E-Gov FAQs: Searching for the Right Answers

Now that all governments are more than several years down the pathway to electronic service delivery, we pause and ask ourselves some questions. We are searching for the right answers to these frequently asked questions. As we polled a dozen countries the questions revolved around the changing governance structure for transforming government, innovative ways to fund the transformation given the current economic climate worldwide, how the relationship that citizens have with their government is changing and what is it changing to, and when will it be e-nough? These questions were answered through our panels of ICA colleagues, as were questions around trusted identity, open source software and progress made in the area of interoperability between governments. Once again conference was balanced with speakers from many of our ICA countries as well as panels, keynote speakers from both the private and public sectors, and affinity group sessions.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Opening Session

Conference Opening
Chair: Nachman Oron, Israel

Welcome Address:
Christos Patsalides, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Cyprus.

Keynote Address: The Intergovernmental Dimension and Cross Boundary Leadership Requirements
Dr. Costis Toregas, President Emeritus, PTI Cyprus

Session One

Where will the governance pendulum swing this time?
Chair: Rick Schremp, President, WITC, USA

Description of Session
The old debate between the advantages and disadvantages of Centralized and Decentralized IT Governance strategies have given way to Federated IT Governance models that attempt to balance the need for efficiency but not at the expense of operational effectiveness. These federated governance models call for a strong enterprise (national) CIO and strong agency CIOs with their respective authorities, organization placement, roles and responsibilities clearly defined and documented. In addition, the coordination of the CIO role in the formation of the IT budget with the Chief Financial Officer to ensure that islands of IT automation do not bubble up from agency level business units that often adept in avoiding the CIOs' attention. Common administrative functions are centrally provided and unique business line functions are decentralized and aligned closely with their respective agency's business units providing the responsiveness and agility to changing citizen and customer demands. The use of Enterprise Architecture methodology is a growing trend around the world to support the Federated IT Governance models in an effort provide transformational and citizen-centric government services and products. A distinguished panel of IT executives will share the strengths and weakness of their respective IT governance models and practices.


  1. Centralization-decentralization: Estonian e-Xperience
    Mait Heidelberg, Estonia
  2. A Framework of e-Governance
    Tomas Orozco, Mexico
    Synopsis: E-government and IT policy leaders understand very well the need for governance. While typical governance models in e-government and IT policy include participation, ownership, and appropriation mechanisms, leaders tend to overlook issues such as accountability, quality of decision making, and alignment to higher-order objectives.
  3. The single face of decentralised government.
  4. Gino Laan, Senior Policy Advisor, Netherlands
    Synopsis: Outline of the Dutch government's approach towards central facilities addressing interoperability and unified service delivery in a very decentralised country.

Session Two

How do we pay for E-gov?
Chair: Wu Choy Peng, Singapore

Description of Session
Most countries have achieved their initial e-Government targets. Justifying IT investments to put services online, while not trivial, has by and large been easy, based on cost efficiency and service quality. Moving forward, justifying IT investments in ever more sophisticated and complex e-Government projects will be difficult. Many countries have started, or are starting, to explore alternative funding models for e-Government projects. Called Public Private Partnership, Private Financed Initiatives, Design-Build-Operate, etc., the bottom line is the same - Governments do not have enough money to pay for e-Government projects on their own. This session presents specific case studies of innovative funding strategies for e-Government projects.


1. Refresh - Centrelink's 5 year Enhanced Business and Technology Capability
Ann Steward, General Manager, Enterprise Capability Centrelink. Australia

Synopsis: In support of Centrelink's expanding online service delivery agenda, and in recognition that IT is also a key part of it's business, the Australian Government in the 2003/2004 Budget allocated A$312 million over 5 years (including A$120 million in capital) to enhance the capabilities of its information technology systems and to ensure continuing reliability. This funding will enable more online services to customers (via self service), enter working partnerships with community organisations, increase information exchange with business, Government departments, banks and others.

This investment will also provide benefits to the community both through increased efficiency of Centrelink operations (saving A$77.2 million over four years) and real time validation of customer circumstances with external parties (resulting in administered savings of A$126.6 million over four years).

2. The Economical Impact of IT-Outsourcing Scenarios
Herbert Wiesböck, Austria

Synopsis: Depending on the current situation of the applications and infrastructure, different types of outsourcing offer different economic benefits to the various stakeholders.

The objective is to identify the optimum outsourcing scenario for a given application and its framework conditions.

For a range of outsourcing scenarios, including: a state run agency, public ownership of the IT company under private law, private share-holders, and private companies, criteria for selecting the optimum types of outsourcing choice will be identified.

Criteria for selecting optimum types of outsourcing that will be discussed are the existence of a market for the required services, an atomistic market structure, i.e., many vendors and demanders, a market with full information provided to participants, a market where no non-business-centered preferences exist for products or vendors.

