Benchmarking E-Government in Europe and the U.S.

Synopsis

Existing studies of e-government concentrate on the supply-side by focusing on the availability and level of sophistication of online services and usage. This study addresses the demand-side of e-government - not only usage, but also perceptions and barriers to utilization that have not been treated previously. Indicators to measure acceptance and adoption of e-government were used to build two surveys that were then piloted among members of the ¿general population¿ in the 15 EU Member States, Switzerland and Europe, and to decisionmakers (IT managers) in the commercial sector in seven EU countries. The results of the first survey indicated a preference for online services that do not require users to provide a great deal of personal information. Also, familiarity with using the Internet tended to correlate with a higher interest in online services. Reasons for preferring online services to their traditional counterparts include added convenience and increased efficiency. Attitudes toward e-government tended to vary by country, although reasons for this are not clear at this time. The decisionmakers survey shows that only about one third of businesses are currently using e-government. Among these, only about one third prefer this method over existing methods.