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1 AN ANALYSIS OF E-GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF SERVICES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA _____________________________.

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Presentation on theme: "1 AN ANALYSIS OF E-GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF SERVICES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA _____________________________."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 AN ANALYSIS OF E-GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF SERVICES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA _____________________________ AN ANALYSIS OF E-GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF SERVICES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADMINISTRATIVE DEVELOPMENT: TOWARDS EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC SECTOR PERFORMANCE RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA 1-4 NOVEMBER 2009 TITOS KHALO, TSHWANE UNIV OF TECH, SOUTH AFRICA

2 2 STRUCTURE / CONTENTS 1.INTRODUCTION 2.BACKGROUND 3.RATIONALE FOR THE STUDY 4.LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 5.THEORETICAL OVERVIEW OF E-GOVERNMENT 6.UNIT OF ANALYSIS 7.ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS 8.PROBLEM STATEMENT 9.ASSUMPTIONS MADE IN THE STUDY 10.OVERVIEW OF E-GOVERNMENT IN THE DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS 11.CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

3 3 INTRODUCTION The new information and communication technologies (ICTs) are radically changing the world. People live in the information age can communicate with each other via Internet everywhere and every time. The conceptions of space, needs and manner have been changed by the usage of ICTs. ICTs also affect the government and society and result in new methods of organization, new ways of thinking for government and all sectors of the society. New technological tools are allowing people to deal with things in different ways. ICTs are changing the world, and ICTs have also become an important source of productivity. The increased availability and decreased cost of ICTs have also changed the sphere of political activity in a fairly significant manner (Oliver & Sanders 2004: 10).

4 4 Background The world is changing by the technologies and people are living in a situation, which is different from before. As a democratic government, in order to better serve the citizens and meet their needs, it is necessary for the South African government to know the current situation in the world and adopt the proper information technology to deliver the services effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of the people (Kumar 2003 : 2). The Government is however searching for ways, known as E-Government to respond to these pressures. E-Government (or electronic government) is the provision and organization of public services through new electronic channels. It involves the use of technology, particularly computer and communications developments such as the internet, digital TV (Television ) and mobile phones, to modernize and improve government services including both central and local government (Curthovs 2003: 2).

5 5 The world is changing by the technologies and people are living in a situation, which is different from before. As a democratic government, in order to better serve the citizens and meet their needs, it is necessary for the South African government to know the current situation in the world and adopt the proper information technology to deliver the services effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of the people (Kumar 2003 : 2). The Government is however searching for ways, known as E-Government to respond to these pressures. E-Government (or electronic government) is the provision and organization of public services through new electronic channels. It involves the use of technology, particularly computer and communications developments such as the internet, digital TV ( Television ) and mobile phones, to modernize and improve government services including both central and local government (Curthovs 2003: 2).

6 6 The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) provides basic public services to the citizens and non-citizens in South Africa. It plays an important role within the public service and is the window of government for citizens and visitors. It is important and urgent for the Department of Home Affairs to follow the new trends, to adopt the ICTs in its services to deliver its convenience and efficiency to people. It is also important for the citizens to know more about the technologies and E-Government. According to recent global e-govt rankings compiled by Brown Univ (http://www.insidepolitics.org/) in:http://www.insidepolitics.org/ : SA no 72 out of :SA no 149 out of 198

7 7 The purpose of this study was to explore and analyse the application of E- Government in the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). The present status and application of E-government was explored first. The study also analyses the benefits and challenges of E-Government in the DHA. Lastly, the study offers suggestions for E-Government. RATIONALE

8 8 Limitations of the Study Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. Responses to questions were not completely valid and reliable and therefore answers could not be generalised. Despite these limitations data received was filtered and refined to ensure heightened outcomes.

9 9 Unit of analysis Questionnaires (targeted)(100) response rate: 66% The first group: citizens who live in the Republic of South Africa. The second group:non-citizens who live in the Republic of South Africa. Interviews (10) Officials of the Department of Home Affairs: Pretoria Office

10 10 Ethical considerations Ethical considerations will be observed during the research, especially during the collection of data, etc. According to Clapper (2004:106), ethical considerations include the following: This research should not violate human rights; participation is voluntary. The participants need to sign an informed consent form to ensure understanding, confidentiality, voluntary participation, and termination of participation, anonymity and the purpose of the research. When questionnaires are involved, the researcher should use the informed consent letters and complete and sign an ethics declaration to indicate their awareness and understanding of the ethical implications. Contact details of the participants will be supplied

11 11 Assumptions The independent variable is E-Government. The dependent variable is effective public service delivery in the Department of Home Affairs. E- Government influences and improves public service delivery and plays an important role as such. In the study assumptions of E-government are the following: E-Government helps the Department of Home Affairs to improve the efficiency of public service delivery. E-Government reduces the cost of services and clients benefit from the usage of E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs. E-Government cannot achieve all functions of the DHA.

