Don’t get me wrong. e-Government is a great concept, lousy executed. It’s all nice and great for elected representatives to talk about open data, open source software, e-democracy and open access to governmental services and data but that’s all the greatness about it; The talking part. There are two problems with e-Government in its current state.
Pretty much all governments and governmental institutions are trying to move online all their current processes without refining or changing the process itself, maybe kill it. It’s all the old stuff and all the old habits in a shinny new e-box. Convenient maybe, useful no.
The other issue, is the benjamins. It’s all about the benjamins. Everybody is jumping on the e-Government bandwagon because it’s cheaper to manage, automate and operate processes on software compared to humans, short term at least. Plus, it makes a great press release in today’s tough financial environment.
Update: 20 days after this post Tim O’Reilly wrote on Open government and “next generation democracy. “The pieces are in place and the time is right for government to reinvent itself”.