Policies and Strategies for Digital Government

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    Understanding Decision-Making Needs of Open Government Data Users
    ( 2022-01-04) Sundara Murthy, Svati ; Kropczynski, Jess ; Halse, Shane
    Open Government Data (OGD) portals make data publicly available to promote transparency, innovation, and value creation. Although these data sets are available and used by a broad audience, little is known about how users engage with this data and the websites where they are hosted. The City of Cincinnati hosts an award-winning Open Government Data Portal and is used as a case study in this paper to understand the decision-making needs of OGD end-users. The portal allows users to access local data sets such as crime reports, permits and licenses, market analysis, education/research data, viewing public safety, and public health, as part of a local OGD initiative. To investigate users’ social, economical, political and other decision-making needs, this study is conducted in two steps 1) a think-aloud activity, and 2) a design iteration combined with heuristic evaluation. Observing the use of the portal through this user study provided insights into user expectations as well as system and information requirements illustrated in design implications for OGD systems.
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    The Exercise of Mandate – How Mandatory Service Implementation Promoted the Use of E-Government Services in Denmark
    ( 2022-01-04) Yasuoka, Mika ; Meyerhoff Nielsen, Morten ; Iversen, Karen Ejersbo
    Danish e-government has for two decades been considered a global leader. Among the various reasons for this Danish success, this article explores the mandatory online self-service and digital post initiative (2012-2015) as one of the effective, strategic contributions in increasing the wider penetration and use of digital public services in Danish society. Although the mandatory shift to digital service could have caused negative reactions from public servants and citizens, this was not the case in Denmark. By reviewing a set of mandatory digital public services in the Danish context, four key aspects are identified as essential drivers. That is: pride as citizens, high levels of trust and privacy, usability and accessibility of e-government services, and informal support by family and community. The article discusses the four supportive prerequisites as keys for enforcing the implementations, which could otherwise be seen as national coercive dirigisme.
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    Citizen Empowerment on the Basis of the new Freedom of Information Act in Austria - Make Information Freedom Great Again
    ( 2022-01-04) Pinter, Karl ; Schmelz, Dominik ; Ebenhoch, Peter ; Grechenig, Thomas
    Austria is the only country in Europe that has official secrecy, so called “Amtsgeheimnis”, as a constitutional principle. In contrast to other countries, this has consequences for citizens in their dealings with the authorities. Information is therefore not free per se, but is only released under certain conditions. These are severely restricted. This leads to a number of problems, for example, Austria is already among the worst 10 countries in terms of freedom of information. A new Freedom of Information Act is intended to change this. In this paper, the authors present a prototype that enables query processing between citizens and government agencies. Cloud services are used, and the data does not leave the respective data sovereignty.
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    Barriers of applying Government as a Platform in Practice: Evidence from Germany
    ( 2022-01-04) Kuhn, Peter ; Buchinger, Matthias ; Balta, Dian ; Matthes, Florian
    Government as a Platform (GaaP) is a promising approach to the digital transformation of the public sector. GaaP aims at the development of efficient and user-friendly services by exploiting platform principles such as openness, modularization and co-creation. Hence, GaaP claims to deliver a new level of stakeholder participation in the production of public services. However, the success of GaaP is arguably bound to the context of a country. To address the potential impact of a country’s context, the goal of this paper is to identify barriers and measures to overcome them in the application of GaaP in the federal context of Germany. We conduct a literature review and investigate a use case of a German digital government agency by means of documents, expert interviews and workshops. The agency applies GaaP to its architecture management of the federal IT infrastructure. We find five barriers and three measures to overcome. We conclude by discussing implications for theory and practice.
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    A Comparison of False-Information Policies in Five Countries before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    ( 2022-01-04) Zhu, Xiaohua ; Yang, Shengnan ; Allen, Summer
    This study analyzes five countries’ false-information policies before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building upon existing discussions of regulation models, this paper uses a qualitative, comparative case study method to unpack the characteristics of false-information policies in each country. The before-after comparisons show that each country has a unique evolving path of false-information regulation and that the state has enhanced or attempted to enhance its role in battling against the infodemic during the pandemic. The regulatory practices are a dynamic process and involve not only government and social media platforms but also multiple other actors, which is leading to more complex practices and blurring the boundary of existing models. We discuss the limitation of existing regulation models and suggest a relational perspective to understand the underlying relations between the state, platforms, and other stakeholders.
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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Policies and Strategies for Digital Government
    ( 2022-01-04) Park, Kyung Ryul ; Bannister, Frank ; Cordella, Antonio