United States drops in global e-government ranking

The United States dropped to fifth place in a United Nations’ index of e-government capacity, down from second place two years ago.

The UN Global E-Government Survey of 2012, released on March 6, ranked South Korea in first place, followed by the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Denmark and the United States, in that order.

The rankings are based on a measure of public sector capacity for using information and communication technologies to serve citizens. The index measures infrastructure, human capital, regulatory framework and e-participation, among other factors, based on a review of government websites.

The websites are reviewed for such features as basic links to information and archived information, as well as for access to policies, laws, regulations, reports, newsletters and downloadable databases. Higher scores are achieved by countries that allow for two-way interactions, such as options for paying taxes, applying for passports, and bidding for public contracts. The highest scores go to governments that encourage participatory decision-making through Web comments and online feedback.

The United States scored 100 percent for online service, 92 percent for e-participation, 92 percent for human capital and 69 percent for infrastructure.

Overall, the United States’ score of 87 percent showed a downward trend from 2003, when the nation scored 93 percent.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom moved upwards in the rankings, while South Korea remained in the first place position in 2010 and in 2012.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.


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