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Friday, September 17, 2004

Global E-Government, 2004 comparison report

Darrel West of Brown University has come out with the Global 2004 eGovernment report.The report covers E-Government Rankings by Country, E-Government Country Ratings, Individual Country Profiles for Services, Privacy, Security, and Disability Access, Individual Country Profiles for Foreign Language Translation, and Best Practices of Top Government Sites, 2004.Taiwan and Singapore lead the ratings.Governments around the world have created websites that facilitate tourism, citizen complaints, and business investment. Websites are evaluated for the presence of various features dealing with information availability, service delivery, and public access. Features assessed included the name of the nation, region of the world, and having the following features: online publications, online database, audio clips, video clips, non-native languages or foreign language translation, commercial advertising, premium fees, user payments, disability access, privacy policy, security features, presence of online services, number of different services, digital signatures, credit card payments, email address, comment form, automatic email updates, website personalization, personal digital assistant (PDA) access, and an English version of the website. In looking at electronic government from 2001 to 2004, progress is being made, albeit at an incremental pace. Governments are showing steady progress on several important dimensions, but not major leaps forward. On several key indicators, e-government performance is edging up. However, movement forward has not been more extensive in some areas because budget, bureaucratic, and institutional forces have limited the extent to which the public sector has incorporated technology into their mission. Among the significant findings of the research are:

1) 21 percent of government websites offer services that are fully executable online, up from 16 percent in 2003, 12 percent in 2002, and eight percent in 2001.
2) 89 percent of websites this year provide access to publications and 62 percent have links to databases.
3) 14 percent (up from 12 percent in 2003) show privacy policies, while 8 percent have security policies (up from 6 percent in 2003).
4) 14 percent of government websites have some form of disability access, meaning access for persons with disabilities, the same as in 2003.
5) Countries vary enormously in their overall e-government performance based on our analysis. The most highly ranked nations include Taiwan, Singapore, United States, Canada, Monaco, China, Australia, Togo, and Germany.
6) There are major differences in e-government performance based on region of the world. In general, countries in North America score the highest, followed by Asia, Western Europe, Pacific Ocean Islands, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia, South America, Central America, and Africa. An extremely well researched and documented report.

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