E-Government and Performance: A Citizen-Centered Imperative. (Performance Management)

By Van Wert, James M. | The Public Manager, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

E-Government and Performance: A Citizen-Centered Imperative. (Performance Management)


Van Wert, James M., The Public Manager


How the Small Business Administration is using technology to deliver improved customer service, create cost efficiencies, and offer businesses a greater voice in regulatory matters.

At a spring 2002 Council of Excellence in Government orientation session for senior government leaders, respondents were asked to think about a world where e-government was an accepted fact. They were asked to

Imagine a time in the future when the American government reflects the very best in innovation, leadership, and results. Issues of access, including closing the digital divide and making content accessible for those with disabilities and limited literacy, have been overcome so that all government stakeholders are able to communicate and receive information and services online at any time--without loss of privacy or security. Additionally, despite strategic investments in infrastructure, all areas of government are reporting substantial real-dollar savings and these savings are being transferred to taxpayers in the form of expanded programs and tax savings. Finally, a new government culture exists that values cross-government and cross-sector partnerships and allows government to be not only proactive, but also capable of responding quickly and effectively to shifting priorities and new challenges.

Citizen Expectations

The above paragraph describes a time when government and business interact online, services are delivered 24/7 at all levels of government, with rapid response to shifting priorities. A panacea? Perhaps. But citizens have become accustomed to the private sector delivering high standards of customer service on the Internet and expect government to do likewise. The public sector is expected not only to spend taxpayers' money cost effectively, prudently, and with fairness and equity ("do the thing right"), but it is also supposed to achieve what the public wants ("do the right thing").

Accountability for finances and accountability for fairness reflect how government works. As citizens and taxpayers, however, we also care what government does--what it actually accomplishes. This third kind of accountability is called accountability for performance, where we establish our expectations for the outcomes that the agency will produce, the consequences that it will create, or the impact that it will have. The Internet provides the platform for this "accountability for performance."

Our expectations for the performance of public agencies cover more than keeping a customer happy, however. They include achieving performance standards that are set at a higher level than a seller-buyer exchange. Yet, in an Internet-enabled world, how does a system of accountability work--in a world of decentralized governance, shared power, collaborative decision processes, and broad civic participation? By delivering the same level of customer service from government that citizens have come to expect from buying merchandise from Amazon.com, or ebay.com--and by eliciting feedback from consumers on their satisfaction and ways to improve public service.

Recent Opinion Research

According to a poll conducted by opinion experts Peter Hart and Bob Teeter between November 12 and 19, 2001, 75 percent of Americans who use the Internet had recently used a .gov site. In addition to the communications value of the Internet to ensure public safety, citizens believe that e-government has value for holding government more accountable and allowing citizens to ask questions and provide comments online. Americans want government that listens and is accountable to them.

Seventy percent of Americans polled by Harris-Teeter say that it is very important that government invest tax dollars into methods of providing individual citizens with information and services that are easier to use. Nearly as many (68 percent) say that it is important that government invest in ways to improve communication across government agencies and between the different levels of government. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

E-Government and Performance: A Citizen-Centered Imperative. (Performance Management)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.