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e-Government Front Office: On-Line Services Model

 Front-office refers to the government as its constituents see it, meaning the information and service providers, and the interaction between government and both citizens and businesses.

Front-office implementation of e-government involves two issues:

1) on-line services

2) citizen engagement

On-Line Services Model

There are many models for on-line service delivery. But none of them accepted as “standard”. So we will see one model by Australian National Audit Office.

A four-stage model by the Australian National Audit Office:

  • Information
  • Interactive Information
  • Transactions
  • Data Sharing

Stage 1: Information

The first stage is delivering information to clients or citizens. It can be simple website publishing information about service, procedure and other basic necessary info.  It means people know the information about service, when they need. Here the website might be web1.0 or static because Information is static.

Challenges for implementing agencies:

  • Need to digitize the available information and make it accessible through website.
  • One time development and one way communication so no process re-engineering needed.

Stage 2: Interactive Information

Interactive Information is second stage where clients or citizens have more accessibility than just looking static information. So we can say Interactive Information is the combination of Stage 1 and users' ability to access agencies' databases.

What user can do?

  • User can browse a data, exploring it and interact.
  • User can access required useful information by performing electronic searches and calculations based on the user's criteria

Challenges for implementing agencies:

  • Is this easy for all kind of Citizens? How can they learn?
  • How will citizens use the information?
  • What are the rules for making certain information public?
  • What is the target audience for specific information?
  • How to make information easier to find?
  • What tools can be used to enrich user's experience

Stage 3: Transactions

This is more advance stage of online services where user can also do their secure transaction. For this it requires Stages 1: Information, Stage 2: Interactive Information and users' ability to enter secure information and engage in transactions with the agency. This requires real-time responsiveness by government agencies to the service demands by citizens and businesses. This is always threat from fraud transaction and hacking so the system should ensure security and privacy of individual.

Challenges for the implementing agencies:

  • establish online service standards
  • ensure security and privacy protection
  • prepare back-office processes for on-line delivery
  • rethink relations with agencies for seamless service delivery

Stage 4: Data Sharing

For online service, data sharing between related agencies is very important. Data Sharing is the Stage where agencies' have an ability to share with other agencies personal information, when approved by law and with the users consent. For this stage 1st 2nd and 3rd should be formed. This helps to reduce the redundancy and ensure better and faster services. So it simplifies procedures in government services.

Data-sharing has many benefits:

  • simplify procedures
  • create savings in administrations
  • reduce reporting burden for citizens and businesses

However, there are some challanges:

  • sharing of data among agencies must be limited because of privacy protection legislation
  • all data-matching must be legally approved or explicitly permitted to prevent unauthorized /illegal combination of data

Service Quality

One of the important factors for better online service is quality of service. Service Quality can be measure on the success of an understanding of the user’s needs.

There is a growing empirical evidence on what works:

  • Effective services need not be complex.
  • Simple information services may meet the user needs.
  • Moving to transaction services may not necessarily add value.
  • Seamless services are more effective than delivering many separate services to the same user group.
  • Services should be offered through various delivery channels, with on-line delivery being just one of the options.

Channel Strategy

e-Government services should be developed as part of a broader service channel strategy, especially given the digital divide.

Integrated approach to service delivery:

  • “no wrong door” to access public services
  • on-line delivery as just one possible access point, with traditional channels - phone, kiosks, counter maintained
  • choice of channel is in itself a service quality attribute
  • channel integration is part of the overall transformation of a particular service to better serve particular customer groups
  • more efficient approach in the long term – more intensive use is made of common infrastructure and data

Reference of Introduction to Electronic Government[Tomasz Janowski]



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