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Digital State at the Leading Edge

Digital State at the Leading Edge

Sandford Borins
Kenneth Kernaghan
David Brown
Nick Bontis
Perri 6
Fred Thompson
  • Book Info
    Digital State at the Leading Edge
    Book Description:

    Digital State at the Leading Edgeis the first attempt to take a comprehensive view of the impact of IT upon the whole of government, including politics and campaigning, public consultation, service delivery, knowledge management, and procurement.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8546-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-13)

    The emergence of the Internet and e-mail as economic and cultural phenomena in the mid-nineties has challenged scholars to confront the transformations that information technology (IT) is effecting.¹ We are all digital now. But what exactly does this mean for key areas of social activity? For education? Business? Leisure? Governance?

    The last question holds a particular urgency. It is through government that IT can and does shape the life of every citizen, however apparently far removed from the digital interface itself. And the study of IT in government has become, rightly, a rapidly growing scholarly field, with a corresponding proliferation...

  5. 1 Conceptual Framework
    (pp. 14-36)

    This chapter begins by presenting a conceptual framework for understanding the potentially transformative impact of IT on government. The framework distinguishes between models of traditional and IT-enabled government and shows how they differ. The models are also illustrated diagrammatically. The chapter continues by setting out the components of the model of IT-enabled government more fully, anticipating the detailed evidence-based discussion of these components in subsequent chapters.

    Consider, first, traditional government. There are three aspects to government’s societal interface: voters, interest groups, and users of services. (Individuals can assume one or more of these roles at any given time, but the...

  6. 2 The Government of Canada: Government On-Line and Citizen-Centred Service
    (pp. 37-68)

    Technology has a long history in the federal government, as a subject of public policy and as a feature of public administration. In the past decade, the information highway, networked computing, and the World Wide Web have combined to blur traditional policy and jurisdictional boundaries and to take the government into new modes of administration and service delivery. Technology, globalization, and related management concepts have interacted with a society and economy defined by knowledge and characterized by new relationships, skills, and forms of wealth creation.

    The foundations of this new environment emerged in the mid-1990s, with the work of the...

  7. 3 What Keeps a CIO Awake at Night? Evidence from the Ontario Government
    (pp. 69-101)

    The IT Executive Leadership Committee (ITELC) is the senior forum for IT policy and management in the Ontario Public Service, bringing together the Ontario government’s top IT managers to discuss virtually all important IT issues and initiatives. It is also an excellent perspective from which to survey the increasingly complex terrain of public sector IT management. Charting ITELC’s reflections and decisions over an eventful twenty-month period that saw both a change in government and the launch of a major government-wide cost-cutting initiative, this chapter identifies issues and imperatives whose significance go well beyond the experience of a single jurisdiction. The...

  8. 4 Beyond Bubble Gum and Goodwill: Integrating Service Delivery
    (pp. 102-136)

    Canadians want integrated, citizen-centred service delivery. The Citizens First research reports (Erin Research Inc. 1998, 2001, 2003; Phase 5 Consulting Group Inc. 2005) have shown that Canadians want the delivery of government services to be organized from the perspective of citizens, not governments, and they want these services delivered seamlessly across jurisdictions and across delivery channels. Over the past decade, integrated service delivery (ISD) has been driven by citizens’ desire to find and access the services they need and to have these services brought together so that they can be accessed as conveniently as possible (Bent, Kernaghan, and Marson 1999,...

  9. 5 Citizen Relationship Management in Canadian Cities: Starting to Dial 311
    (pp. 137-154)

    Citizen relationship management (CzRM) is a business strategy designed to deliver a broad range of government services to citizens, and to facilitate dialogue with citizens. The objectives of CzRM are to optimize service quality, timeliness, and citizen satisfaction, and to increase the level of engagement of citizens in all aspects of the democratic process. Citizen Relationship Management will respect the public policy imperatives of universality of access and the rights of individuals to privacy. To realize CzRM, governments must implement processes and technologies that support coordinated citizen interactions throughout all channels (Diamond and Cooper 2003).

    In response to global, economic,...

