has often been
overlooked. Yet, experience has shown that it is crucial for e-Government success, both in
terms of affordability and long-term sustainability. Regulatory reform is a “must do” to
guide most e-Government applications. In cases where these applications were developed
outside the appropriate regulatory framework, the chances of their completion are greatly
e-Government requires the establishment of a range of suitable legal and regulatory
measures that are aimed at:
Integrating and sharing data systems within and among administrations
The use of this public information by third parties, especially the private sector,
safeguarding privacy and security issues
Enabling the digital exchange of information and transactions between government
agencies, citizens and businesses.
Recognizing the digital exchange of information and allowing electronic transactions
and record keeping
Reaching citizens affordably and enabling citizens to reach government affordably by
facilitating availability of and access to information and communication services
Throughout the world concerns are being raised about the safety of electronic information
transfer and storage. Governments must ensure that e-Government is preceded by changes in
the legal system to protect information and privacy in the digital age. At the same time
criminal codes need to be upgraded to incorporate cyber-crime and the stealing of electronic
data. The legislation governing intellectual property rights must be amended to include the
protection of e-content ownership.
One of the most significant issues from the legislative point of view is therefore the
regulation of public data distributors, with regard to:
an indication of the types of public data that can be made known and, of these, the types
considered as essential and the public actors distributing them;
indication of rating criteria for data declared suitable for the public domain;
indication of the principles on the basis of which to define licensing systems for the (re)-
diffusion of public data;
public tenders for the (re)-diffusion of public data by private operators;
legal validity of digital representation of data with respect to traditional means of
representation, by both public and private distributors.
To ensure data quality the following will be indispensable:
issuing of quality standards for public data;
ban on acquisition of data already held by the public body concerned (possibly in terms
of general profile), by reversing the transmission cycle;
indication of the timescale for the up-dating of public data declared suitable for the
public domain with respect to the timescale involved in collecting the data.
Countries should be ready to adapt their legislative framework to apply “electronic
equivalents” of traditional paper procedures, such as personal identification, signing and
filing. Legislation should therefore identify types and standards for electronic signatures and
authentication and allow and regulate electronic record keeping.
In addition, the move towards more intra- and inter-government information sharing,
required by e-Government, necessitates legislation that validates and regulates access to
such information and to data matching.
Accessibility to government by citizens and to citizens by government can be facilitated by
legal solutions that can affect the availability and accessibility of telecommunication
services, such as the liberalization of the telecommunication market, the establishment of
independent regulators and pro-competitive regulation measures and the introduction of
fiscal benefits for investment in telecommunication infrastructure and in hardware and
software, mainly through a review of domestic and import taxation on ICT related
equipment, parts and software.
Other reforms may prove to be necessary in order to regulate the internal organization of
government, with the objective of facilitating the adoption of e-Government. In particular,
the process of streamlining administrative procedures could eliminate barriers to its
3.8 CROSS AND FUNCTIONAL APPLICATIONS
The E-Model is integrated by a set of cross and functional applications description, collected
as “good practices”. These applications can be used to provide back-up support for a wide
range of government activities.
The full list of applications is presented in the Annex and it will be continuously extended as
far as the model will evolve on the basis of the expertise coming from real projects
implementation in the partnered countries.
4 E-Government Methodology
4.1 USE OF THE E-MODEL
The objective of this module is to provide a template for the e-Government implementation
process that can help implementing countries to: assess their starting situation, define their
e-Government goals, strategy and implementation plan, and monitor the operational results.
The e-Government implementation process is divided into five stages (see Exhibit 15):
Definition of strategic goals
Definition of strategic plan
Definition of operational plan
Monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
Exhibit 15: e-Government implementation process
The interested country will use the E-Model to proceed, taking as its starting point the stage
of development its existing digital program has already reached.
The different stages of the e-Government implementation process are briefly described in
the following sections.
4.2 E-READINESS ASSESSMENT
The objective of this phase is to support the preparation of a pre-feasibility assessment.
Before defining an e-Government for development strategy or plan of action, a thorough
analysis is required of the existing environment in which e-Government will be
implemented. Government can pose itself some key questions in order to assess how
strategically prepared it is for e-Government.
A country level of “e-Government readiness” is the degree to which each country is
prepared for the introduction of e-Government. By assessing the relative state of
advancement in the areas that are most critical for the adoption of e-Government for
different key factors, countries will be in a better position to evaluate opportunities and
challenges, as well as their own strengths and weaknesses.
However, as uniformity across the broad is impossible, the objective of the e-readiness
analysis is to identify specific actions for improvements and potential niches for the initial
start up of e-Government programs, rather than a positive or negative answer to e-
Government as a whole.
Focusing on the readiness assessment for e-Government, the following areas and key factors
(see Table 5) should be carefully analyzed in order to examine the risks and assess the
obstacles that may need to be overcome before entering into e-Government.3
Table 5: E-Readiness factors
Areas Key Factors
Awareness of political value of e-Government
Good governance, as a condition for sustainable
Commitment to e-Government and good
development, requires genuine commitment from
political leaders, the private sector and organizations of
civil society. In the same way, the introduction of e- Leadership skills
Government in society requires a strong political will to National identity and perception of government
see through the transformation process it implies for Legislative framework
government both in its internal operations and with Citizens‟ and civil society‟s participation in
regard to its interaction with civil society. government‟s affairs
Good governance and rule of law
3 In the past year several institutions have developed specific methodologies – e-readiness tools – that may assist developing
countries in assessing their status of readiness to participate in the networked world and to share in the benefits of the Internet.
For a presentation of the main e-readiness tools and selection criteria see the InfoDev e-readiness section at
http://www.infodev.org/ereadiness/. Some major institutions are in the process of developing readiness tools for e-Government
specifically targeted to developing countries. The subsequent versions of the Reference Model will include references to these
tools as soon as they are made available to the public.
A proper regulatory framework is needed in order to
enable secure information exchanges within government
and between government, citizens and businesses. It is Legal validity of online transactions
also needed to create the economic conditions for Degree of liberalization of telecommunication
accessible ICT infrastructures, services, and equipment market, including the internet service providers
Positive fiscal environment for acquisition of IT
International experience shows that the introduction of e- Administrative structures and legacies
Government calls for and causes profound and Public administration reforms
evolutionary change in the institutional arrangements. To Civil service reform
guide this transformation process, appropriate
Central coordination and support unit
management and coordination mechanisms are needed.
Change agents and management
Cultural and human resources conditions
Positive attitudes, knowledge and skills need to be in Culture, traditions and languages
place – especially within the public sector – to initiate, Gender inequality
implement and sustain e-Government.
