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The Process of E-Government Public Policy Inclusion in the Governmental Agenda: A Framework for Assessment and Case Study

The Process of E-Government Public Policy Inclusion in the Governmental Agenda: A Framework for Assessment and Case Study
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Author(s): Federico Monteverde (Electronic Government Researcher, Uruguay)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 13
Source title: Systems Thinking and E-Participation: ICT in the Governance of Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Jose Rodrigo Cordoba-Pachon (University of London, UK) and Alejandro Elias Ochoa-Arias (Universidad de los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-860-4.ch015

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Abstract

The incorporation of information systems in government agencies is a process that started several decades ago, but it has sped up its pace due to the evolution of information technology and communications. This process could be characterized as being responsive to specific or by-sector requirements without policies or guiding principles. To this date, national and local government agencies obtain, record and process information in order to accomplish their duties. Their ways illustrate a fragmented scheme, noticeably based on the criteria of a self-referenced, bureaucratic state. Accordingly, the state has a myriad of information systems which are frequently disconnected. In spite of this, their remarkable evolution is a valuable asset that policy makers should consider. When the concept of electronic government emerged in the late nineties, it came to bridge the gap in the creation of public policies regarding the use of state information technologies and communications. However, electronic government it is not just limited to technology applications; it also introduces an innovative view on state modernization. The latter is presented from an external point of view that adopts the citizen’s perspective and emphasizes the need for coordination and integration in inter-agency processes. The development of electronic government has two basic approaches: electronic government initiatives and electronic government policies. The first approach resembles the traditional incorporation of information systems in government agencies, where multiple electronic government initiatives respond to specific vertical requirements. The second alternative incorporates a holistic view intended to build a global model of State through an electronic government public policy. This chapter focuses on the political process leading to the development of an electronic government policy, and it is illustrated by the analysis of the political process that led to the development of electronic government policy in Uruguay. The analysis uses John W. Kingdon’s (1995) multiple streams model, a conceptual approach that is intended to explain the mainstreaming of policies in the governmental agenda. The chapter further proposes that the multiple streams model could be extremely useful as a framework to be used on an ex ante basis for advocates of electronic government policy making.

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