12 12 Problem Statement The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) provides the important and basic public services to citizens and this service influences their quality of life, the image of the country in the eyes of foreign citizens, and enhances the spirit of Batho Pele. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) face a number of challenge such as shortage of human resource, equipment, technology, low effectiveness of service delivery etc. In order to improve the application of E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs, it is important to explore the current situation and the Application of E-Government in the Department and analyze the problems, then to make suggestions to the Department of Home Affairs to improve the application of E-government.

13 13 Problem statement (Con.) This study explores and analyses the application of E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs and attempts to find the relationship between the E-Government and effective public service delivery. To accomplish this objective the following questions need to be addressed: Does E-Government ensure effective service delivery in the Department of Home Affairs? Does citizens and non-citizens have access to E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs? How do customers react to E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs?

14 14 Research methodology Cooper & Schindler (2003: 170) state that in most studies, exploration is the first stage of a project and is used to orientate the researcher and the research. The objective of exploration is the development of hypotheses, not testing. Exploratory study was used for this research, and the research methodology hybrid, Qualitative and Quantitative.

15 15 Overview of E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs Components of E-Government In the Department of Home Affairs, the E-Government should ideally consist of the following components: Electronic service delivery (ESD). ESD must allow customer to access public services, delivered online, anytime and anywhere. These services must be integrated and customer-centric. And they should be aligned to the South African government’s Batho-Pele (People first) service delivery framework (Shilubane 2005: ). Electronic-business (E-business). E-business means the utilisation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in support of all the activities of business (Wikipedia 2008: Online). Electronic-governance (E-governance). E-governance refers to the use of Internet technology as a platform for exchanging information, providing services and transacting with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government (Wikipedia 2008: Online).

16 16 Models E-Government usually describes the following modalities: Government to Citizen (G2C): deals with the relationship between government and citizens. Government to Business (G2B): consists of electronic interactions between government and the private sector. Government to Government (G2G): refers to the relationship between governmental organizations, as for example national, regional and local governmental organizations, or with other foreign government organizations. Government to Employees (G2E): refers to the relationship between government and its employees. G2E is an effective way to provide Electronic-learning (E-learning), bring employees together and to promote knowledge sharing among them. The E-Government models in the Department of Home Affairs is likely to be Government to Citizen (G2C) for the citizen to access the services and Government to Government (G2G) for the department to assist and share source with other governments, and also Government to Business (G2B) for the private sector. Overview of E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs(Continue)

17 17 E-government key projects The key E-Government projects in the Department of Home Affairs are: Website (Services, Contact, Documents, Organization, Projects, Information, Communication, Online checking) Smart Card WHO AM I ONLINE System (HANIS). Overview of E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs(Continue)

18 18 Overview of E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs(Continue)

19 19 Overview of E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs(Continue) Challenges of E-Government ICT Infrastructure. For example, in the Department of Home Affairs: The Immigration branch is described as the poor relation in the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). All refugee reception centres are severely understaffed, under-equipped, and seriously pressured by the inflow of asylum applications. Policy Issues. Processing of E-Government principles and functions requires a range of new rules, policies, laws and legislative changes to address electronic activities including electronic signatures, electronic archiving etc Human Capital Development and Life Long Learning. E-Government requires technical skills for installation, maintenance, designing and implementation of ICT infrastructure Change Management. Can be divided into change management approach and management of resistance to change. Change management approach refers to the change management procedures established within organizations. Employee resistance to change is the biggest barrier to successful change.

20 20 Overview of E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs(Continue) Partnership and Collaboration. Collaboration and cooperation at local, regional and national levels, as well as between public and private organizations, are important elements in the E-Government development process. Collaboration between the private and public sectors should provide resources, skills and capabilities that the government lacks. Strategy. The government must have a clear strategy to overcome the barriers to change. Leadership Role. Since E-Government is a complex process, accompanied by high costs, risks and challenges, public organizations are generally resistant to the initiation of change, a leadership is required before, during and after E-Government implementation. The history of South Africa has created a particular problem in the registration of citizens.