Cultural aspects may cause general resistance to change IT literacy and number of online users
and information-sharing. Inadequate human resource
capacity may lead to lack of customer-orientation and IT educational facilities and programs
overall commitment. Culture of information and knowledge sharing
Prevailing organizational culture
Attitude and adaptability to change, especially in
Managerial skills in the public sector
Service orientation of public administration
Financial conditions and sustainability of the projects
The initial costs related to implementing e-Government Resource allocation process
can be considerable and Governments may have limited National income structure
capacity to bridge the period between initial investments
Access to alternative financing mechanisms
Partnerships with private sector and other players
Proper resource planning and access to innovative
funding mechanisms is critical for e-Government Access to capital markets
sustainability. Mechanisms for venture investment
Available financial resources
In today‟s world, communicating with citizens is a duty Citizens‟ awareness and understanding of ICT and
and a necessity for governments. e-Government
E-Government needs to be accepted and understood by Communication culture and channels
all stakeholders to ensure that its benefits flow to society Information and knowledge sharing
as a whole.
Lack of technologies is a major bottleneck for countries (Tele) communications infrastructure
aiming to implement and maintain e-Government. Penetration rates of telecommunications
Legacy systems may also represent considerable
obstacles to change. Urban versus rural: demographic/geographic bias
The demographic and geographic conditions of different Software and hardware (legacy systems)
areas, accompanied by the distribution of economic IT standards
activities, may also represent a strong bias in the rollout
of ICT infrastructure if left to the market alone.
Data and information systems
Management systems, records and work processes must Legacy of data processing, management
be in place to provide the necessary data to support the information and decision support systems
move to e-Government. Available and accessible data and information
Data collection procedures and data and
Data and information quality and data security
Capacity to analyze data and utilize information
Capacity to direct information flows into
Countries should update this environmental analysis on a regular basis to reassess their
readiness against technological progress and on-going changes in the governance system.
4.3 DEFINITION OF STRATEGIC GOALS
Sound strategic goals must be identified to set the path for e-Government. They must also be
openly expressed to raise public awareness and create new forms of partnership.
Strategic goals may include the achievement of:
Government as a catalytic force of social and economic development, empowering its
institutions through the use of ICT to work together with civil society to meet the
needs expressed by its constituency.
Accountable, efficient and effective processes for performing government
administration, reducing transaction costs and enhancing policy coordination between
the different government entities.
Effective delivery of public services through efficient administrative and financial
systems, ensuring quality, accessibility, affordability and sustainability.
Increased capacity of Government to engage in participatory and consultative
decision-making processes, by simplifying and increasing interaction and transactions
between citizens, the private sector and government through the provision of online
services and channels of participation.
4.4 DEFINITION OF STRATEGIC PLAN
The strategic plan should respond to the vision that the implementing country has defined.
Each project should be a building block contributing to the realization of the strategic goals
defined upfront. The Plan will depend on the overall government objectives, needs and
opportunities, and will use as its main reference tool the scenario setting out the expected
impact of projects and policies (that will be analyzed in section 4.4.1).
The objective of this phase is to define the strategic plan for the e-Government program on
the following topics:
Areas of intervention. Medium term objectives and the subsequent major changes to
be introduced in order to achieve them, from the points of view of ICT, regulatory
system, process re-engineering, organization and change management.
Expected benefits. Qualitative and quantitative expected benefits and the key
performance indicators (if possible) that can be used to measure them.
General evolutionary plan. High-level plan that prioritizes the interventions in the
Macro investment plan. An initial hypothesis of the investment needed to implement
the e-Government solutions identified.
Definition of roles and responsibilities. Structure of the accountability system,
assignment of objectives to different roles, development of the enforcement and
Involvement of private sector players. Possible role of different private sector players
that provide the technology, the capabilities and, whenever possible, at least part of
4.4.1 Prioritization of projects and applications
Countries should define e-Government priorities within the framework of their national
policy goals, e-Government vision and strategic objectives by evaluating the way different
applications draw on scarce available resources and the extent to which they add value to
and impact on the governance process.
e-Government tends to be multi-dimensional, impacting above all on economic, social and
governance dimensions. The prioritization process should focus on these impacts from a
people-centered and development-oriented perspective. From the outset, a participatory
approach should therefore be encouraged and guidance provided to ensure that different
stakeholders and institutions start discussing the different available options.
Experience has also shown that e-Government cannot be introduced through a single major
initiative, but rather through small, achievable components, which can build up success and
credibility. Achieving the future as envisaged by the policy-makers necessitates an
incremental and modular basis for implementation, a building-block approach that allows
for greater control and flexibility of the process, particularly during the initial phase. The
focus could therefore be placed on priorities that could create an enabling environment for
successive stages of e-Government maturity. For instance, the ability to facilitate
communication and the coordination of activities among major partner institutions could be
one of the main deliverables to be pursued. This kind of priority may initially involve very
little technology, since the focus would be more on reaching agreement on the
standardization of key data sets which could enable linkages between the information bases
of individual partners.
Among the most important criteria to determine their set of priorities, countries should
include sustainability, the rate of return in terms of social and economic benefits, and the
potential spin-offs that e-Government applications can generate. In fact, understanding the
“market” in which institutions operate, the social and economic impact and the potential
spin-offs is of critical importance in determining how the required inputs can be met by and
for the individual institutions.
Overall, however, the impact of e-Government on the economic, social and governance
spheres is still seen as the main determining factor in the prioritization process and in
establishing the level of support that governments will provide for it (see Table 6).
Table 6: e-Government potential impact areas
Economic impact Alternative, more cost-effective delivery of services
Consolidation of common internal services
Redeployment and rebalancing of the civil service
Reduction of transaction expenditures
Promotion of internal and foreign investments
Increased international trade
Increased economic cooperation
Better financial management in place
Business planning processes in place for all major operations
Integrated development planning capacity linked to financial
resource allocation processes
Increased capacity to manage natural resources in a sustainable
Improved revenue collection on taxes and service levies
Increase in employment
Social impact Increased Gender equality
IT literacy and reduction of the internal digital divide
Increased access to and quality of education
Improved education management capacity
Better delivery of and access to health services
Improved health management capacity
Improved social security
Improved social welfare
Integration and coordination of social and economic policy
Improved public safety and security
Increased capacity for rational distribution of public funds
(geographically and among population groups)
Move to development-oriented and people-centered service delivery
Improved quality of the environment
Improved environmental management capacity
Governance impact Greater accountability and transparency in public administration
Better coordination and cooperation between government agencies
Better coordination and cooperation between the different levels of
Alliances and partnerships with private sector and non-governmental
Improved communications and public relations
Increased awareness of rights of civil society and obligations of
Greater public participation in governments‟ affairs
Streamlined government structure and business processes
Decentralization and redefined role of local government
Enabling legal infrastructure
Enabling policy and regulatory frameworks
Promotion, protection and respect of human rights
Promotion of regional integration of countries
Enhanced capacity to coordinate and cooperate at international level
As e-Government applications can differ in the way they impact on and provide benefits for
society at large, governments should review the alternatives at their disposal to optimize the
use of their resources according to the country‟s priorities.
