e-Government

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e-Government, or electronic government, also known as e-gov, Internet government, digital government, online government, or connected government) consists of the digital interactions between a citizen and their government (C2G), between governments and government agencies (G2G), between government and citizens (G2C), between government and employees (G2E), and between government and businesses/commerce (G2B). Essentially, e-government delivery models can be briefly summed up in the following.

  • G2G (government to governments)
  • G2C (government to citizens)
  • G2E (government to employees)
  • G2B (government to businesses)

This digital interaction consists of e-citizens at all levels of government (city, state/province, national, and international), governance, information and communication technology (ICT), and business process re-engineering (BPR).

Electronic Government (or e-Government) essentially refers to the utilization of Information Technology (IT), Information and Communication Technologies (ICT s), and other web-based telecommunication technologies to improve and/or enhance on the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in the public sector. e-Government promotes and improves broad stakeholders contribution to national and community development, as well as deepen the governance process.
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Advantages of e-Government
The ultimate goal of the e-Government is to be able to offer an increased portfolio of public services to citizens in an efficient and cost effective manner. E-government allows for government transparency. Government transparency is important because it allows the public to be informed about what the government is working on as well as the policies they are trying to implement. Simple tasks may be easier to perform through electronic government access.

Many changes, such as marital status or address changes can be a long process and take a lot of paper work for citizens. e-Government allows these tasks to be performed efficiently with more convenience to individuals. e-Government is an easy way for the public to be more involved in political campaigns. It could increase voter awareness, which could lead to an increase in citizen participation in elections. It is convenient and cost-effective for businesses, and the public benefits by getting easy access to the most current information available without having to spend time, energy and money to get it.

e-Government helps simplify processes and makes access to government information more easily accessible for public sector agencies and citizens. In addition to its simplicity, e-democracy services can reduce costs. The anticipated benefits of e-Government include efficiency, improved services, better accessibility of public services, sustainable community development and more transparency and accountability.

Speed, efficiency, and convenience
E-government allows citizens to interact with computers to achieve objectives at any time and any location, and eliminates the necessity for physical travel to government agents sitting behind desks and windows. Improved accounting and record keeping can be noted through computerization, and information and forms can be easily accessed, equalling quicker processing time. On the administrative side, access to help find or retrieve files and linked information can now be stored in databases versus hardcopies stored in various locations. Individuals with disabilities or conditions no longer have to be mobile to be active in government and can be in the comfort of their own homes.

e-Government Solutions
With the great progress in the industrial and commercial informatization and the rapid development of government and enterprise networks, digital government has increasingly gained recognition and attention in many countries. Despite progress, there remains an imbalance in the digital divide between developed and developing countries, especially in Africa.

The growth rate in the latter region is only about 30 per cent of North America and about half of the world average. The digital divide is rooted in the lack of e-infrastructure, which has hindered information use and knowledge creation. Through the promotion of digital government, not only can it improve the productivity of existing assets, but it will also attract foreign investments, increase the ability to recruit talent, and facilitate the development of digital communication. Especially for newly emerging nations, local and central government budgets have much lower pressure placed on them. Through the development of digital government, the economy can achieve a rapid growth and the people's living standard will improve greatly.

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The E-government solution is an integrated ICT system that uses the advanced ICT technology for governments to sustainably deliver social and economic services to their citizens. It helps governments to ensure the efficiency, transparency, responsiveness, participation and inclusion in the delivery of public services. The principle of e-government is to improve the internal workings of public sectors by reducing financial costs and transaction times to better integrate work flows and processes and enable effective resource utilization across various public sector agencies aiming for sustainable solutions.

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The E-Government solution includes three functional layers: infrastructure layer, platform layer and application layer. The infrastructure layer is the hardware and network for government applications. It includes the communication network and equipment, the IT infrastructure like servers and storage devices, and a data centre that hosts this infrastructure. The platform layer provides basic data and services for upper-layer applications. The e-government applications include the government portal, government hotline, UC&C, OA, mobile office, and E-ID.

img solution 08-5Advantages of the Solution
The solutions is an End-to-End total solution. It contains all components of e-government: communication, network, data center, IT infrastructure, e-Government applications and terminals.

1. Advanced ICT infrastructure solution
The solution is able to provide all e-Government ICT infrastructures including backbone networks, office networks, wireless and wire-line broadband access, and data centres.

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2. Efficient cloud platform
The e-Government solution is based on an advanced cloud computing platform. The cloud platform can help to lower the investment in e-government construction and decrease the operating costs of e-government and is based on an open and standard architecture that is also a service oriented architecture (SOA). SOA makes it easy to integrate different e-government applications, decrease the costs of, and difficulty in, new application development and deployment, and increase the coordination efficiency between different government departments.

