Many governments have shown leadership in encouraging their citizenry to conduct transactions on-line. The policies that underpin these initiatives refer to a blend of civic benefits and efficiency goals. They combine the rhetoric of customer service with social shaping through ‘government as model user’ and procedures that require online activities. Many initiatives are described as ‘electronic service delivery’, terms that indicate an intention to provide much more than an additional channel for government interaction with citizens. Australia, as an innovator in eGovernment is a good example of this approach and its national government has specified policy goals for its online strategy. In this paper we examine the case of one Australian online delivery initiative, electronic tax lodgement (e-tax) and consider how well that initiative has met the policy goals of the government. Combining insights from Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation theory and political analysis, we outline potential difficulties that governments face in implementing ESD initiatives. Our conclusion from this case study is that the provision of good technology is only a small part of the ESD challenge. It shows how success of an ESD implementation may yield contradictory outcomes in terms of overall eGovernment strategies. This case highlights the need for long-term implementation plans and integration of initiatives with broader government strategy.
Chamberlain, Jeff and Castleman, Tanya, "Transacting with Citizens: Australian Government Policy, Strategy and Implementation of Online Tax Lodgement" (2003). ECIS 2003 Proceedings. 49.