Long way to go?

3. February 2010 – 18:17 by Olga Lacigova - 21c

We still have a long way to go before governments become 2.0 savvy. Recent report published by McKinsey & Company got it spot on!

According to the report and from our experience, in recent years we have seen a significant improvement in the use of information and communication technology by central and local governments. Majority of governments have websites and offer certain public services online such as paying tax, paying for parking tickets or renewing personal identification documents or driving licences. Moreover, public service employees use the internet on regular basis to communicate and to manage other resources.

These improvements were made possible thanks to significant spending by the governments; however, the public sector services still lag far behind the private sector. Many funding schemes designed to transform the government failed, and the benefits are not immediately obvious. Citizens are increasingly more demanding as the use of ICT and social media by private companies is highly advanced and the private sector standards are seem far from reachable by the public sector.

The report points out three main obstacles that decrease the impact of ICT modernisation funded by the public sector: ‘ineffective governance, lack of Web-related capabilities, and reluctance to allow user participation in the creation of applications and content’.

I personally agree with the last point the most. Local authorities are fearful to allow citizens co-create their website or to post blogs expressing their concerns and many believe that council’s website is an official informative source and should not be transformed into a place of discussion and Facebook/Twitter debates. I agree that we don’t want to see offensive postings when we are looking to pay our parking tickets, however, having a space where I can say what I think would help my neighbourhood would come often very handy. So where is the limit and how to overcome this problem?

Source: Jason Baumgarten and Michael Chui (https://tinyurl.com/yfcuc4o)


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