MAR 13 2013

E-government – who thought of it first?

by in E-Government, General Leave a comment

Who doesn’t know the proud question asked by a manufacturer of herbal sweets? Being the originator of something new is, without a doubt, a cause for pride. However, with eGovernment, the time for innovation is past. And before anyone gets upset, let me explain:




We are not talking about topics such as participation, Open Government, or anything similar. What I mean are the classic eGov topics, briefly summarized in the following groups:

  • Administrative master data – preferably uniform and consistent administration of, for example, population, corporate and property master data
  • Administrative processes – requiring streamlining and increased efficiency
  • Legal basis – definition of the basis for efficient and exclusively electronic processes and data sharing– (Open Data)
  • Inclusion of corporations and citizens in administrative processes without system discontinuity

Innovation is only desirable in these areas, however, once the general standards have been established, for creating these standards calls for an operative rather than an innovative approach. There are numerous projects in place covering these areas, and as they are not protected by copyright they could serve as roadmaps.

For this reason, it is more important to find successful strategies, and to adapt them speedily according to requirements for those basic areas of eGov where action is still needed.

For developing countries today, we do not recommend the reinvention of each step of eGov. It is more appropriate to abbreviate some phases, taking shortcuts through imitation, in order to focus, at a later stage, on progression and innovation.

These arguments are not intended to limit the creativity of masterminds. However, it is now time to implement those elements that are long overdue in an operative phase, while regarding the progressive elements in a conceptual phase.

To summarize: Innovation is important and necessary for the survival of Europe as a business location. But new innovations designed to meet challenges that have already been resolved will take us nowhere. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, not even for eGov.

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