New Zealand is number 13 – a spot lower than 2014 – in the latest global e-government survey by Waseda University and the International Academy of CIOs (IAC).
Singapore is first place, followed by the United States (number one last year), Denmark, the United Kingdom and Korea. Japan is sixth, followed by Australia, Estonia, Canada and Norway.
This is the 11th consecutive year of the global e-government survey by the team of Professor Toshio Obi, director of the Waseda University Institute of e-Government, and experts at 12 worldwide IAC member universities.
In the past six years, New Zealand has ranked in the top 15, except in 2011, when it slipped to number 21 and in 2013, when it was number 16, according to the research team.
So how can New Zealand make it to the top 10?
ICT infrastructure is key, according to the team.
“Nowadays, ICT changes every day, the ICT helps government in its administration and management; ICT provides a major opportunity to integrate all people with full participation in our knowledge society. The usage of ICT can deliver the services and information to citizens, effective interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient and effective public sector management.”
The team notes all countries in the top 10 have a very good infrastructure for e-government development, besides increasing the number of Internet users and broadband subscribers. They also focused on expanding broadband capacity and building infrastructure bases on cloud technology.
The importance of infrastructure for e-Government development is no longer limited to providing service for to Internet users, mobile subscribers or the number of broadband connections. It is also closely related to the development of ICT and the integration trends between local and national governments, the team states.
“We recognise that the foundation for the development of e-Government in a country depends on its network backbone system and its capability to connect all bureaus and departments together via the core Government Backbone Network.”
Network preparedness is another area and this is related to the Internet penetration in the country.
All top 10 countries in the Waseda University ranking have integrated Web 2.0 technologies for their e-services
The report finds approximately 83 per cent of people in New Zealand were Internet users. In addition, about 82 per cent have wireless broadband subscriptions. However, only 29 per cent of the population has a wired broadband connection. Once New Zealand increases these access indicators, it will help get a better ranking next year.
Another area considered in the ranking is measuring and improving service performance.
The team says New Zealand got a middle score for this indicator, with one-stop services and e-tax getting the highest score.
All top 10 countries in the Waseda University ranking have integrated Web 2.0 technologies for their e-services (e-tax, e-custom, e-health, e-procurement and one-stop service). The e-services which they introduce to citizens, business are in high level with full transaction or “integration of services”.
This is the highest level of any e-Government where technology is utilised to its full potential, the team states.
These top ranking governments also improved e-service through one-stop service. “Applying one-stop service can offer many benefits to users of public services – from citizens to businesses, and to the public administrators themselves – including faster, cheaper and superior services.”
Interoperability – sharing data among government agencies and between local government and central government – is critical for success, according to the research team.
This can be demonstrated three ways: The first is to provide better service for end users, the second is sharing data for more efficient services within agencies, and the third is to build cross agency value-added services for its citizens, businesses and also public agencies.
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