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Journal Article

Information System and Information Infrastructure Deployment: the Challenge of the Italian e‑Justice Approach  pp43-52

Francesco Contini, Antonio Cordella

© Aug 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 95

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Abstract

Information systems development methodologies are still mainly concerned with the research of better ways to provide technical solutions for given organisational problems. The paper challenges the appropriateness of this scope of development methodologies when system development deals with the deployment of information infrastructures. The attempt of the Italian Ministry of Justice to deploy e‑justice, a new information infrastructure for the judiciary, is taken as an explanatory case. The research data suggests that development methodologies supporting information system development that focus on the solution of technical problems result that are appropriate to match design and adoption processes in simple organisational contexts, such as in the case of the automation of bureaucratic procedures supporting judicial activities. When the involved context and adoption process is more complex and challenging, as in the e‑justice case, it seems necessary to change the aim and scope of the chosen system development methodologies. The conceptual shift from information systems to information infrastructures allows one to grasp this growing complexity and to propose development methodologies, such as cultivation, that eases the deployment of such initiatives.

 

Keywords: information systems development methodologies, information infrastructures, e-justice, cultivation

 

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Journal Article

IT Enactment of new Public Management: the Case Study of Health Information Systems in Kenya  pp311-326

Roberta Bernardi

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 4, ECEG 2009, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp295 - 432

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Abstract

In the last twenty years most African Governments have embarked on health sector reforms sponsored by international partners. Conceived under New Public Management, the majority of these reforms leverage information technology to decentralise hierarchical structures into more information efficient organizations. The paper illustrates the case study of health management information systems in Kenya in order to better understand how the enactment of information technology has influenced the organisational outcome of New Public Management reforms within the health sector in Kenya. The case study provides a longitudinal account of how the adoption and usage of information technology within two health management information systems of Kenya Ministry of Health has affected the implementation of NPM reforms. Data collection and analysis have been framed within an institutionalist perspective viewing different agents acting under the pressure of competing logics (New Public Management and Old Public Administration) at three main levels of action: the macro or policy level (e.g., formal policies), the meso or organisational level (e.g., professional norms and management), and the user or agency level (e.g., IS users' routines). The case study has shown that NPM institutions were not supported by coherent actions unifying all actors involved in the restructuration of health information systems in Kenya so that IT enactment was not consistent across the health information system giving way to structural changes that were not aligned with what was envisaged in the reforms. Findings point to the rhetoric behind certain reform discourses by main actors involved, particularly, at the macro‑policy level. The paper calls for a stronger source of political legitimacy to support discourses around public sector reforms so that through the right competences and systems of values at the meso level information technology can be used as a catalyst for a more consistent implementation of the reforms. New discourses around the potential of IT should be more aligned with certain institutions underpinning the practices of policy makers at the macro level inducing Government echelons to legitimize IT at the macro‑policy level.

 

Keywords: information technology, health information systems, e-Government, new public management, institution theory, Africa, developing countries

 

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Journal Article

Measuring Users' Satisfaction with Malaysia's Electronic Government Systems  pp283-294

Norshidah Mohamed, Husnayati Hussin, Ramlah Hussein

© Jan 2009 Volume 7 Issue 3, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp209 - 294

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Abstract

The research seeks to measure users' satisfaction and identify the contributors of satisfaction. We used the end‑user computing satisfaction (EUCS) model as the a priori model to measure internal end‑users' satisfaction with Malaysia's electronic government systems. We gathered data from internal end‑users at the level of officers and directors of Malaysia's electronic government systems. Using the structural equation modeling approach, our results show that all five first‑order factors, content, accuracy, timeliness, format and ease of use, explain the contributors of satisfaction. Further, our studies provide the evidence that in Malaysia's electronic government context, end‑users' satisfaction priorities are timeliness, content and accuracy. This paper makes a significant contribution by applying the Information Systems body of knowledge to measure users' satisfaction with Malaysia's electronic government systems, test and validate the EUCS model in the context of Malaysia's electronic government environment. The paper has enhanced our understanding of users' demands for interactions with business, citizens and other government personnel in the Malaysian electronic government environment.

 

Keywords: end-user computing satisfaction, structural equation modeling, confirmatory factor analysis, information systems, electronic government systems

 

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Journal Article

Towards an Information Strategy for Combating Identity Fraud in the Public Domain: Cases from Healthcare and Criminal Justice  pp214-222

Marijn Plomp, Jan Grijpink

© Dec 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ECEG, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp93 - 222