3. All-round security solution
Security is of great importance for the e-government system. The e-Government solution provides all-round security protection for each part of the system including the physical security, network security, data security, and application security. The solution also provides security consultation and security managed services for customers.

img solution 08-7Government and Agency
Call it the triple threat of challenges for governments: a down economy accompanied by dwindling revenues and increased demands for services, aging infrastructures and facilities, and avalanches of data to manage.

Factor in additional, challenges such as demonstrating accountability and transparency to the citizens they serve and providing better visibility to the regulators who oversee them. Governments on all levels need a smarter way to handle everything in sync.

Log on to a government website to pay taxes online. Use a toll tag to glide past a toll booth. Present the bar code on a license or identity card to a handheld scanner. As our tools become more intelligent and our individual worlds become more intertwined, every keystroke adds to the data that government agencies have to keep track of. The productive sharing of data among agencies and even nations is critical and performance management provides the key to efficiency and interconnection. Further development of the solution would look like this as the government expands its e-Government capabilities
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Performance management solutions for government aggregate critical data to deliver one complete view of the information a government generates and receives. It technically can deliver that information in a way that allows officials to truly understand in detail how they are performing against their goals and objectives, giving them power to re-allocate resources to ensure they are achieving those goals and objectives.

As a result, government can gain a more complete picture of performance, and the details that enable timely decisions. The result is projects are more effective, budgets are more controlled, offenders can no longer easily hide, and children and the elderly are less likely to slip through the cracks.

Geographic Data
From asset and resource location awareness and logistics planning to tax assessment, emergency response and crime data analysis, governing organizations rely on geographically related data. Integrating geographic information systems (GIS) with government applications, such as asset management, water management, crime information warehousing and emergency response can extend the value of those applications by increasing accuracy, efficiency and productivity.

GIS solutions for government are designed to help organizations manage and deliver spatial data by geographic location, and integrate this data with existing applications. This can help visualize scenarios, extend intelligence, make more informed decisions and address complex issues such as:
•       Asset management
•       Water management
•       Crime prevention
•       Emergency response

img solution 08-9Cloud Computing for Governments
Economic pressures are forcing regional and local governments to identify ways to reduce the costs and complexity of managing public services while increasing efficiency, security and transparency.

To achieve this, you need cost-effective access to leading-edge systems and software, improved services and application integration, greater web-based constituent access and advanced data analysis capabilities.

The key is to provide government with access to a low-cost shared cloud computing environments with a tight mix of hardware, software and technical resources, to assist in reduce CAPEX and OPEX costs. Modern information sharing capabilities enable further savings, while eliminating overhead and reducing problems and errors. Cloud platforms go beyond mere applications to integrate entire business services and include high levels of shared data management and advanced features to help adopt new business models.

A proven security framework will offer high level data security for all cloud offerings, which are not only feature-rich but also aid comprehensive risk management. With these solutions, one can leverage a standardized view of community operations for sharing services and identifying operational best practices.

e-Soft Government Solutions
According to the United Nations, 89 percent of the countries are in varying stages and degrees of developing and promoting the development of e-government, and regard it at a high level of national Importance. The reasons why the development of e-Government is being pushed is partly because the government is the largest owner of services in our society as a whole, and as the biggest consumer and user of IT, effective use of information technology can create a more diligent, honest and competitive government, while on the other hand as national administrators of IT, will enable people to better participate in decision-making activities of the government, thus contributing to the progress of society, to help the government realize modernization and drive the use of government office electronics and automation. Through the Internet this quick and inexpensive means of communication, the government allows the public to quickly understand the composition, functions and actions, as well as the policies and regulations to increase the transparency of the act of law enforcement, and consciously accept the supervision of the public.

Application Scenarios
E-government has four scope of services: G2G(Government to Governments), G2C(Government to Citizens), G2B(Government to Businesses), and G2E(Government to Employees). A deep dive into the solutions overall would look like this:

img solution 08-101. The Overall Solution
The architecture of the e-Government solution includes four functional layers: infrastructure layer, platform layer, application layer and presentation layer.
Infrastructure layer
The Infrastructure layer is the hardware and network for government applications. It includes communication network and equipment, IT infrastructure like servers and storage, data centre that host these infrastructures. The communication network is divided into wide area network and local area network which used for national interconnection and office network. The data centre can range from one cabinet to a large scale data centre. It can be traditional or cloud based.

Platform layer
The Platform layer provides basic data and services for upper applications. Elementary database stores and manages basic information that is used by government bureaus and public, like demographic information, enterprise information, geographic and natural resource information, economic information, etc.

Data sharing & exchange platform is used to share and exchange data and information between different government departments and bureaus. It transfers heterogeneous data from different applications to a unified format for sharing and exchange. The Government service bus is a platform to integrate different application systems from different government bureaus & departments. It eases the coordination and information sharing between different departments. Government service bus is based on standard service oriented architecture (SOA), and can integrate third party applications.

