E-government won’t deliver till 2010

But John Mahoney, research director at Gartner, told delegates at the Society of IT Managers’ Spring Seminar in Bolton this week that public sector IT managers should not be discouraged from innovation by this failure of early e-government projects.

‘Do not be surprised if over the next two or three years e-initiatives don’t deliver on expectations, or are a little more difficult,’ he said.

From 2005 to 2010 projects will start to deliver as e-government follows the ups and downs of the ‘hype cycle’ of new technologies, he explained.

Gartner predicted that more than half of e-government projects will not meet taxpayers’ service level expectations by 2004.

Mahoney also argued that government web portals will not be used by citizens to access services online, with much of e-government likely to be delivered through trusted third parties in the private sector.

‘Most of the government portals being constructed now are irrelevant in the medium and long term,’ he warned.

Mahoney cited the example of South Africa, where the government has refused to deal with the electronic filing of tax returns directly. It is done instead through the big banks and insurance companies.

‘That’s the way of the world. The private sector already has these relationships with citizens,’ he concluded.

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