BFM2013_4_05_The economics of e-government

EU-level initiatives and similar national initiatives resulted in a widening gap between the complexity and thoroughness delivered by these focused project teams composed by experts, and the actual capability of the recipients to process and implement the results within the budgetary constraints.

While larger towns have probably staff (and financial resources to hire external resources when needed), smaller local authorities, whose communities would benefit more from implementing e-government, will probably have more difficulties in just grasping the implication of the thousands of pages delivered by all the national and supra-national projects, czars, study groups.

Theoretically, e-government should simplify and harmonize the administrations’ behaviour across countries; practically, it adds significant pressure on communities already fighting with both tight budgets and the reduced funds provided by central governments- a direct result of the distribution of powers to local authorities (yes, “subsidiarity” could have negative side-effects).

In effect, local authorities will be required to ensure that eventually any citizen or any business in their constituency will receive the same services, irrespective of the size of their tax-base.

And citizens do expect to have access to the same level of services in towns with 2,000,000 inhabitants as in villages with just 200: they are required to pay the same taxes, aren’t they?