Various criteria can be applied for the selection of a particular application or group of
applications. Paragraph 6.2 in the Annex outlines the possible impact of some e-Government
applications – classified as applications that affect interaction and transactions between
government agencies (G2G), government and business (G2B), and government and citizens
(G2C) – on three main dimensions of policy objectives: the economic dimension, the social
dimension and the governance dimension.
On the economic side, these range from reduced transaction costs, to better capacity to target
services, increased coverage and quality of service delivery, enhanced response capacity to
address poverty-related issues, and increased revenue.
Other benefits, less often considered in selecting applications, include the intended
economic spin-offs that e-Government may bring to the business sector, which can become
more competitive in the national and international environment. Lower transaction costs and
simplified procedures will translate into comparative advantages for the private sector. In
the same way, increased interaction or “transactionability” with government can help create
Furthermore, economic benefits may also derive from increased accountability and
transparency, which may greatly reduce the risk of corruption and raise the perception of
good government among citizens. Citizen‟s trust in their government may impact on their
willingness to invest, and to pay taxes and levies for services.
Social benefits are considerable and range from employment creation in the third sector, to
improvements in the education and health system, and from better targeting of government
services, to increased capacity to provide safety and security. In the majority of cases these
benefits can be evaluated in political terms and quantified in financial terms.
4.4.2 A general framework for e-Government impact evaluation
When focusing only on the economic and the social impact of e-Government initiatives, an
evaluation of the causality mechanisms and their relationship as a basis for the impact of e-
Government projects can be attempted.
With specific respect to e-Government initiatives, the definition of a general evaluation and
planning framework including both economic and social issues can be a very useful tool for
governments. Moreover, if well designed and implemented, accountability becomes a key
element in fostering commitment and supporting participatory processes in order to drive
In detail, this section will deal with the following aspects that are considered relevant to the
clear identification of the social and economic objectives of the program and
identification of the value drivers enabling the government institutions to pursue the
the definition of monetary and non-monetary indicators to evaluate the program and
to monitor the development of the infrastructures and attainment of objectives;
clear definition of criteria for priority setting and project selection;
shared agreements on roles and responsibilities;
the setting of an appropriate system of incentives, both for governmental institutions
and for external stakeholders.
These aspects lead to an enlarged concept of accountability as a basis both for a stable
equilibrium among governmental institutions and other stakeholders and for a widespread
commitment to the implementation of the e-Government program at an intra-organizational
level. This would mean that, at the international level, any governmental institution should
be able to provide a transparent picture of its activities and financial arrangements to its
external partners - as an expression of mutual accountability - and to the general public. At
the same time, within governmental institutions, accountability for the program should foster
the commitment of different types of individuals to the implementation of the investment
program and maintain their participation throughout the time horizon of the program.
Economic and social objectives
The definition of a methodology for the assessment and control of e-Government programs
is closely related to the analysis of the government administration objectives. These
objectives are very different in nature and are often interrelated. Moreover, the priority
assigned to each one of them depends strictly on the country concerned. It is possible,
however, to define a general model that can be adapted to the particular needs of each
country at a later stage. Following on from the points set out in the previous section, this
model can be based on the following macro-categories of objectives:
Economic, both macro (GDP growth) and micro (cost savings and revenues for the
Social (service quality, safety, education, health, environment, employment).
The macro-economic objectives refer to the economic growth of the country implementing
the e-Government program. The micro-economic objectives are related to the costs and
revenues of government administrations. The social objectives concern the improvement of
the population‟s living conditions.
Indeed, the three categories of objectives are not mutually independent. Social objectives
can be prerequisites for economic growth, especially in developing countries. For example,
recent empirical studies focusing on the role of human capital in the economic growth of a
country have shown that the levels of education4 and health5 have a significant impact on
GDP. Moreover, the ability of government administrations to offer better services can
critically affect business competitiveness and boost foreign direct investments (FDI) by
foreign corporations, which, ceteris paribus, increase GDP in the receiving country.
4 Robert J. Barro, “Human Capital and Growth”, American Economic Review, May 2001, pp. 12-17.
5 David E. Bloom, David Canning, “The Health and Wealth of Nations”, Science, no. 287; David E. Bloom, David Canning,
Jaypee Sevilla, “The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence”, National Bureau of Economic Research
Working Paper no. 8587, November 2001, Cambridge, MA.
Analysis of value drivers
The value of any e-Government program must be assessed with respect to its ability to attain
the different objectives. In order to have a clear vision of the levers through which e-
Government programs can reach these objectives, in this section the main value drivers are
identified and discussed:
The relationships between the value drivers and the objectives are explained in the model
presented in Exhibit 16, where the categories of objectives are clearly identified.
9.9.22/002 - 030402 - 38961/FMR
ICT Development Macroeconomic
Health GDP growth
Efficiency Cost savings
Exhibit 16: Value of an e-Government program
The direct effects represented in Exhibit 16 can be summarized as follows:
1. An e-Government program contributes to the development of the local ICT industry.
This is critical to GDP growth, as also suggested by important empirical analyses.6
6 Dale W. Jorgenson, “Information Technology and the U.S. Economy”, Presidential address delivered at the one-hundred and
thirteenth meeting of the American Economic Association, January 6, 2001, New Orleans, LA, published in American Economic
Review, March 2001, pp. 1-32; McKinsey & Co., “US Economic Growth: 1995-2000”, 2001.
2. The improved effectiveness of government action, led by better-informed decisions,
can have multiple positive effects on a whole range of objectives. It can directly
impact on social objectives, as explained in the previous section. Moreover, through a
better analysis of citizens‟ and enterprises‟ data, it can bring out a part of the
“submerged” (i.e., informal) economy and generate new tax revenues.
3. Higher efficiency generates cost reductions for transactions, for example as a result
of the reorganization of back-office procedures.
4. Flexibility makes it possible to reduce the risk of creating future legacies. Two
different aspects of flexibility must be considered. One is connectivity, which is the
ability of any technological component to attach to any other component within the
organization. The other is modularity, which is the ability to add or modify
components of the infrastructure without significant overall effects. These features of
an ICT investment have an impact on the development, maintenance and
interconnectivity costs of the system.
Indirect effects have to be considered as well, otherwise the economic impact of the
program would be underestimated.
As noted above, the attainment of social objectives can have a significant impact on the
GDP growth of a country. Higher quality public services can impact on enterprises‟ value
chains, improving their productivity and enhancing the value created. At the same time, the
can also attract new foreign corporations, through increased transparency and the provision
of a clearer institutional environment. Increased public security can, especially in some
countries, reduce the pressures exerted by organized crime on entrepreneurial activity, and
thereby also encourage FDI. Higher education levels and quality enable the diffusion of new
technologies and increase labour productivity.7 Moreover, by creating a skilled labour force,
they can improve the attractiveness of the country for foreign investments. Improved health
and hygiene conditions can also boost labour productivity, through the increase in life
expectancy and the reduction of disease and illness.8 An improvement in the management of
the environment enables a better exploitation of the country‟s resources and makes
sustainable development more feasible. Finally, the reduction of unemployment rates has an
obvious effect on GDP, especially for developing countries, where the labour market is
characterized by serious information problems, as the case study carried out at the World
Each value driver can be analyzed in detail in order to provide more specific indicators to be
used in the assessment and monitoring of the program objectives. These indicators can be
monetary or non-monetary, depending on the nature of the objective to be measured.
