The United Nations (UN) recently launched the e-Government Survey 2008: From E-Government to Connected Governance assessing the e-government readiness of the 192 Member States of the UN. The study results are based on a quantitative composite index of e-readiness, including website assessment, telecommunication infrastructure, and human resource endowment.
One of the key outcomes of the study is that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can help reinvent government in such a way that existing institutional arrangements can be restructured and new innovative approaches can flourish, paving the way for a transformed government.
The focus of the report, in Part II, is e-government initiatives directed at improving operational efficiency through the integration of back-office functions. Whilst such initiatives, if successful, will deliver benefits to citizens, the primary purpose is to improve the effectiveness of government and governmental agencies. Models of back-office integration, irrespective of the delivery mode, fall into three broad categories: single function integration, cross functional integration, and back-office to front-office integration. The level of complexity, expressed in terms of the number of functions within the scope and number of organizations involved, is the primary factor influencing a successful outcome - with a tendency amongst the more ambitious projects to fail to deliver the full anticipated benefits. The key variables involved in the delivery of back-office integration are the people, processes and technology required.
The report is available at the website of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN's Public Administration Programme. For more information, click here.