As part of public sector reform, or new public management, a number of key factors have led to a greater emphasis on establishing, building and sustaining relationships between, within and outside government. The purpose of managing out is to ensure that the public sector develops strong relationships with the external world. This may include groups, organisations or individuals who are users of government services; collectively they are referred to as citizens.
The key factors underpinning public sector reform include, but are not limited to the following:-
- Demand by the public for improved quality of service and improved service delivery. This may ...view middle of the document...
Figure 1. E-Governance Matrix (Riley 2002)
Two of these factors; benefits realisation and e-governance will be discussed in more detail.
Stakeholder Engagement for Benefits Realisation
Stakeholder engagement can be defined as engagement with individual, community or organisation in decision-making that affect them because of the inherit benefits to society as a whole. Engagement is more than citizen interaction, it is a complex system of decision-making with numerous connections that may have intended and unintended outcomes (Butcher and MacLennan 2010). Benefits realisation is the process for the identification, interpretation, tracking, attainment and accumulation of benefits; thus ensuring that potential proceeds arising from a program or policy change are actually achieved (NSW Department of Finance and Services 2011).
According to Butcher and MacLennan (2010), the last thirty years in the public sector has seen an increased understanding of the complexity of program and policy design as well as the value and benefit of engaging stakeholders. This understanding has facilitated a change process to commercial environments, which utilises a bottom-up approach, integrating employees, consumers and stakeholders in decision-making. The stakeholders feel they have a vested interest in the
development, program or policy ensuring that the program meets their needs both personally and for the community (Brown, Ryan and Parker 2000).
Advances in technology and communications have generated different forms of interchange, discussion and identity, which is especially relevant for the public sector. With the increase in technological developments comes a requirement for transparency and responsive community engagement. Schofield (2007) suggests that the constant media scrutiny of society which has evolved with technological developments means there is an even greater need for accountability and integrity within government agencies. It is essential that the public sector is open and transparent in their dealings with the community especially in a media driven environment where they are more conspicuous to public scrutiny.
E-governance or electronic governance promotes the transparency of governance in the public sector. The benefits of e-governance is less duplication, earlier ascertainment of illegal, fraudulent or corrupt activity, improved and more rapid decision-making (Riley 2002). According to Manuel (2005, p. 1), the goal of conventional e-governance is to assist individuals and communities in “paying utility bills, taxes and so on; handling registration formalities for land ownership, marriage, birth and death; processing application forms and renewals for driver’s licenses, work permits and passports; and lodging complaints”. However, e-governance is much broader than simple service provision. Citizens play a more active role in the shaping and delivery of...