Recently local authorities have been placed under enormous pressure due to problems arising from poor decision-making in relation to the sharing of personal information. While in some circumstances the incompetence of agency employees is identified as the cause, in other circumstances organisational failure, implicitly driven by inter-organisational distrust, is to blame for inappropriate decisions taken with regards to sharing information. Sometimes implicit policies and regulations set by policy makers are blamed, while at other times, explicit rules of confidentiality and data-protection acts are accused. During the last decades, several Local Government Authorities (LGAs) in the United Kingdom have started to employ Inter-Organisational Information Systems (IOIS) to support information sharing and networked collaboration within their departments in order to meet a diverse range of citizen needs including housing services, social care services, education services, etc. However, reaching this level of cross-agency collaboration is not easy and requires additional time and effort by individuals and agencies involved. Therefore, this paper proposes and validates a novel conceptual framework that can be used as a tool for decision-making while sharing information electronically. The framework consists of four main levels: (a) investigation and presentation of factors influencing Electronic Information Sharing (EIS) in LGAs based on external environment, organisational capacity, technology environment, EIS characteristics, and inter-departmental environment, (b) investigation and presentation of the processes that an LGA department should carry out to decide whether to share information with another department, (c) mapping of the influential factors on the participation phases, and (d) prioritisation of the factors influencing EIS in LGAs in different decision-making phases.
Ziaee, Bigdeli Ali; Kamal, Muhammad Mustafa; and de Cesare, Sergio, "ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SHARING IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT: THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS" (2012). ECIS 2012 Proceedings. 90.