Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brookings Institution Report Ranks Korea's e-Government Number One

Another in a series of reports on e-government by the Brookings Institution has ranked South Korea number one.  The report notes that "unlike traditional bricks and mortar agencies, digital delivery systems are non-hierarchical, non-linear, interactive and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The non-hierarchical character of Internet delivery permits people to look for information at their own convenience. The interactive aspects of e-government allow both citizens and bureaucrats to send as well as receive information."  To evaluate the state of digital government, the study examined 18 different features. Four
points were awarded to each website for the presence of the following features: publications, databases, audio clips, video clips, foreign language access, not having ads, not having premium fees, not having user fees, disability access, having privacy policies, security policies, allowing digital signatures on transactions, an option to pay via credit cards, email contact information, areas to post comments, option for email updates, option for website personalization and PDA accessibility. These features provide a maximum of 72 points for particular websites. Each site then qualifies for up to 28 points based on the number of online services executable on that site (one point for one service, two points for two services, three points for three services and on up to 28 points for 28 or more services). The overall e-government index runs along a scale from zero (having none of these features and no online services) to 100 (having all features plus at least 28 online services). Totals for each website within a country were averaged across all of that nation's websites to produce a zero to 100 overall rating for that nation.

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