The development of information technologies has led to a new form of communication with the government – e-government. It is believed that this form of communication with the state not only leads to more efficient and less costly administration, but also brings about fundamental changes in the relationship between citizens and public authorities and local governments.
Today there are many dilemmas about the definition of “electronic government”. For example, “electronic government” is not always understood clearly. At certain times of the so-called government of futuristic “electronic citizens”, which governs the lives and safety of the whole network and e-business in particular. In the modern sense of the term “e-government” is interpreted not only as an “electronic government” but as “e-governance state ‘, i.e. use in the public administration of modern technologies, including Internet technologies. Today, e-government – this is a very succinct description of the modern approach to defining the role of government in public life and society that is increasingly popular in the West.
So, a clear definition of “electronic government” no longer exists. The literal translation of “e-government” is not quite accurate in meaning. It is clear that we have in mind not only the network infrastructure of executive power, but in general the entire infrastructure of government. Perhaps we should speak about the “electronic state”, “e-state apparatus, the electronic infrastructure of the state, the state of the information society, or” e-government. ” Instead of “electronic government” is more appropriate to talk about the state network of information infrastructure as an information and communication system that provides optimal from the point of view of society, the functioning of all branches and levels of government.
Generalizing all the definitions of “electronic government”, it is better to use the term “electronic control”, which is to be understood by organization of state power through systems of local information networks and segments of the global information network, which enables the operation of certain services in real time. This enables easy and efficient daily contact with citizens by official agencies.
Electronic control system provides that any person or entity may make inquiries to government agencies to obtain necessary information and perform legal transactions through the Internet. In this arrangement, the relationship “a citizen – the state” can be expected to increase the efficiency of public administration and curb corruption. Electronic control can change the nature of power, make it more transparent and accountable to the public. E-governance also provides the real participation of citizens in political processes, particularly in law. Every citizen can participate in the creation of laws, discussing them and voting for them on the web.
The concept of e-government consists of two interrelated (and simultaneously self) projects. This is an internal government information infrastructure (similar to a corporate network) and external information infrastructure that interacts with citizens and organizations. Within the concept of “electronic government” integrated information resources of public authorities, provided access to them, as well as a system of online services (including those that have value). The Government’s network infrastructure must be aimed at solving the political, economic and social problems of the state and provide:
- Realization of the right of citizens to access public government information;
- Making available to the public with objective and reliable information on the activities of public authorities, which strengthens the credibility of the state and its politics;
- Interaction and ongoing dialogue with the citizens of the state and public institutions, as well as the necessary level of public control over activities of state bodies and organizations;
- Integration of information resources and services of state and local governments to strengthen national information space;
- Improving public administration, optimizing the structure of the state apparatus, reducing the financial and material costs for its maintenance, a gradual transfer of government services that have value in a system of government online services that meets the real needs of citizens and organizations;
- Effectively support the economic activities of public entities that are engaged in economic activities, allowing them to effectively integrate into a national and global economic space;
- Interaction and cooperation with government authorities in other countries and international organizations.
Modern computer information technology pervades almost every sphere of human activity: business, education, health, public administration, information services, entertainment and much more. A very important point: during the study revealed that the “digital divide” between developed and developing countries continues to widen. This is due to the weak development of telecommunications in these regions. And here it is not important where is the cause and where is the consequence: the number of Internet users did not increase due to the standard of living of the population in developed countries or in some countries it increased by the mass users of the Internet. Most likely, we can speak about synergies of social-economic development and widespread use of World Wide Web in technologically advanced countries.
General realization of the idea of e-government caused huge interest around the world. USA, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Costa Rica, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic and many other countries have already implemented or started to apply methods of electronic government. In particular, the U.S. government provides citizens with a variety of services via the Internet: the issuance of licenses, fines, etc. In England, Company registration requires filling a network of only one form.
In the West, governments use the Internet is now regarded as one of the possibilities to improve efficiency of government. That’s why a popular Internet notation “B” and “C“, which means, respectively, “business” and “consumer” and has long been used in various combinations (B2B: business to business, B2C: business to consumer, citizen) has now added – “G” (the government). As before, in the case of B2B and B2C, are now widely expected that the introduction of information technologies in public administration will quickly optimize all: to reduce the cost of maintenance of state properties, to accelerate the interaction of bodies of state power among themselves and with citizens. One of the main arguments in favor of e-governance, which leads its adherents – to increase transparency of power by switching to a new level of feedback as to the citizens and the business. In essence, we are talking about changing the paradigm of government. World experience shows that the model of e-government is natural and attractive to those countries and cultures, in which the state is perceived as serving, service structure.
Work concerning the implementation of electronic governance in the leading countries is held under the banner of openness and submission to government to citizens. Subordination, in turn, reduces not only to provide citizens with information through electronic means, but it also provides an open specification of sets of indicators of government agencies and the creation of public funds available for monitoring these indicators.
By choosing some positive examples from the world’s experience in implementing e-government systems, we can confidently conclude its practical advantages:
1. For Citizens – To receive services provided by agencies and institutions have access to them via the Internet, to learn throughout life and participate in government.
2. For Business – To have access to public services on the Internet, to collaborate with the state to promote economic development.
3. For Government Agencies – To improve its efficiency, improve customer relationships, and involve all citizens in political debate, focusing on strategic directions.
To implement e-governance in India, it is necessary to consistently meet four objectives.
1. The organization of electronic documents in state and local authorities.
This phase will include the following results:
- The technical support:
- Ensure all public authorities, local self-government computers and their connection to the local electronic network;
- Debugging the quality of existing links;
- Take steps to ensure information security, the introduction of a filtering method and the prevention of prohibited by the legislation of Indian information.