3. Sustainable Shared ICT Services: The Dollars & Sense
Chung Mui Ken, Singapore

Synopsis: The benefits of having a central e-government authority provide common ICT services to be shared by multiple government agencies, while initially tantalising, have proven notoriously difficult to reap. Many are still trying - Singapore included. One of the greatest stumbling blocks to successful deployment of shared services is the willingness of government agencies to pay for the use of these services. This presentation will share Singapore's experience in providing shared ICT services to facilitate the adoption of ICT across government agencies. It will explore our rationale for providing shared services, the different types of shared services we have deployed, and the various business models we have adopted to sustain the operations of these shared ICT services.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Session Three

Affinity Group Workshop:
Chair: Hans Werner Ksica
(See separate Affinity Group Section below)

Study Group Report Back
Chair: Wu Choy Peng - Vice Chair ICA.
Keynote Address: "Process enabling IT and how it differs from 'data processing'."
Jimmy Schwarzkopf, META Group Israel, Co-Country Manager, Consulting and Research
Jimmy_Schwarzkopf resume (PDF)
Chair: Choy Peng Wu, Singapore

Session Four

Handling SPAM in Government Administration (Panel Discussion)
Chair: Larry Caffrey, ICA

Olov Ostberg, Sweden, The Swedish Agency for Public Management
Jean-Pierre Weidert, European Commission
Wilbert Berrios, USA., Army Corps of Engineers
WU Choy Peng , Info-Comm Development Authority, Singapore

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Session Five

How do governments manage relationships with citizens?
Chair: Olov Ostberg, Sweden

Description of Session
CRM in Public Services: Every service provider has Constituency Relationship Management, some worth the name. For public authorities, Constituency usually means Citizens or Clients, but can also be read as Companies. The session will include CRM presentations from all walks of public service life and all service channels. The three speakers will provide insight and practical examples in response to the session's platform questions:

  • What are the public sector equivalents to the private sector's focus on customer retention, customer profitability, and attracting new customers?
  • Who is in charge of CRM in cross-silos and cross-agency services?
  • What CRM components are generic and what are specific to respective channel, constituency and content?
  • Is it meaningful to treat accessibility, trust and effectiveness as strands of CRM?


  1. Serving Citizens through USA Services 
    Teresa Nasif, Director, Federal Citizen Information Centre, USA
  2. Service Transformation in the Government of Canada: "Putting Citizens at the Heart of Service Delivery" 
    Simon Gauthier, Deputy CIO, Government of Canada
  3. Close encounters of the third kind - Customs Relations Management in the mGov Environment
    Mr. Lars Karlsson Deputy Director General Swedish Customs, Sweden

Session Six

E-Gov: When is Enough?
Chair: Simon Gauthier, Deputy Chief Information Officer Treasury Board Secretariat Government of Canada

Description of the session
Almost every national government, even every jurisdiction, currently has an initiative relating to the delivery of services using the Internet. Some of these initiatives have been met with great enthusiasm, others less so. In any case, every initiative - successful or not - now has to be assessed in terms of the impact it has had on citizens, clients, etc.

For many countries, the emphasis on outcomes is a reflection of the fact that several years have now passed since the formal commitments by respective national governments to e-initiatives. For most, the capital investments have been large and many are looking for results. In many cases, though, the impact of these types of investments has been very difficult to measure.

The session will look at best practices when it comes to governments providing services electronically, what worked well, what did less so. It will also try to address the issues of how the impact of these services can be assessed, including the extent to which clients are using the services offered, their perceptions of and satisfaction with service delivery quality, the extent of jurisdictional cooperation and the efficiencies resulting from electronic service delivery.


  1. Denmark's Perspective on Measuring the Impact of E-Gov
    Niels Pagh-Rasmussen, Head of Division IT Strategic Division National Information Technology and Telecommunications Agency, Denmark.
  2. Cases when E-Gov is Enough Enough
    Hyeon-Kon Kim, Vice President, Head of IT Project Development & Support Division National Computerization Agency, Korea
  3. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Lessons in E-Government.
    Mr. Gary Doucet, Executive Director, Architecture and Standards Division Treasury Board Secretariat Government of Canada.

Closing Session

Keynote Address: Dr. David Passig - Futurist, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Chair: Nachman Oron: Israel

Technology and Economy Of The 4th Dimension
What will be like the technologies of the next 20-30 years? This lecture will provide you with the inner making of human thoughts that lead to scientific breakthrough. The lecturer predicts far reaching scientific discoveries that will shake the fundamentals of our technologies today. It will discuss the impact of these technologies on our institutions and daily life.

Dr. David Passig is a futurist, lecturer and consultant who specializes in technological, social and human resources futures. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Future Studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA. Dr. Passig is a faculty member at the Bar-Ilan University, Israel, where he teaches at the Graduate School of Education systems theories, future methodologies, technological, social and educational futures.

Conference Closing and Invitation to the ICA 39th Conference in Salzburg during September 2005
Chair: Nachman Oron, Israel