Study spells out e-gov benefits

High Payoff in Electronic Government: Measuring the Return on E-Government Investments

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Governments worldwide have many different reasons turning to e-government, but five common benefits exist that cut across all levels of government and all nations, according to a study released May 12 by the Intergovernmental Advisory Board.

The report, prepared by the General Services Administration's Office of Intergovernmental Solutions, identified the following as the common elements:

* Reduced costs and increased revenue, particularly from Web-enabling customer service processes and collecting payments online.

* Economic development, through increasing tourism and making it easier for businesses to find and file reports online.

* Reduced redundancy, through integrating systems and providing one-stop sources for information and services.

* Fostering democratic principles by making government processes transparent and increasing accountability for government.

* Improved services to citizens, such as online tax filing, license renewal and recreation.

While tighter budgets are driving officials toward using e-government, very few have expertise in putting together good e-government solutions, according to the report.

Governments must therefore move carefully and continually check with their constituencies to make sure they are delivering the right services in the right way, and focus on re-engineering processes to enhance service, the report states.

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