E-Governance in Bangladesh: Problems and Prospects
An emerging concept, e-governance has become trendy since mid 1990s around the world, with various moves by the governments integrating information and communication technologies in the public sector management and in the process of delivering services for citizens. The policy makers of the developed countries envisioned that new developments in ICT and especially the TCP/IP protocol would pay a significant contribution in achieving objectives of good governance. So, the term e-Governance refers to the efficient and effective use of modern ICT technology with a view to establishing good governance for any country. From the management and technological perceptions, the e-governance can also be defined as Electronic State Management System based on information and communication technologies (ICT), including the Internet technology. The far-reaching developments in e-governance have encouraged governments around the world to establish an on-line presence by publishing statistical information on the Internet. In so doing, they hope to increase efficiency, effectiveness and organizational performance. Bangladesh has joined the race toward adopting e-government. This paper deals with the e-governance initiatives in Bangladesh with focuses on the challenges and prospects of e-governance in Bangladesh.
2. Concept of eGovernment
A clear definition of e-governance has yet to emerge. A recent joint research initiative for the study of e-government sponsored by the United Nations Division for Public Economics and Public Administration and the American Society for Public Administration defined e-government as "utilizing the internet and the world-wide-web for delivering government information and services to citizens." According to the World Bank, e-government refers to governmental use of information technologies (such as Wide Area Networks, the Internet, and mobile computing) that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other agencies of government. E-Government can be defined as the application of information and communication technology (ICT) to improve the efficiency, responsiveness, transparency, and accountability of government. Common applications of eGovernment include online delivery of government information and services, computerized licensing and registration, web-based tender notification and procurement, web-enabled complaints submission, and online public comment for draft legislation.
3. Components of eGovernment
E-Government has four major components: These are
1. G2C (Government-to-Citizen): This component involves interaction of individual citizens with the government. Examples include payment of utility bills or downloading government forms from the Internet. Singapore’s e-Citizen Portal is one of the most highly acclaimed G2C sites. 2. G2B (Government-to-Business): This component involves interaction of business entities with the government. Examples include corporate tax filing or government procurement through the Internet. A notable success story for online government procurement is Malaysia’s e-Prohelan website, which has about 3,500 government procurement centers and about 30,000 suppliers. 3. G2G (Government-to-Government): G2G component involves interaction among government officials, including interactions within a particular government office and interactions among various government offices. Examples include the use of email for internal government communication or customized software applications for tracking the progress of government projects. A popular G2G service is the e-Police System in Karnataka, India, which features an electronic database of police records.
4. G2E (Government-to-Employee): It involves interaction between the government and government employees with respect to services such as salary, pension, and vacation leave.For example, a government may introduce...
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