In this direction, several departments can reach a level that can become the basis for the implementation of electronic government (ignoring the fact that almost no problems with computer software in government agencies). Among these agencies – the State Tax Administration, the Pension Fund, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Statistics Committee, Licensing Chamber of Commerce and Industry, State Committee, State Standard of the Ministry of Education and Science, the State Customs Service within the legal framework.
2. Informing citizens about the activities of executive bodies and local self-government through e-Governance (Electronic Governance).
This task involves the presence of Web pages in each authority, which must contain all the information that illustrates the appointment, authority or that authority, as well as the creation of a government Web portal designed to integrate the websites of the executive power and placement of information resources to meet the needs of citizens. Today, almost all public authorities have their own web pages. This mainly concerns the central and local executive authorities of the different states in India. Nevertheless, there are problems regarding the availability of sites in local government, especially at e-Governance (Electronic Governance), township and village councils. A positive step should be taken towards the organization of electronic documents, as well as providing information to citizens by the establishment and functioning of the web portals of the executive power.
3. Ensuring the complaints of citizens to public authorities on the basis of e-Governance (Electronic Governance).
It provides a view of an information request of citizens to public authorities, local authorities via the Internet. To make this system work effectively, you must create a software that would make it possible to trace the movement of the treatment since its admission to the moment of its execution; need to develop methodology for determining types of applications that fall or not fall under those that require or not require consideration and perform (or not a legally significant). And in addition, need to make changes to the Law “On citizens” regarding the regulation of procedures for dealing with citizens via the Internet (the procedure for filing such treatment, dates of consideration, etc.)
4. Providing administration through e-Governance Services (Electronic Governance).
This means that a person filling out a questionnaire (registration card, etc.) directly on the site of a certain organization, or by filling out the questionnaire electronically and send it by e-mail to the appropriate authority may receive one or another of administrative services, such as , register as business entities. This task includes the adoption of the Law on Administrative Services, which would provide a way of providing services through the Internet, identifying the list of administrative services to be provided to citizens, including through the Internet, establishing liability for the failure or delay in the provision of an administrative services via the Internet, the creation of software for monitoring the provision of administrative services from higher authorities.
Provision of management services to public authorities and local self-government with e-Governance (Electronic Governance) will enable citizens to make contact with the state authorities more transparently and more efficiently.
Thus, the introduction of Internet technologies in the sphere of state authority, on the one hand, will give an opportunity to improve its efficiency, but on the other – will make more transparent the work of public authorities. Working online e-Governance will fundamentally change the atmosphere of interaction between officials and the public. Every citizen will be able to monitor the activities of government bodies, local authorities, aware of their plans to work directly and interact with them without the queues and unnecessary bureaucracy. E-governance – is the automation of work with documents, statements of citizens, certificates, licenses, and other formal acts that legalize certain activities of the citizen. It also allows a citizen to track the fate of his request, complaints, suggestions, requirements. The formal establishment ceases to be a dark box, which disappear all the manifestations of civic engagement. Electronic government provides, above all, transparency of the state apparatus, reducing if not eliminating, the dependence of the citizen or organization from official arbitrariness, and hence – to prevent corruption.
Creation and development of government web-based information infrastructure requires an appropriate formalization of legal acts and budget. It should be understood that the introduction of e-government – is a large-scale and long-term project. Not everything will go smoothly. Create an information network infrastructure, the State must be accompanied by re-engineering (i.e., information rearrangement) of the entire system of administrative processes, which really means to overcome the stereotypes of bureaucratic culture. And it’s not so simple. Maybe the concept will assist the administrative reform, which aims to modernize public administration.
Thus, electronic control, which at first sight is only a mechanical connection of information technology and government, in fact, creates the conditions for the formation of a new philosophy of governance, therefore, to materialize the idea into practice is necessary to develop a new legislative framework. First of all, we should think about granting legal status of electronic records and electronic signatures that today in India is already done. There must be the adaptation of the regulatory framework that governs the paperwork in government institutions, to features, which are caused by using computer technology. Requires research and regulatory issue defining the legal status of electronic information resources to be deployed in computer networks, government agencies for inter-agency, and for public use. But the main problems lie in the legal regulation of the provision of online public services and businesses. The general conditions of provision of such services should be quite clearly defined in law as well as the special conditions for their individual species, regulate the procedure for appeals and to standardize the application forms and other documents that will be used. Particular attention should be paid to ensure that the legislation guarantees the provision of such services. Without solving the legal problems the idea of e-government is doomed to fail.
Summarizing the above, we can conclude that the essence of e-Governance is to ensure for the citizens, first and foremost, transparency, openness and quality of functioning (activity) of the authorities without undue bureaucracy. All the prerequisites of e-Governance mostly limited to such fields as legal, organizational, technological and human resources. To the premises also include a psychological dimension – recognition by both citizens and officials of the need to implement e-government.
Consequence of the introduction of e-Governance will be openness and transparency of public authorities and local governments; savings in time and material resources, improving the quality of administrative services.
To achieve these and other goals for the successful realization of the idea of e-Governance we must undoubtedly perform the tasks mentioned above. But the main thing is – the desire, interest, which is so often lacking. It must also work hard to implement set before the purpose and role of government in this case it is extremely important.
Therefore, every effort should be from each of us to achieve the desired result, bearing in mind that the implementation of e-Governance in India is a very important instrument of democratization of our society.
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