Sunday, February 02, 2003

Mobile Government

This week I did a short presentation on mobile government, for CIPFA. The same morning, I did a quick check on Google News for stories on "m-government" - I found less than 10 compared with more than 350 on e-government - surely a sign that m-government is not yet over-hyped and so might have a chance to make a difference. One thought-provoking piece I did come across was by Michael Zalasak, posted on europemedia.net - it's in two parts (that link is to the first). I should have read it before I presented, but only got the chance today. Michael makes many good points, but one in particular struck a chord, on Return On Investment, a topic du jour ... Return-on-investment models and cost/benefit analyses should not be filled simply with financial data. To save money and be more efficient in internal administration are partial objectives for governments, whose core business is actually to serve citizens: the financial benefit of better services that are more accessible to citizens is hard to calculate, but leads to indirect gains, e.g., in a higher appreciation of tax-collection, because citizens who are in close and intimate contact with their governments realise the importance of mutual benefits and obligations

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