Application layer
The e-government application includes three categories:

  • Government office applications: UC&C, OA, mobile office, etc.
  • Government department & bureau applications: e-police, e-tour
  • Public service applications: e-Health, e-Education, i-Transportation, E-ID.

Presentation layer
The presentation layer is the interface to e-government users. It includes government public portal for public users, government internal portal for government employees, and government hotline for public.

2. Office network
The Office network is the basis of the different government department’s interoperability. The solution would offer a variety of government park access solutions as well as national backbone network solution to meet the needs of the government office network.

3. Data centre
The solution would make use of a modular data centre, designed for factory prefabrication, precision airflow and high-density design, which solves the problems encountered by a traditional data centre. Based on the data centre, the solution can deploy two cloud computing applications. A Virtual Desktop Cloud Solution can enable government staff anytime, anywhere, and on any device, to access management, sharing, publishing and overview dashboards. Cloud storage solutions with complete functions, will offer not only the practical basic functions such as uploading and downloading of files, but also full file sharing, HTTP, file and directory management, file search and other functions, while also providing shoot and send, File-mail, online/offline download and a featured set of convenient services.

4. Information Security
Protecting networks, maintaining user privacy, confidentiality and the integrity of the communication processes will become an increasingly complex task - one that must be balanced against regulatory requirements. The solution encompasses and offers a full range of security features and solutions for governments, using highly advanced security features and products as well as partnerships with 3rd party vendors. The security products continuously evolve with the required security solutions in order to counter new threats and to fulfil the on-going network security challenges and requirements.

img solution 08-115. UC&C
Developed on the basis of voice, data, video, and text, the UCS is an office assistant system running on an IP/IMS/NGN network. It has functions such as online friend, instant messaging, email, presence, VoIP, conference call, video conference, electronic whiteboard, application sharing, and files transfers. It is an open system which can be flexibly integrated with an enterprise office system. It intends to provide enterprise users and high end users with various services.

6. Office Automation
The internal office automation system includes management systems like document management, human resource management, Assets Management System, Finance management, and so on. And many workflows can be customized for the different government services that are offered within each department and branch of government. The government officer can work in a fully paperless environment and collaborate efficiently with the OA solution.

7. E-Education
Government based education sharing service solution provides customized solutions: Smart classroom, Virtual Laboratory, e-Course Recording, Mobile Classroom, Smart campuses, Modular Datacentres, Desktop Cloud, Education Vehicles, Distance Learning, e-Library, Resource sharing cloud, Information management cloud, Mobile learning, Smart cards and consulting service. They are customized for basic education, higher education, enterprise training and vocational education to realize learning and training anytime anywhere and improve education efficiency and quality.

8. E-Health
The e-Health solutions is developed as a cost-effective and secure solution for the disbursement and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for health and health-related fields. ICTs provide a range of technologies for gathering, storing, retrieving, processing, analysing, transmitting and receiving data and information. These include radio, television, mobile phones, computer and network hardware and software, as well as the services and applications associated with them. The solution encompasses a trusted and robust comprehensive health informationization system and the equipment for the solution that covers different healthcare areas.

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9. Electronic ID
The e-ID system provides an intelligent, safe and green ID verification and certification environment. It adopts IC card chips for saving a large amount of personalized information and RFID technology for quick identification, and the e-ID system is much safer than any other system, because it has an end-to-end multiple security layer mechanism, secure key management system that is in compliance with international standards, and is fully capable of hot standby for key modules and core data off-site disaster recovery. The system can be used for citizen identification, medical health and record storage, license storage such as drivers and fire-arm, voter information and voter tracking and other such features.

10. i-Transportation
Intelligent traffic management systems will collect, summarize, and merge all the gathered traffic information about the current local and intercity trunk road network, and the dynamic information about vehicles such as speed, count, distance travel, and toll management. Additionally, it forwards, optimizes, and updates traffic services through the interconnection of application services, the construction of the data centre, and the integration of application services.

11. Portal
As one of the important service windows the portal will directly reflect the level of a country or a government’s e-gov development. The portal is an application framework which is highly integrated with a variety of services. The portal provides a unified interface to the public, including government, businesses and citizens. The portal quickly constructs the information channel between the government and the public. The public can obtain any information that is required both quickly and conveniently.

12. Hotline
As another service window, the hotline makes full use of modern communication technologies and IT network technologies to concentrate the services provided by various function departments inside a government to a unified external service “window” to provide the customers with systematic, intelligent and individualized services. The hotline system has been extensively applied in various industries, including municipal administration, public security, postal service, telecom, and banks to realize the customer service support and value-added service levels of the enterprise and significantly improve the service standard and operation efficiency of the government.