7 Robert J. Barro, “Human Capital and Growth”, cit.
8 David E. Bloom, David Canning, Jaypee Sevilla, “The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence”, cit.
9 Maria Pigato, “Information and Communication Technology, Poverty, and Development in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia”,
Africa Region Working Paper Series no. 20, World Bank, Washington D.C.
The effect of ICT development on GDP is twofold. The increased output of the ICT industry
directly contributes to GDP formation. Moreover, the more extensive use of ICT in other
industries increases their productivity, causing a further growth of GDP. In his recent
analysis, Professor Dale W. Jorgenson10 reports that in the period 1995-1999, the U.S. GDP
has recorded an average growth rate of 4.08%, of which 1.18% was due to the contribution
of the output of ICT industries, while in the same period the average productivity growth
rate was 0.75%, of which 0.50% derived from the contribution made by ICT.
An increase in effectiveness impacts on both social welfare and revenue generation. Each
social objective can be measured by a set of non-monetary indicators. For example, the
education level can be measured by the average number of years of schooling and by the
average international test scores of the population.11 Table 7 shows a broader set of
examples of indicators and their explanation. In addition, it is necessary to highlight the
impact of effectiveness on tax revenues and GDP growth through stricter checks on
enterprises‟ and citizens‟ income and the consequent recovery of part of the “submerged”
Table 7: Indicators for e-Government impact evaluation
Objective Example of indicators
Service quality Customer satisfaction12
Service lead time
Service quality must match the expectations of beneficiaries (citizens and
enterprises); in the case of large mismatches, the overall effectiveness of the program
is seriously compromised, also because of the indirect effect that every single project
has on the others and on wider economic variables (revenues, cost savings, etc.). The
setting of a platform for e-Government should guarantee the typical “Internet” or
ICT-related effects, in terms of online communications, end-user friendliness, etc.
Safety Crime impact reduction
The pursuit of safety aims to create, in a wide sense, the enabling conditions for the
development of stable market transactions, enterprise start-ups, and the reduction of
corruption and maladministration. The e-Government program should be able to
reduce this type of dysfunction through the enhancement of transparency in
transactions and through the guarantee of competitive conditions in public tenders.
10 Dale W. Jorgenson, “Information Technology and the U.S. Economy”, cit.
11 See Robert J. Barro “Human Capital and Growth”, cit.
12 See David Swindell, Janet M. Kelly, “Linking Citizen Satisfaction Data to Performance Measures”, Public Performance and
Management Review, September 2000, pp. 30-52.
Objective Example of indicators
Health Life expectancy
The general improvement of health conditions, in terms of the quantity and quality of
the services provided and accessibility, could:
Reduce the amount of waste in resource allocation;
Make the government perform more effective services, also by saving significant
amounts of money in managing transactions (traditional procurement vs. e-
Environment Pollution indicators (such as urban air pollution, river contamination, etc.) 13
Employment Unemployment rate
Whereas it is possible to define indicators for social objectives, it is more difficult to assess
the indirect impact of social benefits on GDP growth. Several studies have highlighted the
impact of some of the social indicators on GDP, but these results are very country-specific.
The assessment of the macro-economic implications of improved social conditions requires
a specific analysis by public managers.
Two main sources of cost savings can be identified. The first refers to savings strictly related
to transactions, which by definition can be calculated as the product of cost saving per
transaction multiplied by the number of potential transactions. The second source is the
organizational cost saving brought about by the restructuring of back-office administrative
procedures following the digitalization of government services.
The value of flexibility is related to the reduction of the legacy risk, as broadly discussed in
the previous sections. In particular, through the reduction of legacy effects for the
succeeding steps and for integration with other government ICT platforms, it critically
impacts on the potential cost savings produced by e-Government programs. Accordingly, the
cost saving produced by flexibility can be measured by two indicators. The first is the
reduction of the cost to interconnect the new system with the other government platforms.
The second is the saving of costs for the future development and updating of the software
and hardware components of the infrastructure.
13 See Gene M. Grossman, Alan B. Krueger, “Economic Growth and the Environment”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, May
1995, pp. 353-377.
4.5 DEFINITION OF OPERATIONAL PLAN
The objective of this phase is to define the operational plan needed to implement the
strategic plan. In this phase the delivery strategy is defined (e.g. think big, start small, scale
fast), resources are designed and acquired and expected results are monitored. More
specifically, it is necessary to define:
e-Government solution identification.
Awarding of tenders.
Detailed plan for implementation and responsibility.
Investment allocation and control.
Monitoring of results.
If the project is particularly vast in size and/or complex, it is recommended that a test pilot
be carried out. If the pilot is successful, then full implementation can be taken forward.
Typically, a project manager should be assigned to coordinate the day-to-day activities and
be accountable to the policy makers. Project teams may be established, composed of
managers, employees and external consultants to carry out the implementation process.
Clear identification of their responsibilities is required. Test teams may be established by
selected groups of end users that would report to the project teams.
The immediate objectives must be matched by a series of activities. These are directly linked
to the inputs required, both financial and technical, as well as to deliverables. It is obvious
that projects should not be started if the required inputs are not secured.
4.6 MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTING
Monitoring, evaluation and reporting mechanisms have to be implemented at various levels
when introducing e-Government. They refer to both the performance of the individual
entities involved in the government system and affected by the plan, and the performance of
the individual projects.
At the level of the overall implementation plan, monitoring will focus on tracking the
amount of resources committed and provided for the implementation of e-Government.
Evaluation will measure the impact the implementation of the plan has had against the
outcomes and key progress indicators.
At the project level, monitoring will look at the linkage between inputs used for the
implementation of activities and the direct deliverables produced. Evaluation would relate
these deliverables to the actual impact on the performance of the government institutions in
which the project was implemented. Monitoring implies the elaboration of a systematic
approach to enable quick reviews of the project‟s performance
Performance indicators can be defined and benchmarks set on the basis of the expected
outcomes. A mix of these indicators, taken together, can measure the performance of e-
Government and its impact on the lives of citizens. However, one limitation is that
government progress or regress can not be directly related to the e-Government plan of
action through the above indicators before discounting any external factors that may have
affected their performance, i.e. economic shocks, disruption in the public service, conflicts,
etc. Nevertheless, they remain fundamental tools to identify priorities, monitor progress and
assess trends, in the medium and long term.
To measure the impact of e-Government initiatives two sets of quantitative and qualitative
performance indicators may be identified.