  10. 6 Mining the Nation’s Intellectual Capital: Knowledge Management in Government
    (pp. 155-182)

    Government organizations are facing critical challenges as they continue to evolve into an electronic working environment. Continually pushed by paperwork-reduction mandates, requirements to handle increased workloads with fewer personnel, and the rapid migration of taxpayers and citizens to electronic communication channels, governments are adopting new approaches to knowledge management (KM). Three significant trends are converging and are causing public sector organizations to look carefully at their knowledge management infrastructure: a widely anticipated turnover as the result of retirements; an acceleration of e-government initiatives; and a move toward enterprise-wide architecture. This chapter addresses these trends by examining how KM initiatives are...

  11. 7 Moving Beyond Politics as Usual? Online Campaigning
    (pp. 183-223)

    Compared to the impact of information technology (IT) on the structures, processes, and systems of government and on service delivery, little scholarly attention has been paid in Canada to the political implications of IT. The next two chapters of this book examine the political dimension of electronic governance by explaining the ways in which politicians exploit IT to enhance their electoral fortunes and fulfill their legislative roles. This chapter focuses on the former issue by examining politicians’ use of the World Wide Web, with particular reference to the most recent federal and Ontario elections.

    In the United States, the year...

  12. 8 Making Political Connections: IT and Legislative Life
    (pp. 224-252)

    Once online campaigning has come to an end and the election results have been announced, the new and re-elected legislators turn their attention to their legislative and representative roles. Legislators play a central legislative role through their work in thechamber,committees, andcaucus.They also play an important representative role, in large part by providing service to theirconstituency.Increasingly, these roles involve the use of IT to connect legislators to other legislators, party research offices, interest groups, public servants, constituents, and staff in constituency offices.

    An analytical distinction can be made between IT usage by the legislature as...

  13. 9 E-Consultation: Technology at the Interface between Civil Society and Government
    (pp. 253-276)

    In this chapter we discuss the impact of IT on public consultation, a key component of policy-making. The previous chapter dealt with the use of IT by legislators; in this chapter, our focus shifts back to the executive branch, in that the consultations we discuss were conducted either by public servants or by ministers acting in their departmental capacity. As in other chapters, we apply a channel choice framework; thus, online consultation is seen as an alternative to other forms, for example, written communications or attendance at public meetings or hearings chaired by legislators or regulators. We deal mainly with...

  14. 10 Digital Leadership: The Human Face of IT
    (pp. 277-301)

    The arrival of digital technology in the public sector can be seen as a wave sweeping areas of government such as service delivery, consultation, and campaigning to a greater or lesser degree. The discussion in previous chapters, like that of much of the literature, attributes the penetration of digital technology to impersonal factors such as comparative channel costs and other aspects of service provision significant to both users and governments.

    The literature on innovation reminds us that some individuals and organizations respond to these impersonal factors sooner than others do, and consequently attempts to explain differences between early and late...

  15. 11 Evolution or Revolution? E-Government in the United States
    (pp. 302-324)

    In this chapter, I look at two recent encounters with e-government in the United States: the 2004 presidential election and the American military’s development of a worldwide information grid. We selected these cases because they are at the leading edge of e-government worldwide, as a result of their scale and the resources lavished upon them. As extreme cases, they may help to illustrate the transformative potential of information technology.

    About ten years ago, Gil Reschenthaler and I (1996) argued that information technology (IT) was revolutionizing organizational architecture and design and would ultimately make over government as well, fundamentally altering its...

  16. 12 Don’t Try This at Home: Lessons from England
    (pp. 325-354)
    PERRI 6

    This chapter offers a second contrast with the Canadian experience, and one that presents a quite different perspective from that offered by the examination of the situation in the USA. The rationale for the comparison is explained in the opening section. Next, some key drivers of e-government policy and programs are explained, as well as some of the most important generic problems faced. The empirical discussion examines first democratic and then governmental activities. Trends are described and analysed in online political campaigning, websites run by politicians and the legislature, and initiatives in online consultation before summing up the country’s limited...

  17. 13 Is IT Transforming Government? Evidence and Lessons from Canada
    (pp. 355-384)

    Is IT transforming government? To those who study the impact of IT, the question is inescapable. It shapes the discourse, whether as implicit premise, utopian promise, dystopian threat, or disputed paradigm. It is the question that has motivated this study and the longitudinal research design that structures it. We believe that this book has demonstrated how complex the question continues to be. The answer clearly depends on what is meant byIT, an ever-expanding set of practices as well as tools, both increasingly diverse and increasingly pervasive. It depends still more on what is meant bytransformation.

    Narratives of technological...

  18. References
    (pp. 385-410)
  19. Index
    (pp. 411-446)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 447-447)