McKinsey & Company, the venerable management consultant firm, has a nice publication called McKinsey Quarterly. Along with Harvard Business Review and MIT Technology Review, McKinsey Quarterly is one of my favorite publications.
Recently the McKinsey Public Sector folks published their E-Government 2.0 article (warning: login required, free article). Here’s the summary:
Despite spending enormous amounts on Web-based initiatives, government agencies often fail to meet users’ needs online. By employing new governance models, investing in Web capabilities, and embracing user participation, agencies can raise the effectiveness of their online presence.
Some key paragraphs include:
During the Internet boom of the late 1990s, government entities raced to develop Web sites, and high levels of e-government spending became the norm. Spending on e-government-related initiatives has continued to grow—indeed, in 2009, the US government is expected to spend more than $71 billion on IT, of which an estimated 10 percent will be related to e-government.1
While the total price tag for e-government services has risen dramatically, these outlays have not yet delivered on the promise of e-government. Public enthusiasm for government Web sites has waned. Americans’ satisfaction with e-government, which rose steadily early in the decade, has started to decline.2 In 2004, Time featured three federal government sites in its list of the “50 coolest Web sites,” while more recent lists contain at most one mention.
Illustrating this trend, one US government agency site was recognized as an innovator in online information and transactions and became a model for other agencies to follow, as it enjoyed user adoption rates that justified its e-government expenditures. However, more recent initiatives have failed to catch on with users, who regard the Web site as having become harder to use and new services as too confusing and complex. Nor is this phenomenon confined to the United States. One government agency invested millions developing a service that enabled citizens to manage their accounts with the government online, only to achieve a disappointing adoption rate of less than 5 percent.
What’s more, data suggest that investments have not yielded major improvements in the operational efficiency of government. A random sample of six US government agencies suggests that administrative costs have increased by 7 to 12 percent per year over the past decade. Nor has public perception of government efficiency improved. According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of US citizens who agree that “When something is run by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful” has increased in recent years, from 53 percent in 2002 to 62 percent in 2007.3
They go on to talk about how the government websites can improve through new governance models and improving web capabilities. It’s a good article to check out.Original Link