The first set is related to the overall classification of government institutions and it measures
success in transforming the institutions in the medium term simply by looking at the number
of these that have migrated from one phase to the other. This might be shown as follows (see
Table 8: Quantitative indicators for e-Government impact evaluation
TIME MAIN INDICATORS CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA
After 12 months Number of government departments that have Institutions that still need basic
started digitizing their basic data. assistance across the board but have
infrastructures, personnel and systems
Number of local governments that have started
for digitization in place
After 3 years Number of institutions that have entered Phase Limited number of departments and
2, putting their information online. local governments that still need short-
to medium-term support in putting
Number of institutions that provide interactive
information online and providing
websites to the public and internally to their
interactive or transactional services.
employees and other institutions (Phase 3).
Number that have started with transaction
services (Phase 4)
Number of local governments that have started
Phase 2 and number of those that have started
Phases 3 and 4.
Outline of government portal visible and a
limited number of institutions participating in
After 5 years Number of institutions that conform to the No further support required, institutions
government portal are largely able to continue their
advance through cooperation and peer
The second set is more qualitative in nature, although most performance indicators can be
measured. These performance indicators relate directly to the broad outcomes, as presented
in Annex 6.3.
Governing in the information age certainly raises enormous challenges, but also opens up
great opportunities for everyone. For technology can radically change relations and the
levels of interaction between citizens, business and the authorities, and it is therefore with
this focus on relations, rather than technology, that the journey of e-Government must be
The E-Model presented here is not static, but a structure that is constantly evolving through
a continuous process of improvement, expansion and growth, based on the practical
experience of projects as they are gradually being implemented in different countries, such
that its value will be enhanced as time passes.
The model has been designed to integrate different aspects - regulatory, organizational,
functional and technological - giving each of them the consistency they require and defining
them in terms of a comprehensive, unitary plan. For experience has shown the countries that
have been involved in implementing e-government for a long time already that technology
should not be applied to the situation as it is; regulation and organization should be revisited,
together with human resources, not only at government level but also at society level - in
order to fully exploit the potential of the digital means.
The key word in e-Government is not "electronic" but "government": e-Government
initiatives lead to improving the conditions for good governance.
Implementing e-Government is a technical and financial issue, but it is primarily political.
This Annex describes and examines in greater detail some of the instruments, applications
and information used in developing the model, with specific regard to the following aspects:
▪ Economic, social and governance impact/benefits of possible e-government
▪ e-Government performance indicators
▪ state of the art applications to support the activities of the public administration:
o cross applications (management support applications, shared government
o functional applications (finance, health, social security revenue management,
trade & industry, agriculture, forestry and fishery)
6.2 ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE IMPACT/BENEFITS OF POSSIBLE E-GOVERNMENT
Interaction Processes Economic impact/benefits Social impact/benefits Governance impact/benefits
Government to Government: G2G Efficiency in government administration Effectiveness in service delivery Transparency, accountability
Computerizing core businesses of Reduction of transaction costs Employment opportunities Accountability
government Countering Corruption Speedier processing Countering corruption
Integrated billing systems Reduction in transaction costs Ease of single payments Transparency
Land registration Income through property tax Official valuation raises capacity to Rule of (property) law
access the capital market Transparency in applying tax
Integrated planning Coordination in spatial planning, Less disruption through coordinated Increased capacity to inform the public
reduction in operating costs planning
Information and knowledge Increased capacity lowering Increased sharing of ideas and plans Decision-making processes become
management operating costs within and between organizations more inclusive
Learning networks Increased capacity lowering Employees benefit and in some cases
operating costs family members as well
e –Procurement in Government Lower transaction costs Increased use of existing capacity Transparency, accountability,
within government competitiveness in cross-agency service
Competition with private sector delivery
Decentralized data processing with Re-use of data can lead to major Ease of access to data eliminates Security, privacy
integrated access to virtual data cost savings redundancies, speeds up operations Transparency
warehouse Cost of digital data capturing is low Electronic record keeping is less
demanding on the environment
Interaction Processes Economic impact/benefits Social impact/benefits Governance impact/benefits
Government to Business: G2B Economic stimuli through savings/ Effectiveness in service delivery and Transparency, accountability, Rule of Law,
income generation Employee Benefits participation
Customs declaration Lower transaction costs Ease of declaration, coupled with Accountability and transparency
Timely declarations online help, lowers threshold for small
& medium sized firms
e-Procurement Savings and lower transaction costs Easier for smaller firms to Idem
participate in bidding
National revenue online Increased income through better Easier for smaller businesses to Transparent application of taxation
coverage and timely payments comply with tax rules
Reduced costs for smaller businesses
to comply with rules
Social contributions for employees Reduced transaction costs Easier to comply with rules Transparent application with online
Timely payments received support
Information and knowledge sharing Increased investment attractiveness Employment generation and Transparency
facility of doing business and potential upturn in income economic diversification
Access to socio-demographic and New business opportunities Greater use of information for Transparency
other government databases New service opportunities planning and provision of services,
both public and private
Land registration online Reduced transaction costs Easier transfer of properties and Greater transparency in valuation /
Online service may generate income lower transaction fees taxation / history of land
(sale of maps) Greater standardization of
Reduced maintenance costs if geographic information, allowing more
project developers are requested to file users to build their applications on this
their applications digitally platform
Vehicle registration Reduced transaction costs Ease of registration and fleet Transparency
management, leading to reduced costs
Virtual job market New service with possible income Ease of posting jobs and searching Transparency in govt. job market
stream for candidates at substantially lower Higher exchange of personnel between
costs and reduced time frames private and public sectors
Interaction Processes Economic impact/benefits Social impact/benefits Governance impact/benefits
Government to Citizens: G2C Income through increased transactions Effectiveness, coverage and quality of Participation of citizens, Democracy,
and savings on costs services Transparency, Accountability
National revenue online Reduced transaction costs Ease of payment and of applying for Transparency
Land registration Reduced transaction costs Easier to transfer property Rule of law, transparency
Safety and security Reduced transaction costs Increased capacity to maintain order
Rule of law
and fight crime
Telemedicine Reduced costs in epidemiological Increased capacity to address health Human rights
controls / reference and counter issues through epidemiological
reference / supply management controls
Employment opportunities Reduced advertising and other Easier access to information about Openness, higher degree of fairness
communication costs job opportunities in Government
Less time lost between announcing Easier (standard) application
post and issuing contract
Reduced transaction costs in
comparison of applications
Social security contributions Reduced transaction costs Easier to receive benefits Transparency
e-Voting, polling and referenda Reduced costs in holding referenda Easier to participate in voting / Democracy, inclusiveness
and polling exercises polling and referenda
New shapes and forms of Reduced costs in seeking public Easier to be kept informed and Democracy, public participation, rule
democracy (e-Ombudsman, e-town participation. participate in governance affairs of law
hall) Speedier process of public partic.
