Who cares about e-government?
- By Brian Robinson
- Mar 12, 2002
One of the major fallacies with e-government, according to Greg Curtin,
chief executive of the Civic Resource Group, is the perception that the
public is demanding Web-based government services.
"That pressure is probably the least real of all of the pressures that
are out there," he said. "People are certainly responding favorably to the
idea of e-government, but there is no overwhelming pressure from citizens
to provide it."
Instead, Curtin said, the most pressure is coming from businesses, which
are calling for online availability of such things as permits and licenses,
and for information about economic development. And governments increasingly
believe that if they can project their localities as tech-savvy regions,
they will be better positioned to attract businesses.
"That has become one of the most common issues talked about at economic
development meetings," he said. "There is much less active citizen pressure
[for Web services]."
Still, probably the biggest pressure on government executives is that
of human nature. Somebody in a city or county sees their counterparts in
other places getting accolades for things they have done with their Web
sites, and that spurs a desire for something similar.
"One of the major requests we get now is for research on best practices,"
Curtin said. "That's a clear indication that government and agency people
are thinking, 'Let's do what so-and-so did.'"
Back to main story: "E-gov misses local connection"
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.