UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series: Information and Communication Technology Change and Adoption in Local Government: A New South Wales Exploratory Study
The final part of the eight-part UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series is Anthony O'Reilly's dissertation:
Information and Communication Technology Change and Adoption in Local Government: A New South Wales Exploratory Study
- e-government – the use of the internet and ICT more broadly to electronically empower governments to provide information and services to a diverse range of stakeholders
- t-government – further development of e-government to focus upon cost saving and service improvement through back-office and information technology change that aim to design services around the citizen and not the provider
- e-democracy – the utilisation of ICT for the purpose of enhancing a country’s democratic processes and empowering its citizens.
The research aimed to critically assess the adoption and utilisation of ICT in NSW councils and derive learnings from two questions:
- What is the imperative which underpins the decision or consideration of a change to a council’s information technology software base?
- Where do NSW council’s sit in comparison to the world regarding a consideration and possible movement to e-government, t-government and e-democracy?
A group of purposively sampled NSW local government ICT staff (ranging from executive level to managerial and support staff) were interviewed to understand where this State was positioned with regard to the three levels of ICT utilisation, including its position from a global perspective. Interviewees were also asked to discuss the imperatives which underpin their considerations of a change to their councils’ software base. Data were also gathered from those councils’ strategic documents, including any operational plans available from their websites or obtained on the basis of direct request.
The study found that the councils achieve good levels of e-government and t-government, but seemed to focus not as much on e-democracy as is evident in other countries. This raised the question as to whether local government can or should seize the opportunity to transcend an ‘efficiency-only’ focus and achieve a platform of operation which supports and enhances a community’s democratic process i.e. a move towards e-democracy. This would serve to enhance the more community-centric role for ICT.
In conclusion, Anthony suggests that ‘the question is a large one which brought into frame a further question as to the role of local government in Australia relative to the other levels of State and Federal from a ‘democracy’ view.’
UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series:
- Part 1 of the UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series: It’s all in the delivery: An exploratory case study focusing on the Coffs Harbour City Council Delivery Program 2010-2016
- Part 2 of the UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series: The Challenges of Engaging Communities: Will the Small Rural Voices Be Heard in a Merged Regional Council?
- Part 3 of the UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series: Urban Design Principles for Creating Public Open Space Master Plans and Their Application to Wagga Wagga’s Riverside Precinct
- Part 4 of the UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series: Australian Local Government Botanic Gardens' Contribution to Global Plant Conservation
- Part 5 of the UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series: 21-Year Partnership – Has It Made A Difference? Evaluating the Fairfield Health Partnership
- Part 6 of the UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series: Managing Trees in the Public Domain
- Part 7 of the UTS:CLG Graduate Paper Series: Investigating Ethical Paradigms and Values: Potential Influences on Decision-Making by Elected Representatives