e- Citizens Speedier collection and maintenance One-stop-shop approach for Democracy, participation,
of information, reducing transaction applications and queries Privacy guarantees, secure
costs Ease of use of tailor-made transactions,
Better targeting of services possible information services Regulatory frameworks for electronic
New services could be provided Re-use of data makes it easier to authentication, record keeping, etc., all
(extension of smart cards) apply for services leading to increased citizens‟ trust in e-
Affordability in accessing services government
Virtual job market New service that could generate new Ease of finding job opportunities Participation of all stakeholders
income Potentially lower unemployment
6.3 E-GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
Outcomes Performance Indicators
Alternative, more cost-effective delivery of % reduction in transaction and overall operating costs
% of transactions performed online
Consolidation of common internal services Organizational streamlining
Clear lines of accountability
% reduction in operating costs
Reduction in number of staff directly involved in
provision of internal services
Redeployment and rebalancing of the civil service Number of personnel retrained
Increased number of staff with required new skills
Number of personnel retrenched
Ratio of professional staff vs. general service staff
Reduction of transaction expenditures % reduction in transaction costs
% of transactions over the Internet
Performance measurement and program Performance indicators established
Number of organizations that have introduced IT-
based performance management systems
Monitoring, evaluation and reporting mechanisms
established using IT
Number of organizations that report back on progress
achieved using IT
Better financial management in place Number of organizations with integrated financial and
administrative IT systems in place
Increased financial planning capacity
Better control over expenditures
Expenditure and income reports and other relevant
information available online
Better financial controls in place
Better treasury management capacity
Better cash-flow management
Better auditing systems
Business planning processes in place for all major Systems in place for acquiring information and
operations knowledge for business planning
Systems in place for economic forecasting
Number of institutions using project management
Integrated development planning linked to Systems in place for acquiring information and
financial resource allocation processes knowledge for local development planning
Community development planning systems in place
Local and provincial development planning systems in
place linked to the communities and central
Resource allocation system linked to integrated
development planning system
Increased capacity to manage natural resources in Geographic Information systems in place
a sustainable manner
Better information systems on natural resources (land,
water, minerals, forests, etc.)
Better resource management systems
Improved revenue collection on taxes and service Online taxation systems in place
% increase in tax coverage
% increase in tax revenue
% increase in service levies
Promotion of internal and external investments Business registration system in place
% increase in foreign direct investment
% increase in internal investment
% increase in venture investment
Increased international trade and economic Information systems in place on trade
Customs information system (online) in place
% increase in imports and exports
Increase in employment % unemployed
% employed in ICT-related industries
Online job market established
Number of vacancies filled online
Economic growth % increase in economic activity
% increase in employment
% increase in new businesses
Outcomes Performance Indicators
Increased Gender equality Gender balance in access to Internet
IT literacy and reduction of the internal digital % IT literate people (sex/age/ethnicity specific)
% IT literacy among disabled people
% of households that can access the Internet
Increased access to and quality of education e-Learning systems in place
Teacher ICT education programs in place
Number of schools with ICT education
% of schools with access to the Internet
Improved education management capacity Education management information system in place
Better delivery of and access to health services Telemedical service system in place
Telemedicine service system
Improved health management capacity Reference and counter-reference systems in place
Epidemiological control systems in place
Number of medical doctors connected online
Integrated hospital information systems
Improved social security Social security systems in place to manage and deliver
Better forecasting and financial planning capacity
Increased effectiveness of financial management
% reduction in transaction costs
Improved social welfare Proper information systems in place linked to other
governmental agencies to determine eligibility for
% increase of coverage of eligible households and
individuals entitled to social welfare
% reduction in transaction costs
% of children covered by supplemental feeding
Integration and coordination of social and Executive information systems in place on economic
economic policy and social situation
Information system in place on legal and regulatory
frameworks in the country
Secure communication networks in place
Enhanced capacity for research and policy analysis
Improved public safety and security National criminal record systems in place
Number of police stations and service personnel that
can access this system
Emergency systems in place (911)
Public safety management systems in place
Prison management information system in place
Access to international databases of criminal records
Immigration control systems in place
Regulatory frameworks in place to enforce e-
protection of citizens
Increased capacity for rational distribution of System in place for measuring relative income
public funds (geographically and among distributions and demographic composition of local
population groups) governments to determine redistributive resource
allocations from central government
System of progressive taxation in place
Move to development-oriented and people- % increase in customer satisfaction
centered service delivery culture
% increase of people using online services
Establishment of generic government portals for
citizens and businesses
Availability of personalized portals for citizens and
Improved quality of the environment Better availability and accessibility of information on
Improved waste management
Improved recycling systems
Improved environmental management capacity Environmental management information systems in
Enhanced capacity using IT to maintain environmental
Poverty reduction Improved human development indicators
Outcomes Performance Indicators
Greater accountability and transparency in public % of government business processes open to the
administration public (tendering, procurement, recruitment, etc.)
Online availability of governments‟ budgets and
Accessibility online to government reports and
documents, organizational structure, contact
Better coordination and cooperation between Integrated government information and knowledge
government agencies sharing network
Sharing of government data and information across
Better coordination and cooperation between the Integrated government information and knowledge
different levels of government sharing network
Sharing of government data and information across
Alliances and partnerships with private sector and Accessibility of government information (data,
non-governmental organizations statistics, documents) and ability to interact / transact
Number of IT-related public-private partnerships
% increase in private sector contributions to IT-related
partnerships with governments
Improved communications and public relations Availability of online interaction with public
% of people interacting with government online
Timely response by government to queries
Improved perception of government by people and
Increased awareness of rights of civil society and Accessibility to government legislation and regulatory
obligations of government information
Availability of online appeals procedure and e-
Awareness levels of principles of good governance
Greater public participation in governments‟ Posting policy drafts online for public participation in
affairs policy development process
Availability of online intervention on government
decision-making and policy development
(participatory budgeting, participatory legislative
Streamlined government structure and business % of redesigned government business processes
processes % of restructured government entities
% of integrated government services available as part
of the government portal
Decentralization and redefined role of local Availability and accessibility of government data and
government information for local governments
Increased capacity of local governments to manage
government administrative processes and service
delivery operations, through integrated IT systems
Increased monitoring and evaluation capacity by
provincial and central governments on local
Increase in number of government operations
performed by local governments
Increase in the delivery of services
% increase in human development indicators
Enabling legal infrastructure All legislation available online, with explanatory notes
Legislation in place to deal with e-documentation, e-
record keeping, e-authentication, e-signature and e-
Legislation in place concerning e-protection, privacy,
and cyber crime
Enabling policy and regulatory frameworks Policies and regulations available online
Guidelines and regulations available online concerning
Promotion, protection and respect of human Increased awareness by people of their human rights
rights through online access to relevant documentation
Communication channel available for people and
businesses to submit enquiries and/or appeals online
concerning their rights
Improved human rights indicators
Promotion of regional integration of countries Improved communication infrastructure in the region
Availability and accessibility of government
information of the countries of the region
Increased communication for policy coordination
Increased number of regional cooperation programs
Increased trade and movement of people and capital
between the countries of the region
Enhanced capacity to coordinate and cooperate at Improved global communication infrastructure
international level Availability and accessibility of international
information- and knowledge-sharing facilities
Increased communication for policy coordination
Increased volume of resources committed to
international ICT-related programs and projects
Increased international trade and movement of people
6.4 CROSS APPLICATIONS
6.4.1 Management support applications
Unified Government Network Ensures that all authorized users can access data
and procedures residing on networked
government systems, independently of the
networks crossed and the technologies used in
Decision support & data warehouse These applications support decision-making by
gathering, storing and analyzing information
from different sources
Performance measurement Definition of desired results, tracking and
analysis of actual results
Human resource management Organization design, human resource planning,
recruitment, administration, personnel
development, skills inventory
Knowledge management Knowledge assessment, organization,
classification and access management
Project/project management Project definition, resource planning, definition
and scheduling of activities, results tracking
e-Learning Capacity building and training provided to
public servants through the Internet or other
Security Ensures the integrity, reliability and continuity
of public information assets by guaranteeing
protection of stored data and restricting access
and use of the various electronic archives.
