Advantages and Disadvantages of E Governance
Many nations followed the digital approach to carry out government projects allowing citizens to complete their paperwork through electronic media. Countries like Estonia, Denmark, and Korea entirely depend on e governance; many nations still struggle with accessing internet services, as India seems to catch up with it. Although experts suggest digitization is the best way to accomplish government development projects, many opine differently. The Advantages and Disadvantages of e governance shed some light on both aspects.
What is E-Governance?
E-governance or electronic governance is the application of electronic equipment such as computer programs or digital services for carrying out government development activities. All types of communication, whether between the government or with outside resources, help maintain transparency and facilitate the proper exchange of Information.
The communication between government and its citizens, employees, businesses etc., is carried out through Information and communication technology. The online government policies and programs to achieve various governance objectives like e-voting, Tax returns.
Most economies are now using e-governance to facilitate access to the common public, which was difficult previously. Moreover, with the advent of the internet and electronic communication facilities, Information can be made available on government websites and portals. The advancement of technology has brought intellectuals to consider several pros and cons of e governance on the economy and society.
Nations with e-governance are the UK, USA, China, Denmark, the Republic of Korea, Estonia, Finland, Australia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States of America, the Netherlands, Singapore, Iceland, Norway and Japan.
What are the Advantages of e-governance?
E-governance allows the public to participate in the government policies and get a clear idea of different facilities available to them. The government need not spend money to make information open to the public through different offline ways. The sole purpose of introducing digital channels is to reduce the complexities of any activity from both governments and the public's end. Thus the advantages of e governance account for both the system and the society.
1. High Speed System
Now the high-speed internet facilities and various cloud computing services make it possible for the information to be stored and transferred quickly to the endpoint. This saves a lot of time, and actions can be taken promptly once the government has the required information from the public.
Also, the public can be made aware as soon as possible of knowing their response.
People can register online for certificates or documents such as driver's licenses, government schemes, or even maintain their health records in hospitals. The processes which took hours or even days to complete manually are now doable within minutes and even seconds.
2. Cost Effective
The paperless mode of communication can help save a lot of money spend on files and documents used to store information. Also, the maintenance of these documents needs laborious effort and lots of space. Public records kept in the storage areas were also vulnerable to physical damage such as weather or termites. On the contrary, records kept digitally are highly secure on cloud servers which are easy to maintain and affordable to rent.
3. Transparent Communication
When the information is available, the citizens can entertain their right to information and access it anywhere. These days, vital information is available on the internet on specific sites controlled and maintained by the government. People can get to know the status of their applications or registrations; they even can challenge the authorities to audit the development process. One of the commendable advantages of e governance is you can access your saved details on the government's websites from mobile, laptops, or desktops.
Once the government policies are transparent, it increases its responsibility towards the people as the public is more aware of its strategies and motives. The public can show their acceptability and dissatisfaction towards any government initiative and increase the democratic nature of governance to a broader extent.
5. Corruption Riddance is one the known advantages of e governance
One of the major benefits of transparency between the government and businesses/citizens is low corruption. Since the significant reason for corruption is access to only government officials, the involvement of the public can reduce the number of corrupt practices like bribes and scams.
According to the UN, the least developed nations such as Bangladesh and Cambodia have grown to become leaders in digital government development, taming the corruption levels significantly.
What are the Disadvantages of egovernance?
Digitization is the solution to most problems economies face these days. However, e governance cannot be successful if the public cannot access this online information available to them. This still can lead to corrupt practices to offer information by the people having access to the system. Other disadvantages of e governance are also worth putting into the light.
1. Lack of Confidentiality
However, the possibility of leaking private and confidential information increases with its availability over the internet or computer. In addition, since the data is located on hard drives instead of files and people themselves, the information can be easily stolen and transferred into the wrong hands.
Even cybercrimes are on the rise, leading to possible hacking and even misuse of government identity to fulfil selfish needs. Numerous fake news websites are currently active on the internet, and anyone can spread misleading information to gain some monetary benefits.
Duplicate websites operated by touts try to access and store people’s data for fraudulent activities, and people can easily fall for scams if they are unaware of the reality.
3. Technical Failures are concerning disadvantages of e governance
All the machines are subjected to the risk of technical failure and maintenance issues. A system can crash anytime, and if the files are not backed up correctly, it can lead to the loss of all critical information available on the machine. Even heavy loads on the website can crash it, leading to unavailability for some time.
4. Inadequate Training
Whether related to surveys, schemes, or health and welfare, public records must be handled by trained professionals. They must also be well-versed in a new IT technology in the system. It requires training of staff as well as citizens for its proper use.
This can increase government expenditure on training and publishing materials to help people grab the basics of new technology. In some countries, there are a limited number of tech-savvy professionals who know how to manage computers or work around new technology.
As discussed above, if the public cannot understand the technology, they will not be able to get information and will have to rely on other traditional methods. So implementing governance can never become helpful if the end-user cannot acquire that info from the new techniques available to them. Illiteracy, therefore, is one of the notable disadvantages of e governance as the authorities have to face numerous difficulty during the data gathering process.
Conclusion of Pros and Cons of e governance
The use of e-governance in the traditional political system can help it to grow and work with new techniques. The citizens can be made more aware of the government and its policies. They can access required information through their phones or computer anytime with ease of being at their homes. However, as any new technology is introduced, there are loopholes to be found to misuse, and the risk of breaches in the system are higher than previously used methods.