21 21 Conclusion and Recommendations 1. How does E-Government provide effective service delivery in the Department of Home Affairs? The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has considered the E- Government as an effective approach to achieve effective service delivery to its clients. The Smart Card and WHO AM I ONLINE System projects are being installed by the DHA and will provide effective service to its customers. The current running E-Government project is the website of the DHA. 79.5% of respondents believe that the usage of the Internet in the DHA can improve the quality of services and 71.7% of respondents feel the access to the website is fast and convenient, but there are only 26% of respondents, in the past six months, who accessed the website to download application forms and gather information from the website. The website and its functions are not popular with its clients.

22 22 2. Can E-Government currently achieve all the functions of the Department of Home Affairs? The DHA is going to install the E-Government project such as the WHO AM I ON LINE System to provide all functions online for customers to access the total services quickly and easily. But the current website of the DHA can only achieve small functions of the DHA, people can only check their ID (Identity), Passport and Marital Status via the web page. The online checking for the other permits such as work permits, study permits, refugee certificates and travel documents still cannot be done. 79.7% of respondents get in touch with the DHA physically for their services, and only 20.3% customers contact the DHA electronically. It is evident that the current E-Government cannot achieve all the functions of the DHA.

23 23 3. Does everyone have access to E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs? Nearly 80% of respondents still contact the DHA physically, and never access the website of the DHA, For this reason, most respondents said that they never knew that the DHA had their own website, or even if they knew the website, they did not have Internet access or they do not know the function of the website so they never tried it These results show that most of the people know very little about the website and its functions of the DHA. People have limited equipment and no chance to access the Internet. On the other hand the website does not provide functions for disabled people. It is clear that not everybody, but a small part of the population have accessed the website.

24 24 Most of the respondents seldom access the website of the DHA. But for the people who have accessed the website, around 72% think the information on the website is easy to find and understand. And half of these people feel the website is fast and convenient. The people use the website to download application forms, check status of the application, communicate with DHA or access information. About 80% people are confident with the use of the Internet, and think it will improve the quality of services of the DHA. It is evident that the website is not popular and accessible to most of the people, a lot of customers still follow the traditional ways to get the services. But the people who have accessed the website, most of them are satisfied and confident with it. 4. How do respondents feel about the E-Government in the Department of Home Affairs?

25 25 From the study, it is obvious that the traditional processing duration of applications is not satisfactory by most of the people. It costs people time to get them. Shortage of staff and sometimes the unprofessional and tough services cause the clients dissatisfaction. These are all symptoms of inefficient services. The E-Government of the DHA provides more convenient ways for people to get services, and provides 24/7 hours services for its customers, but the DHA must make sure that all the customers get the opportunity to access the E- Government and the E-Government is available to the entire population. For the hypothesis i. and ii., if E-Government of the DHA is available for every client, then it will provide effective services and the clients can benefit from it. For the assumption on E-government achieving all functions of the DHA, it is clear that E-Government cannot currently achieve all the goals for the functions of the Department of Home Affairs and these will need to be improved in the future. RECOMMENDATIONS

26 26 This study found some shortcomings in the DHA website and what follows are some suggestions for improvement: There can be flash features on the website to introduce the function and context of the website. No privacy and security policy can be found on the website. The DHA needs to consider the security issues for the further improvement on Electronic-commerce (E-commerce) and transactions. For physically challenged individuals, the website should have a different version written in Braille as well as the large sized words, audio documents for people who have a problem with their eyes. More language options should be added on the website for the convenience of people from different countries. More channels for communication between government and clients such as a chat room and a message board need to be added on the website and displayed. Maintenance of the website is very important to make sure the latest information can be delivered to the clients.

27 27 It is evident from the study that the Department of Home Affairs is well prepared to accelerate the implementation of E-Government but the current levels of E-Government services are very low and overall commitment by the South African government to provide e-government services must be heightened. The website needs to be improved. The awareness of E-Government in the DHA and other departments among people needs to be promoted.

28 28 THANK YOU

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30 30 Conclusion and Recommendations (Continue)

31 31 Conclusion and Recommendations (Continue)

32 32 Conclusion and Recommendations (Continue)

33 33 Conclusion and Recommendations (Continue)

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35 35 Conclusion and Recommendations (Continue)

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