6.4.2 Shared government applications
Citizen/enterprise relationship management
Life event portal Web portal with a structure following a life
cycle (of a citizen or enterprise) logic with a
comprehensive service provision
Public information management & Information content management, information
dissemination delivery planning, processing and monitoring in
order to reach the whole target population
Constituent relationship management Discussion group definition, interaction (e.g.
information requests, discussion between citizen
and public administration, opinion polling,
online voting), scheduling, support, tracking and
Integrated Public Records System Envisages network integration of public records
data held in each municipality. The
municipalities each own and manage their own
data, which can be accessed electronically.
Work-flow management Casework flow definition (e.g. structure and
hierarchical relationship with other cases,
information classification, routing through the
organization, access authorization, transparency
of administrative procedure), scheduling,
processing, exception handling and monitoring.
Document management Document creation, modeling, protocols (if
applicable), storage, maintenance, retention and
Management of document flows The necessary levels to attain start from a
“minimum core” made up as follows:
o document protocol and registration;
o work-flow management;
o transparency of administrative
o optical, paper, mixed storage;
o document management (access,
increase in information).
Legislation on the net Retrieval of regulatory and legislative documents
made accessible over the Internet, setting up a
specific website providing a specialized portal for
the retrieval of institutional legislative
documentation, adoption of common standard for
document structure and stamping (in XML).
Acquisition and distribution of goods
Procurement Aggregation of product, service and supplier
information, price discovery and negotiations,
streamlined procurement process, order and
transaction management, support and strategic
Warehouse management Inbound/outbound process management and
monitoring (e.g. goods registration, pick-up
scheduling), storage planning and monitoring,
packing of goods
Goods distribution management Distribution resource planning, scheduling of
people, planning of warehouse space and
Info-structure cross services
e-Payments The e-Payment services are the adaptation of the
payment methods used in physical delivery
channels to virtual delivery channels (if
possible). e-Payment services are a fundamental
prerequisite for all government services that
require money to be exchanged when they are
delivered through a virtual channel.
e-Signature e-Signature services are the adaptation of the
physical document signature to the electronic
e-Records e-Records is defined as the set of services that
are able to electronically certify the origin of
documents and their acquisition date, in order to
univocally identify each single document treated
by a government office.
Facility management Space management, maintenance, modernization,
repairs, procurement of external services, energy
management, building control system
Fleet management Fleet requirement planning, vehicle lifecycle
definition and maintenance planning, resource
requirement planning (e.g. fuel, drivers), fault
management, vehicle assignment planning,
processing and monitoring
Real estate management Planning, execution and monitoring of building
construction, purchase or sale, building use
Inventory management Item registration and tracking, life cycle planning
and processing, substitution/repair request
Electronic payment orders Innovative changes in government payment
instruments, through the introduction of
electronic procedures to provide “certain
information, effective checks, and rapid
payments” between public administrations
Shared data management
Citizens registry Database, containing the data of every citizen
relevant to the activity of the public administration.
The citizens registry manages record creation,
update, read, storage and access authorization
Enterprise registry Database, containing the data of every enterprise
relevant to the activity of the public administration.
The enterprise registry manages record creation,
update, read, storage and access authorization
GIS (Geographical information system) Information system that creates, stores, maintains
and analyses spatial data relating to a state‟s territory
(e.g. environmental features such as hydrologic and
geologic data, and man-made features such as roads
Land registry The Land Registry records the ownership of interests
in registered land (e.g. house and land ownership). It
manages record creation, update, read, storage and
6.5 FUNCTIONAL APPLICATIONS
Budget and accounting
Macro-fiscal planning Macro-economic data gathering from different
sources, macro-economic scenario forecasting,
macro-fiscal plan preparation (e.g. GDP, public
sector deficit forecast)
Budget formulation, execution and Budget preparation, release of funding, budget
monitoring monitoring, management of individual access to
Foreign aid management Aid allocation planning, funding disbursement
management, debt repayment management, foreign
Debt management Debt structuring, debt issue, reimbursement
Cash management Payment scheduling and processing, liquidity risk
management, in-house cash provision
Government accounting Data gathering and processing, formulation and
auditing of financial statements
Tax & revenue management
Taxpayer information management Taxpayer data gathering from different sources (e.g.
citizens registry, land registry), data structuring and
enrichment (e.g. adding creditworthiness),
possibility of having different taxpayer views
according to role (e.g. taxpayer, citizen requesting a
public service), and relationship with other taxpayers
(e.g. marriage, parent company and subsidiaries)
Tax calculation Calculation of tax base and tax liability,
reconciliation of taxpayer‟s tax return data and tax
Tax billing Billing document processing, printing, mailing, and
Tax payments collection Processing of tax collections through different
payment methods (e.g. credit card payments, bank
transfers), handling of unassigned, unclear payments
Tax debt and refund management Dunning activities (e.g. for open payments, filing a
tax return), scheduling and tracking, debt/credit
interest calculation, deferrals and installment
Drugs and remedy registry Storing and updating of authorized drugs and
Administration Patient identification, tracking of patients as they
enter and leave the hospital
Service billing Service price calculation, billing, insurance claims
management, payment handling
Scheduling Waiting list management, appointment planning,
cyclical and group scheduling, bed and resource
Relationship management Processing and monitoring of patient information
Care, diagnosis, and therapy
Care planning (e.g. immunology) Objective definition (e.g. type of immunization),
target population definition, campaign planning and
Remote diagnosis Set of functions that enables remote diagnosis
through acquisition and electronic transmission of
images and clinical data
Therapy scheduling, processing and Planning and scheduling of activities (e.g. doctor
monitoring visits), resource planning (e.g. drugs, nurses),
recording and evaluation of data relevant to outcome
Clinical documentation management Creation, maintenance and archiving of medical
6.5.3 Social security revenue management
Social security contributions calculation Calculation of contributions, reconciliation of
contributor‟s return data and contributions
Billing Billing document processing (printing, mailing, and
Payment collection Processing of payment collection, made through
different payment methods (e.g. credit card
payments, bank transfers), handling of unassigned,
Debt and refund management Dunning activities (e.g. for open payments),
scheduling and tracking, debt/credit interest
calculation, deferrals and installment planning
Pension and disability/unemployment subsidy management
Pension requests collection and processing Request collection, request approval process
planning, scheduling and tracking
Disability/unemployment subsidy Request record creation, request approval process
management planning, scheduling and tracking, post approval
Subsidy/Pension payment Subsidy/pension payment mechanism planning,
handling and monitoring
6.5.4 Trade & industry
Intellectual property registry Creation and maintenance of patents, trademarks, and
6.5.5 Agriculture, forestry and fishery
Agricultural and territory management and Planning and programming, management and control
controls over the use of agricultural and territorial resources to
guarantee the correct and sustainable exploitation of
ATM: Automatic Teller Machine. Hole-in-the-wall style systems for accessing cash and a
range of other banking services.
