Irish eyes on the USA?

October 24, 2012

Public Affairs Ireland in a post by Garrett Fennell entitled “Rolling out eGovernment US style – are there lessons for Ireland?” encourages the Irish government to look to examples in the USA for their approach to e-government. One expression that is used, and is new to me, is the opportunity for e-government to be everyday government rather than electronic government, this is also in contrast to the ‘digital be default’ regime in that users pay a ‘efficiency fee’ to use the faster, electronic services – it does introduce two tiers of service but is obviously better than making all citizens pay for digital, and apparently 27 states are using this self-funding model where the private sector do the work for the fee.

Fennell looks at a range of options from Code for America to some of the transparency initiatives that are going on. He does however conclude that “Of course one aspect that is common between Ireland and the US is the digital divide and the need to ensure that service provision is not focused only at sectors of society that have means or capacity to access and navigate the web, whether through Smartphones or otherwise”, along with acknowledging the need for high-speed broadband if they are to be universal.

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