Let’s take a more concrete look at the implications of transparency as eGovernment driver.
Remember the previous post:

A mathematical explanation of this discussion « Benchmarking e-gov in web 2.0

Put it bluntly: if transparency is the new driver of eGovernment, that’s bad news for eGov decision-makers, because it means SMALLER EGOVERNMENT BUDGETS.

Putting services online meant: databases, middleware, authentication, workflow management systems.
Transparency means: cleaning data, maybe workflow m. s., a website… and that is all.

On the one hand, this is very good news. It means that real impact of eGovernment (as explained in previous posts) can be achieved with little investment.
On the other, this is a big limitation. “Putting services online” was a driver of overall IT investment in the public sector.
An e-government manager could invest in other fundamental areas, such as back office transformation, infrastructure, skills, interoperability, with the “excuse” of putting services online.
This is not the case for transparency. It is less able to DRIVE investment in other e-government areas. So it is a less effective driver of e-government investment.

However, transparency promotes meritocracy and accountability, and it exposes government inefficiencies, so it could be a better driver of overall government INNOVATION and REFORM, rather than IT INVESTMENT only.

I hope this is not too confusing. I didn’t expect to come to that when I started this post. I was planning to have a cynical perspective, but this looks very promising!

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