The paper gives justification for the adoption of information system in the provision of government services in the Third World countries, which includes African and Latin American states. Governments normally provide vital services to the citizens and in the same vein provide tenders to the business class. However, in the Third World countries, which are the area of concentration in the undertaken study, the services are provided through the manual system. Obviously, there are demerits and inefficiencies of the manual system. This paper seeks to develop a business justification as to why the governments in the Third World should adopt an electronic system of providing services.
In addition, the paper shall talk about the merits and demerits of both the manual and the electronic means of service provision. The introduction shall be made of a brief description of how both the manual and the electronic systems work. It will also discuss in detail the cost-benefit analyses for the two types of service provision. The assumptions that are normally made in support of the electronic system of procurement and service provision shall also be evaluated in detail. The paper shall proceed to analyze the benefits that accrue from the adoption of the electronic means of procurement. Finally, the paper shall present conclusions and recommendations to be adopted by the implementing body.
Electronic System of Providing Government Services
The governments in the Third World, consisting of African and Lain American countries have not embraced the modern electronic system of providing government services. They also provide their tendering services through manual procurement system. The main reason for such laxity in adopting the modern ways of running governments is largely attributed to the fact that the young democracies are behind in technological progress.
Digitization of government services has been implemented in the developed world and the benefits of the strategy are numerous (Thomas, 2003). The merits of implementation range from ease of access to the government services to the ability to enhance the quality of services provided. The other advantage that has come with the implementation of the E-governance is the fact that corruption in the awarding of government tenders has been eradicated. In fact, the electronic platform ensures fairness and justice in the procurement process. The other merit that comes with e-governance is that services are offered in a faster means; consequently there is time saving. Therefore, the costs decrease, which would otherwise have been incurred as a result of delays and time wastage. The human resource in charge of the government tendering process is allocated efficiently, since the amount of input in terms of manpower effort will be eased by the computers. The aforementioned features make the electronic governance an easy method of managing government services.
The scope of the study shall cover all the areas of governance that information technology can be applied to, or has been already applied in the developed world. The list of the government departments that have adopted the use of e-governance will be presented (Baye, 2000). African countries and the Latin American countries are yet to embrace the technology, which is successfully applied in the developed world. In this paper, the research shall also touch on the security docket and how technology has helped to revolutionize the safety sector.
The cost-benefit analysis of such endeavor is in support of the adoption of the E-governance. In the manual system of governance, significant percentage of manpower has to be employed to perform many operations taking place in government departments (Grembergen & Dahaes, 2007). Therefore, additional costs of operations are incurred. Once costs go up, the objective of optimization will suffer. The reason for the case is that the net gain will be low and consequently the costs of running the government might be unsustainable. In addition, more services are demanded, especially where population is highly growing; it is a phenomenon that is mostly witnessed in the Third World countries.
The benefits that the electronic governance system will bring are immense. In the case of E-governance application, the advantages will offset the costs incurred in adopting the system. Firstly, the level of performance will be improved, because of the time saving (Harvard Business School, 2011). Secondly, the use of computers will decrease the number of people required to work for the government. Consequently, the expense for salaries of the workers who have been substituted by the computers will be allocated for other activities. Despite the fact that the change may bring welfare problems, especially from the lost jobs for some workers, the benefits derived outweighs the costs by far. Therefore, the cost-benefit analysis approach establishes that E-governance endeavor is highly viable and recommended.
The risks that E-governance will pose are immense that adequate preparation required in anticipation for the challenges. These are issues to do with cyber crime that has all times posed serious threats to the system in other countries. Cyber criminals can get access to vital documents availed on the online platform (Gerdes, 2008). The information can be misused by the criminals for their financial gain or Internet misconduct. The potential misuse can be minimized if the concerned authorities can move ahead and place preventive measures that will combat the occurrence of cyber crime. The preventive strategies should include the training of IT specialists that will be tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the government cyber space and ensuring the security from hackers and other cyber criminals.
For any new system to work well upon implementation, it has to be strategically positioned so as to tap on the benefits that accrue. In addition, it has to be ready for the disadvantages that can emanate in the process. The whole idea of digitizing the government services ought to be preceded by well thought-out measures meant to ensure the successful implementation stage. Otherwise, the obstacles may significantly interfere with effective introduction of the system.
In the case of the developing world, the first strategic measure that needs to be done is the training of the citizens on how to use the computers. The process is a long-term investment that has to start at the school level. Students should be exposed to the use of computers earlier in their education process. Therefore, they will be in a position to appreciate the value of the information technology in the governance system. The government also has to ensure that the requisite infrastructure is in place so that the people can easily access the services at their disposal. Thus, the nature of the strategic options is aimed at preparing the people to receive the services offered through the online platform.
Efficiency of E-governance
Efficiency will be assessed based on time and costs saved as well as the quality of services provided (Morris & Girdler, 1999). Corruption is a major hindrance to the smoothness of service provision in the country where manual tendering processes are used. The manual system allows the cartels and senior government officials to skew the tenders in their favor. The result of such misconduct is poor service provision and lack of transparency throughout the process. The costs of corrupt acts for the government are high, since they result in loss of revenue in taxes, and other due levies that the state could have reaped from a non-corrupt system.
Therefore, efficiency will be achieved by enabling a sound electronic management system, where unnecessary sinister human intervention is eliminated. In the government setting, the heads of departments are tasked with the duty to maintain a fair system that allows each participant a fair chance to do business with the government. The mission of the department heads is to enable the system to function freely. Once the government has put in place the necessary infrastructure and mechanisms that meet the minimum expectations of citizenry, work will progress smoothly as has been witnessed in the developed world.
Electronic Tendering Process
Electronic tendering is the process, where government or company tenders are offered to bidders through the Internet. In the E-system, the government or company website is tailor-made to have the menus where bidders can place their request for tenders. In addition, the participants can allocate the requisite payments as per the rules of tendering through the website (Emmanuelli, 2005). The strategy has been applied before and is currently in full-scale use in the developed economies. The benefits of the system include the efficient speed and convenience for the users. It reduces the extensive paperwork that normally characterizes the manual system.
The assumptions of E-governance endeavor are that the level of technology in the Third World countries is at the level is appropriate for the successful operations. It is also assumed that the people in the African and Latin American states are technologically advanced and possess necessary computer skills to the point of being in a position to benefit from the implemented E-governance (Alshawi & Arif, 2011). The undertaken study also assumes that there are no other operational costs associated with the establishment of E-commerce apart from the installation costs. However, the aforementioned assumptions are not true in their initial form. The potential weaknesses of assumptions need to be addressed so that the implementation of the study can be successful.
Assumptions normally form the actions to be taken in attaining a particular objective. The hypotheses above are therefore necessary in helping the implementing agency move with certainty while seeking to achieve the laid down objectives. Thus, the assumptions are necessary to be addressed.
E-governance has come to aid the provision of government services. It is the latest best way of managing state activities. The benefits outweigh the costs and the advantages offsets all the disadvantages that could accrue. Therefore, there is the sufficient justification for the adoption of E-governance in the African and Latin American countries.
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