The Chief Information Officer (CIO) Concept in E-government: Select Lessons for Developing Countries
Government CIO, CIO Council, CIO Role, CIO Framework, CIO Action Plan
An attempt has been made in this paper to view the Chief Information Officer (CIO) concept worldwide treating him as the prime mover of e-government. In the global perspective the entry of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in e-government calculus by incorporating the four dimensions of (i) introduction of CIO’s, (ii) human resource development for CIO’s, (iii) supporting body for CIO and (iv) role and function of CIO’s, for determining the status of e-government in a country is recent and is highlighted. Approaches to the CIO concept in private and public sectors are then distinguished noting that CIO experience in private sector is of limited use to the public sector. The CIO model in private and public sectors are then briefly described.
A dozen countries, namely, 1. United Kingdom, 2. United States, 3. Canada, 4. Japan, 5. Australia, 6. Singapore, 7. Hong Kong SAR, 8. Malta, 9. Botswana, 10. India, 11. Thailand, and 12. Sri Lanka, are selected to learn from, based on research on the Web, their experiences of implementation of CIO concept and their notable contributions to the CIO concept summarized including positioning of the CIO in the organisational structure in the selected countries. This is followed by a similar exercise in implementing the concept of CIO Council in selected countries. A hypothesis is then advanced that the socio-economic parameters of a country determine the status of ICT sector and E-government in general and the status of CIO in particular but it is a two-way, reversible relationship, that is, the status of CIO also determines the status of e-government which, in its turn, also determines the status of ICT sector which, in its turn, determines the status of the economy as a whole.
A framework for implementing the CIO concept is then developed based on (a) developing mechanisms to support the CIO so that he can play his assigned role competently, (b) drawing CIO Profile so that we are clear about his qualifications, experience, and other desired qualities and attributes, (c) defining CIO’s Role so that we are clear about what to expect from them and CIO’s are clear as to what is expected from them, and, above all, (d) undertaking a PEST/SWOT analysis of CIO for developing appropriate strategy, and (e) Training the CIO, by undertaking training needs analysis (TNA), identifying needed knowledge (K), skills (S), attitudes and attributes (A) and other things (Os), developing a training plan, and then executing it repeatedly in a training cycle.
Following ten roles for the CIO in the domain of (i) leadership, (ii) e-business plan, (iii) liaison, (iv) contracts, (v) policies and standards, (vi) website, (vii) ICT-related committees, (viii) link officer, (ix) porte parole, and (x) e-government champion, are identified and their key components and sub-components described. The first seven roles are already prescribed as CIO responsibilities in the ICT Manual for the Civil Service of Republic of Mauritius  and the last three are suggested as add-on roles.
For implementing the CIO concept in e-government preparation of a CIO framework and for implementing the CIO framework, preparation of a CIO Action Plan in a 10-year perspective are emphasized so that the pace of development of e-government in developing countries is accelerated. The CIO Action Plan is also proposed to consist of (i) a short-term plan (0-2 years), (ii) a medium-term plan (3-5 years), and (iii) a long term plan (6-10 years) to provide proper short, medium and long-term perspectives for implementation of the CIO concept. ____________________________________________________________
*Independent E-government Consultant, New Delhi, India (Tel: +91-11-2245 2431, Fax: +91-11-4244...
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