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Abstract

Two trends are present in both the private and public domain: increasing interorganisational co‑operation and increasing digitisation. More and more processes within and between organisations take place electronically, on local, national and European scal e. The technological and organisational issues related to this prove to be difficult on a local scale and barely manageable on national and European scales. We introduce the theoretical framework of Chain‑computerisation, which explains large‑scale chain co‑operation as an answer to a dominant chain problem. Identity fraud proves to be the dominant chain problem in many chain co‑operation situations. Therefore, our main research question is: how to arrive at a successful information strategy to combat ide ntity fraud in the large‑scale processes that constitute the public domain? We demonstrate the problem of identity fraud on the basis of two Dutch cases, from the criminal justice chain and the healthcare sector. These cases are taken from our chain resea rch programme in which we test empirical findings against the theoretical framework of Chain‑computerisation to derive a successful chain‑specific information strategy. In both cases, the problem of identity fraud presents a threat to the chain co‑operati on. Identity fraud has to be tackled with an approach focused on large‑scale processes and with specific person‑oriented security procedures and instruments preventing identity fraud from happening undetected. This study forms an important contribution to information science and to the security realm that still pivots only on traditional authentication frameworks that cannot cope with wrong person identity fraud. In large‑scale situations, therefore, additional safeguards will be necessary. Taking into account that the problem of identity fraud rises in many other domains and countries as well, we conclude that it is a major threat to the European society. Finally, we argue that chain‑specific information systems with random identity verification enable combating identity fraud.

 

Keywords: chain-computerisation, interorganisational information systems, chain co-operation, information strategies within the public sector, identity management, identity fraud

 

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Journal Article

A Multi‑Level Framework for ICT‑Enabled Governance: Assessing the Non‑Technical Dimensions of 'Government Openness'  pp152-165

Misuraca Gianluca, Alfano, Giuseppe, Viscusi, Gianluigi

© Dec 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ECEG, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp93 - 222

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Abstract

This paper proposes an interpretative framework which aims to provide a systemic perspective and an instrument to elicit the links between Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and governance, outlining the various challenges that this poses . In particular, it discusses the multiple dimensions of governance and identifies the public value drivers underpinning the conceptual and measurement framework proposed. In doing so the paper focuses on the 'openness' of governance mechanisms through it s interoperability dimension. It considers state‑of‑the‑art contributions at both academic and practitioner level and it also looks at how the proposed framework can be applied to the evaluation of two case studies at cross‑border, and national‑city level in Europe. Interoperability in fact is predominantly seen as an instrument for enabling cross‑border collaboration between public administrations within and between different Member States. Many initiatives and projects have been promoted and carried out during the last decade resulting in a growing number of potentially reusable best practices and benchmarks. Nevertheless, the complexity and volume of resulting project outcomes represent a challenge for effective exploitation of the results in other ini tiatives and intervention contexts. Moreover, despite the recognition of interoperability as a multi‑faceted concept (i.e. technological, organizational, and semantic), it seems to be mainly the technological aspects of interoperability that emerge from the available project results. The paper concludes outlining indications for future research and in particular on interoperability as a key driver for ICT‑enabled governance. Interoperability is found to play a strategic role in the delivery of e‑Governm ent services to local and national communities within the EU. Moreover, its significance is expected to increase over the next few years, especially in terms of how it supports emerging city governance models and acts as the backbone of communications at a pan‑European, national and local level.

 

Keywords: interoperability, eGovernance, information systems, Europe, policy, value

 

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Journal Article

Challenges In Information Systems Procurement in the Public Sector  pp307-322

Carl Erik Moe, Tero Päivärinta

© Dec 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp181 - 322

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Abstract

Abstract. Public procurement constitutes a large part of the market in many countries, and it has the potential of playing an important role in stimulating communities and serving policy goals. With this in mind the governments have set regulations for pu blic procurement. Procurement of Information Systems is especially challenging due to the complexity of procuring unknown technology and the importance an information system has for different stakeholders in an organization. Public procurement of informat ion systems (IS) and services provides several challenges to the stakeholders involved in the procurement processes. However, these are not well established or understood, and there is a knowledge gap that needs to be covered. This paper presents result s from a Delphi study, which involved 46 experienced procurement managers, chief information officers, and vendor representatives in the Norwegian public sector. The participants identified 98 challenges related to IS procurement, and subsequently ranked the relative importance of the top issues. The study supports findings from previous research related to diverging stakeholder goals; challenges in balancing between objectives; in requirement specifications; and in too narrow cost focus. In addition to p roviding empirical confirmation of these previous propositions the study revealed new findings, such as benefits realization in IS procurement; coordinating and standardizing public procurement processes; complex and constraining government regulations; i ssues of technological integration and compatibility; and inter‑municipal cooperation. Developing clear requirements specifications stands out as critical for public sector officials. The results provide a rich overview of IS procurement challenges in the public sector in Norway, and may also give a good picture of challenges in other countries with similar procurement regulations.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Public procurement, procurement of information systems, procurement challenges, stakeholder challenges, Delphi study

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 1 / Jun 2007  pp1‑95

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Editorial

The level of research activity in e‑government research continues to escalate. Earlier this year I attended part of the East European e‑Government Conference in Prague. June saw the European Conference on e‑Government in The Hague and (at the time of writing) will be followed by e‑Gov in Regensburg in early September and the European Group of Public Administration Conference later in the same month in Madrid: good for the research field, if not for meagre and stressed out academic travel budgets.

While a great deal of research is being produced, and maybe because so much research is being produced, the quality is mixed. Consequently it can take time to find papers of sufficient quality to publish in the journal. I am therefore pleased to have nine good articles, with a truly international mix, for this issue.

