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Abstract

It is early days yet to be able to truly determine whether the visions of e-government are realisable or not. The focus of the majority of the projects, and even research, on e-government has been on the possible impact of technology on government’s interaction with citizens. This paper looks beyond this level, investigating the challenges faced by local government authorities when implementing e-government projects. A case study within a forward looking London borough implementing an e-procurement system was carried out. The research data suggests that the uncertainties faced by the authority during the implementation, and the mechanisms enforced to tackle them, have to be considered if we want to better understand the chances of success of e-government projects. The study hints that amongst these uncertainties the institutional barrier of departmentalism, which lies deep in the public sector, is playing a major role in defining the possible outcome of e-government projects. The paper concludes that this organisational barrier has to be undoubtedly considered to comprehend the chances of ICT driven reforms such as public sector e-procurement.

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