e-Government on Technobiography: Technology-enabled Government Services for Filipinos

by Ka Edong on March 16, 2009

I’ve been wanting to write more about a Government services for some time now. I’ve been writing about e-Government in the past on a low-level. But this time, I shall be more consistent. And I’ve found a way to be consistent about this.

What is e-Government?

Excerpt from wikipedia:
e-Government (short for electronic government, also known as e-gov, digital government, online government or transformational government) refers to the use of information and communication technology to provide and improve government services, transactions and interactions with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government.

I shall write about e-Government. This is something very specific and highly aligned with my knowledge, expertise and passion for technology that enables people. Let me tell you more about my background in examining e-Government.

e-Government in the Philippines

In 2002 when I was connected with Digital Philippines Foundation, I co-authored a ground-breaking study on e-Government together with Prof Boying Lallana and Patricia Pascual.

It was entitled: “e-Government in the Philippines: Benchmarking against Global Best Practices“.

e-Government Study

e-Government in the Philippines: Benchmarking against Global Best Practices

We evaluated hundreds of websites and determined their status at that time as one of 5 stages of e-Government:

  • Stage 1 or “Emerging Web Presence” refers to a government website that serve as a basic public information source, indicated by FAQs, contact information and other static information about the agency.
  • Stage 2 or “Enhanced Web Presence” refers to a government website that not only provide basic static information, this site is regularly updated, includes documents/resources that may be easily downloaded and has features that allow a site search and e-mail for queries/comments.
  • Stage 3 or “Interactive Web Presence” refers to a government website that acts as a portal, with links to related sites. Users of this website can search specialized databases and forms can be downloaded or submitted online.
  • Stage 4 or “Transactional Web Presence” refers to a government website that will allow users to directly access services based on specific needs. Since these sites are ultimately secure, users are able to conduct complete and secure transactions online.
  • Stage 5 or “Fully Integrated Web Presence” refers to a country website where all services and links can be done through a single central portal and where all transactional services offered by government is made available online through a single integrated site .

Based on our study, there were some websites that did not even contain the contact information of the government agency. That was obviously just an emerging website.

There were some websites that allowed citizens to download forms, print them out and fill them out even before going to the government agency. That was a characteristic of an enhanced website.

Other websites had functions that allowed citizens to interact with citizens. Sometimes it was a feedback form, sometimes it was a forum.

There were websites that allowed citizens to conduct transactions online such as filing of tax returns. That was a transactional website.

The study we conducted was a trigger-point for President Arroyo to order the creation of www.gov.ph and the improvement of web presence of all government agencies. There was even a program led by the NCC which helped LGUs create their simple websites.

Visit this link for details of the study: e-Government in the Philippines: Benchmarking against Global Best Practices

e-Government on Technobiography

In this series on e-government, I will write a lot about government agency websites. I will take a snapshot of how the government website is at the time of my visit. I will talk about what features are available for citizens to use.

Apart from websites, I will also include stories about technology developments that help deliver government services. One example is the NBI and the machine that receives payments instead of lining up for a human cashier.

I know that I will be at the receiving end of many complaints which are more appropriately directed to the specific government agency. We get this kind of irate feedback all the time at eOFW.Net . I’m used to it and I allow people to vent their grievances. I know that these visitors don’t mean to attack me personally. Instead, they are just looking for a venue to give feedback. All that feedback can be used by the government agency however they wish. May Technobiography be a conduit to capture this feedback.

On a more positive note, I’ve found that Technobiography has been an effective repository for some useful citizen feedback. Most remarkable is my article “Panalo o Panloloko“, a joint-campaign of NTC with the telcos against Text scams. My post has evolved into a database of the latest SMS scams, the numbers and aliases used by the scammers. That article and the feedback collected has become Technobiography’s contribution to help avert potential crimes. I thank all those who have contributed their stories to that article.

My goal is to consistently write about e-government and help increase awareness of technology-enabled government services.

Through this e-government series on Technobiography, I aim to help more Filipinos with the power of information.

Information for Filipinos.
Power to the People!

ka edong
e-government ambassador

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