In their article Bof and Previtali examine the state of e‑government in the Italian health services. The authors have done some serious groundwork in their research and the picture they come up with is of a sector struggling to get to grips with this technology – particularly in the area of procurement. Their analysis of the reasons underlying these problems is blunt and their prescriptions will be of interest to many organisations.

Carr and Gannon O’Leary examine the UK’s Framework for Multi‑Agency Environment (FAME) research programme. The lessons from this research include the perhaps not surprising one that complex projects take time to implement, but they make the innovative suggestion that one approach to assisting such processes is closer engagement between agencies and universities with expertise in social and information technology sciences.

I first heard Castelnovo and Simonetta’s paper at the ECEG conference in Genoa last year and I recall being quite taken by it at the time. It appears here in a more fully developed form. The article explores the concept of public value, a topic that in my view does not receive anything like enough attention from the research community. Based on their conceptualisation of public service value, they propose a novel approach to the evaluation of e‑government projects. While they do this in the context of small local government projects, many of the ideas here are applicable in a wider arena

Canada is usually held up as one of the paragons of e‑government. In the various international benchmarks, Canada is consistently in the top two or three. In their article, Kumar et al look underneath the hood at what is actually going on in Canadian e‑government, where it seems use of government websites for information is much more important to most citizens than the ability to carry out on‑line transactions. Starting from this, and using an extensive study of the literature, the authors develop and propose a conceptual model of e‑government adoption, somewhat analogous to some of the more developed technology adoption models.

e‑Readiness is a useful concept, but how does one measure it? In their article, Zaied et al address this question in the context of countries in the Arab world. Drawing on an extensive list of scholarly and professional sources, they develop a measurement instrument and then use this to explore the state of readiness in Kuwait using three constructs, human skills, infrastructure and connectivity. Their approach may be of interest to other researchers in developing countries as a way of assessing the state of readiness of their own countries for e‑government.

One of the persistent issues in e‑government is the diversity and duplication of data, just one aspect of the widespread silo phenomenon in public administration. Chiang and Hseih’s article describes the findings of an extended research project into information integration in Taipei County in South Korea. Anybody who has any experience of merging and/or integrating large data set will appreciate both the business and technical challenges that this presents. However once done, the benefits, as the authors show, are considerable ranging from cost reduction to lower administrative workloads and ease of standardisation.

Another aspect of Italian public services, the justice system, is examined by Contini and Cordella, who use it as a case study for an exploration of systems design and development methodologies. Public sector systems in general tend to be complicated, but justice systems are particularly challenging when one moves from basic automation to applying technology to higher level processes such as the creation of new shared working practices. The authors argue that the methodologies used for system development in the past are no longer appropriate for these more complex problems and that what they describe as information infrastructure deployment projects need to be considered as socio‑technical rather than just technical projects.

On more or less the same theme of the complexity of public business processes, Freiheit and Zengl, describe the use of a modelling technique called Event‑driven Process Chains. They argue that traditional business modelling techniques are designed to help the software designer rather than the user (here the citizen) and argue that this and other methods which have been developed in the commercial sector can be usefully applied in the public sector. Having described this concept, they evaluate it using the European Judicial Network as one of a number of case studies. For those familiar with other modelling techniques, this approach has elements which will be familiar, and elements which are new. Even those who are not au fait with modelling techniques should find the ideas in this article interesting.

Finally, in this issue we are introducing a new feature. The journal receives a steady stream of what might be called ‘country’ articles, i.e. articles which outline the current state of e‑government in a particular country or region. One of the problems we sometimes have with these submissions is that, while they are interesting, they are not very academic and consequently, when we apply the normal standards of academic research rigour, they are rejected. However, I often find these papers informative and I think that other readers might too. So we have started a special section with an inaugural paper on e‑government in Nepal by Parajuli. I found this an engaging and different story from what, for most westerners, is still a slightly mysterious and exotic land. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Keywords: assessment models, business processes, Canada, Cultivation, customer orientation, databases, developing country, digital government, e-Government leaders, e-Justice, e-Procurement, e-Readiness, event-driven process chains, FAME, HCOs, ICT, information infrastructures, information integration, information systems development methodologies, inter-communal cooperation, Nepal, organisational change, organizational requirements, public procurement, public services, public value, small local government organizations, socio-technical practice, user-interface, web site analysis, web site contents

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 4, ECEG 2009 / Dec 2009  pp295‑432

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Keywords: Africa, back-office automation, Brazil, citizens’ participation, developing countries, DOI and emerging economy access, DynaVote, e-government data interoperability, e-Justice, electronic voting, eVoting requirements, Fez e-government, form generation, GIF, goal orientation, governance, health information systems, implementation, information technology, institution theory, integration strategy, intellectual capital, interoperability, Interoperability tool, inter-organizational collaboration, joined-up government, new public management, ontology, perceived risk, practically, public value, records computerization, records management, supply chain management (SCM), TAM, technology acceptance model, trust, web services, WSML/WSMO, XML schema

 

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