2.2 Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) 6
2.3 Public Administration and Policy Evaluation 7
2.4 Electronic Government 9
3 Research Methodology 9
4 Contribution to Knowledge 11
5 Limitations and Key Assumptions 12
6 Planning 12
Table 1 Relations among analysis, evaluation and investigation 8
Table 2 Analysis VS Evaluation 8
Table 3 Methodologies Classification 10
Table 4 Activities List 13
At the present time there is a massive implementation of e-administration initiatives on the part of the public administration to meet the requirements of joining the knowledge society and to avoid the negative digital divide implications.
In the implementation of this sort of initiatives, this research will be carried out on the highly important issue of the public administration to citizen relation (G2C), on the basis of regarding the citizen as an applicant of services and information rather than a participant, voter nor subject of state.
The objective of this research is to give answer, through the comparative evaluation between Colombia and a second Latin American country of the electronic tax payment service, to the questions:
How does the Citizen perceive the present electronic administration initiatives?
What does the Citizen expect from the present electronic administration initiatives?
What can the Public Administration do to implement electronic administration initiatives?
The relevance of the proposed research can be assessed from several perspectives; in a first instance, the ICT1 is a fundamental element at the incorporation process of communities in the digital society and, therefore, the public administration is responsible for generating policies that support this incorporation.
This responsibility is described by institutions like the World Bank, when defining, among other directives for the state reform, the promotion of efficient and effective systems of services provision through a variety of channels adapted to the activity circumstances and the country (SHEPHERD, 1999). In addition, for the developing countries case, the evaluation of the ICT applications will involve the identification of challenges and opportunities critics that, if they are not taken advantage of, will imply their irremediable delay (HALLBERG & BOND, 2001).
The European Union recommend (CARELLI, 2001):
To accelerate the public administration transformation and the governmental services improvement by means of a more intensive ICT use
To guarantee the access of all the communitarian citizens to the "vital information" of its governments
To establish safe channels for the communication between the citizen and the public administration
To promote the public-private associations directed to the services provision and information access to the public sector.
Additionally, the OECD observes how the TIC offers new business opportunities, including the most modest people. Used widely, they provide the communities with means to participate in new sources of economic growth and expression, in the same way, new capacities are acquired. The public administration has the important responsibility to jointly work with the enterprise sector and the civil society to assure that not losing these opportunities (JOHNSTON, 2000).
In order to give answer to the requirements previously defined, the public administration has initiated the implementation of a series of electronic government initiatives.
In this ICT application on the part of the public administration, there are few studies focused on the expectations of the citizen toward the electronic government. The situation is more marked for the case of the developing countries. Additionally, experts consulted in the subject of public management think that a work developed in the ICT research at the relation public administration-citizen does not exist.
Furthermore, it is possible to conclude that the electronic government implies, for the public administration, the existence of internal and external relations with components of citizen participation, benefit of public services, access to the public information and, finally, interagency horizontal integration.
These components cover the different electronic government sectors; G2G-government to government, G2B-government to business and finally G2C-government to citizen (SEIFERT & PETERSEN, 2001).
Within this electronic government definition, at the G2C relation, it is necessary to consider the different citizen role (DUIVENBODEN, 2002):
Subject of the State: he is subject to norms, regulations and decisions defined by the public administration
Citoyen: he is in capacity to actively participate in the policy processes
Voter: he is in capacity to choose his representatives.
In his position of customer or applicant of services and information, the citizen has expectations that are distributed throughout the implementation phases of the electronic government initiatives as follows3:
Presence: To maintain the citizen informed
Interaction: To hear requirements and to know the citizen necessities. To initiate proceedings, although the final processing must be made through the traditional channels. Feedback on the undertaken processes
Transaction: To work so that the necessities and requirements are expressed in the defined policies. To execute complete proceedings in line, that do not imply interagency integration
Transformation: To execute all the proceedings in line, thanks to the vertical and horizontal interagency integration that forces to the redefinition of the functions and the organizations. “One-Stop Shopping” concept.
Democratic Participation: To implement what the citizen decides.
The fulfillment, or not, of these expectations, generates a satisfaction level with the received service, which can be studied identifying the reasons for following 4 deficiencies(PARASURAMAN, ZEITHAML, & BERRY, 1994):
Not to know what the citizen desires
To establish mistaken norms
To take deficiencies in the benefit
To find differences between the expectations and the perceptions.
The development of a pioneering research applicable in the Latin American surroundings and specially comparing the Colombian case with a second Latin American country was considered from de previous premises. Its accomplishment entails the creation of a methodological base for the evaluation of a specific electronic service, and it is hoped, to be used in a wide range of electronic services in the public administration and its adjustment for a later application in other Latin American countries and, as far as possible, to the worldwide reality.
Finally, the Colombian academic and public administration surroundings, show great interest in the application of the defined results in this research4, by its contribution to the implementation of the analyses process that require the initiatives advanced in this subject5.