The Electronic Journal of e-Government publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Government

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Journal Issue
Volume 5 Issue 2, ECEG 2007 / Dec 2007  pp95‑224

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Turkish Local e‑Governments: a Longitudinal Study  pp95‑106

Aykut Arslan

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e‑Democracy in Australia: the Challenge of Evolving a Successful Model  pp107‑116

Jenny Backhouse

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Verification and Validation Issues in Electronic Voting  pp117‑126

Orhan Cetinkaya, Deniz Cetinkaya

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Trust and the Taxman: a Study of the Irish Revenue's Website Service Quality  pp127‑134

Regina Connolly

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Long‑term Digital Archiving — Outsourcing or Doing it  pp135‑144

Mitja Decman

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Governmental Collaboration and Infrastructural Standards in Belgium  pp145‑152

Alea Fairchild, Bruno de Vuyst

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Evaluating Web Service Composition Methods: the Need for Including Multi‑Actor Elements  pp153‑164

Ralph W. Feenstra, Marijn Janssen, René W. Wagenaar

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Mypage and — A Case Study of Two Government Service Web Portals  pp165‑176

Karin Furuli, Sigrun Kongsrud

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Oxygen Government Practices  pp177‑190

Mary Griffiths

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A Model for Document Management in e‑Government Systems Based on Hierarchical Process Folders  pp191‑204

Raphael Kunis, Gudula Rünger, Michael Schwind

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e‑Voting: Same Pilots, Same Problems, Different Agendas  pp205‑212

Mark Liptrott

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Digitization and Political Accountability in the USA and the Netherlands: Convergence or Reproduction of Differences?  pp213‑224

Albert Meijer

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Does the use of ICTs lead to convergence? Or are existing differences being reproduced? This paper deals with these broad questions in the domain of political accountability in two countries and applies these questions to the level of agency accountability and political accountability systems. The results of empirical research in the Netherlands (a parliamentary system) and three American states (presidential systems) into the effects of digitization on political accountability are used to evaluate the relevance of institutional differences for explaining outcomes of technological trajectories. The research indicates that there are many similarities and few differences at the level of agencies. Government agencies in both countries record more data than before the introduction of ICTs, grant better access to recently recorded data. have not created technological warranties for protecting the authenticity of this information and cannot guarantee that the digital information will remain accessible over time. One minor difference between the findings is that websites were found to be more important for communication between government agencies and citizens and even within government agencies in the USA than in the Netherlands. The fact that many similarities and few differences were found supports the idea that government agencies in different countries are converging because of the use of the same technologies. Does convergence also take place at the level of accountability systems? There are relevant differences at the level of political principals. Principals in the Netherlands make little use of digital information and mostly rely on information in paper documents whereas principals in the USA extensively use digital information for fact‑finding. Principals in the Netherlands have insufficient information processing capacity to adequately process all the digital information available to them while principals in the USA generally have sufficient capacity. Principals in the Netherlands make limited us of databases for fact‑finding whereas principals in the USA, in contrast, make much use of this digital information. Overall, American principals are better capable of using digital information for fact‑finding than Dutch principals. This indicates that institutional differences in ex‑post oversight are reproduced in the information age. The relation between information and communication technologies and political institutions is ambiguous: agencies are converging whereas differences between political principals are reproduced. 


Keywords: political accountability, electronic record management, institutional differences


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