Backbone Net Connection: A set of paths of local or regional networks connected for long-
distance communication. The connection points are known as network nodes or
telecommunication data switching exchanges (DSE's).
B2B: Business to business. E-business term for transactions between businesses over the
B2C: Business to consumer. E-business term for transactions from businesses to consumers
over the Internet.
B2E: Business to employee. E-business term for transactions between businesses and their
staff such as management of expenses, appraisals and remuneration packages via the web.
B2G: Business to government. E-business term for transactions from businesses to
government(s) over the Internet.
Back office: For stores or commercial activities, the expression "back office" typically,
refers to the set of activities that are not directly visible to customers, but are the foundation
for the business' ability to operate. See also front office
Bandwidth: A measure of the amount of electronic data that can be transmitted, either down
a telephone line or through an individual radio channel. In analogue systems, it is measured
in cycles per second (Hertz) and in digital systems in binary bits per second. (Bit/s). The
broader the bandwidth, the quicker the information can be transmitted.
Broadband: A class of transmission system which allows large amounts of data to be
transmitted, such as television pictures, at high speed. Generally defined as a bandwidth >
2Mbit/s. See also Bandwidth
CRM: Customer Relationship Management.
Client: In networks, client refers to an approach to computing which separates services and
users. A network client, for instance, would be a workstation - usually a single computer -
which can request files or programs from a central server, without the need to store them
locally. In the WWW: An application (such as a Web browser or newsreader) that extracts
information from a server on your behalf.
Database: Information maintained in a computer storage system.
Digital Certificates: A common security standard for online transactions (e-commerce) such
as Secure Electronic Transactions (SET), a Digital Certificate is issued by banks (e.g.: a
MasterCard or Visa issuer) to each patron and each merchant to identify them as a valid
transactor. More widely, Digital Certificates are issued by Certification Authorities to
authenticate the public keys of persons who wish to conduct secure transactions (including
encrypted email - See Encryption/Decryption) over the Internet.
Digital ID: A Digital ID is composed of "public key", a "private key" (see
encryption/decryption) and a "digital signature". When you expose your digital ID to
someone, you are giving them your public key. When a public key has been certified by the
Certification Authorities it is known as a "Digital Certificate". The digital signature is an
electronic identity card (analogous to a passport) which has been formed by your private key
and can therefore be read with you public key, thus linking the sender and the recipient.
DOT Force: G8 Digital Opportunity Task Force
Electronic publication: Document, file, journal, etc. made available in electronic form.
Encryption/Decryption: The practice of digitally "scrambling" a message using algorithms
which are secret to the sending and receiving parties. Symmetric encryption/decryption
requires the same algorithm to be utilized by both the sending and receiving parties. With
current technology, an 90 bit key length is required. The alternative public key - private key
system (for example the popular PGP program) is asymmetric encryption/decryption and
requires a significantly lower order of key (20-30 bits). In this method each participant has a
private and a public key. Each party in a transaction holds the public key for the other
participants through use of digital signatures (among other processes). Thus, a message from
one party to another is encrypted by the sending party by using the intended recipients public
key, meaning that the only person able to decrypt the message is the holder of the private
key (the intended recipient).
Extranet: A closed network, accessible only to certain organizations or individuals, that
operates using internet protocols to securely share an organization‟s information or
Firewall: A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to a network, particularly from
hackers. All information leaving or entering the network is scrutinized and warnings are
triggered if certain criteria are not met.
Front office: A merchant's system containing a store and its contents. It generates electronic
offers, and validates electronic receipts. As a generic term is used for sales or customer help
desk related activities that take place within an organization. Examples being marketing and
sales. See also back office.
G2B: Government to business. An e-business term for transactions between government and
business over the Internet.
G2C: Government to citizens. An e-business term for transactions from government to
citizens over the Internet.
G2E: Government to employee. An e-business term for transactions between government
and their staff. This is not so much retail as managing expenses, appraisals and remuneration
packages via the web.
G2G: Government to government. An e-business term for transactions from government(s)
to government(s) over the Internet.
GDP: Gross Domestic Product. The total value of goods and services produced in a nation.
Hit: A Web server is said to receive a hit when it receives an HTTP request from a Web
client such as a browser. Typical hits occur when a browser sends a request for an HTML
page, or an inline graphic that appears on the page.
ICT: Information and Communications Technology.
Intranet: An IP-based network that is not part of the Internet, but rather, is established for the
internal communication purposes of a single company or organization
Kiosk: Stand alone devices combining a number of computer peripheral technologies such
as a keyboard, video display, touch screen, magnetic card reader, and image/document
scanner to collect and dispense information and services
LAN: Local Area Network. A network allowing the interconnection and
intercommunication of a group of computers, primarily for the sharing of resources and
exchange of information such as e-mail. Usually located in a relatively small area (office or
building) where each computer is relatively independent (has its own operating system and
data files) but share peripherals such as printers.
Legacy system: A customer's existing system, often a database system
Plug-ins: Programs that can easily be installed and used as extensions to a web browser to
provide additional functions such as audio, video and support for flashy graphics.
Server: A central computer in a network which contains most of the software and files
required by the Clients. The server is usually secured by a series of administration privileges
and, due to its key role in the network would be backed-up very frequently and be projected
by a UPS (uninterrupterable power supply). The Server is frequently not equipped to be used
as a Client/workstation, but in a small company network a single computer could function as
a Server and a Client, albeit with possible reduction in performance dependent upon the
overhead inflicted by other users (clients) on the network.
UNCITRAL: United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
U.N. / DESA: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
WAN: Wide area networks. A network allowing the interconnection and
intercommunication of a group of computers over a long distance.
Wideband: An intermediate bandwidth without the fuller capacity of broadband
Wireless: Telecommunications system based on radio frequency transmission.
Workflow: The movement of documents around an organization for purposes including
sign-off, evaluation, performing activities in a process and co-writing.
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