October 2004 – The e-Government Evolution
The definition of e-Government has undergone several changes since the introduction of government portals during the “dotcom” days. Basically, the development of e-Government can be grouped into 4 phases.

During the days of WEB PRESENCE, we saw organizations creating web-sites containing information about themselves but very little else.

The INTERACTION era followed closely, with incorporation of e-services, for instance in communications – e-mailing officer-in-charge or filling-up an e-form to lodge a complaint. Electronic forms were added onto government portals to allow downloads. However, the user experience was very much “one-way”, as the solutions were designed primarily to receive information from its users but not respond.

As the demand for e-services grew, Government agencies began to add self-service applications onto their portal. Very much e-services offered by banks today, users could complete entire transaction online with a specific organization without physically visiting the office.

However, such applications were very much stand-alone, isolated by the traditional boundaries of government agencies or departments.

More often than not, early e-Government applications were limited to transacting with a single organization even though the business needs requires contact with multiple agencies.

An example of such occurrences is a person applying for a Business License or an MNC setting-up a manufacturing plant. Typically, it would require the applicant to fill-in forms and make independent submissions to multiple agencies, which generally contain duplicating information (refer to diagram below). In such cases, both private and public sectors loses out in terms of productivity.

From the central government’s perspective, it is a wasteful way of dealing with its clients. Decisions by one agency that affect the whole process often does not reach involved parties quickly enough to facilitate the necessary change in downstream workflows. Merely tracking the applicants, status of applications and physical files itself is a massive task.

With the challenge of having to globally compete for new investments and even to maintain existing ones, governments are leveraging on IT to make themselves more competitive and easier for businesses to thrive in the environment that they create. As a trend, we see that government processes are increasingly integrated across traditional organizational boundaries.

COLLABORATIVE TRANSACTIONS are seen to be complex in nature, both technically and environmentally (all agencies having to agree on a single platform). From a security perspective, it is also challenging because documents are exchanged across organizations and are bound to different authorization needs. Nevertheless, this trend of integration is widely accepted as one that would bring about enormous productivity gain.

By 2004, it is expected that the public sector will be working like a single, integrated organization, rather than a collection of seemingly independent service providers.

New Zealand e-Government Strategy, Dec 2001

The timing is certainly excellent as the internet has changed the way business is transacted the whole world over, just as it is changing the way government delivers its services to citizens and businesses. Adoption rate is high while connectivity costs is driven down by sheer rate of usage. With proper security built into the system, the internet provides the perfect conduit for collaborative government – popular and cost-effective.

Here are two examples of projects where Nova’s solution drives transparent collaboration and unparalleled efficiency between the government and private sector.

Late 1996, the Malaysian Government decided to build a new administrative capital, Putrajaya to house all government departments and agencies, embassies and other foreign organizations at one convenient location to facilitate effective access and collaboration. In addition, Putrajaya will have comprehensive residential, recreational and commercial facilities. Two themes defined Putrajaya; garden city and intelligent city. It will incorporate the very best in city planning and landscape architectural ideas and the very best in technology deployment and availability. This massive project to build a new capital for the country has to be completed in 3 short years.

Perbadanan Putrajaya, the local authority was created and entrusted to make Putrajaya a reality. Faced with the above challenges, it was crucial for Perbadanan Putrajaya to deploy a state of the art Town Planning and Management System – SUMBER-PUTRA, which will support her core functions of town planning and development control particularly in the processing of all submissions requiring various local government approvals, effectively and efficiently.

SUMBER-PUTRA is an enterprise wide system with G2B and G2G collaboration capability built on Nova’s PAVO™ platform solution. It supports far-reaching collaboration with private sector partners such as developers and building professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors, bringing unprecedented productivity to the industry.

CORENET, Singapore
The approval of Development Plans poses one of the biggest headaches for both the approving agencies and private sector. It deals with:

  • Multiple agencies
  • Numerous forms with duplicating data
  • Submission files with a large volume of data, sometimes exceeding 100’s of MBs

The CORENET e-Submission System (eSS) is a Nation-Wide G2B and G2G framework driven by the Building & Construction Authority (BCA), Singapore to serve the Singapore Building and Construction Industry. The system was built using Nova’s PAVO™ platform solution. eSS facilitates electronic submission and approval of all applications made to Government Agencies throughout the property development life cycle, which includes planning approvals, building approvals, structural approvals, temporary occupation permit (TOP), certificate of statutory completion (CSC) and fire safety certificate (FSC). In addition, eSS also allows the public to apply for various types of permits and licenses online.

The success of CORENET is underpinned by the announcement by the Minister for National Development of tremendous savings of S$160 million annually to the building and construction industry. Click here to view newspaper clipping.

PAVO™ is a virtual, one-stop, 24×7 enterprise platform scalable to meet different types of collaborative transactions seamlessly over the internet between organizations, be it government or the private sector. As such, PAVO™ is packaged with the necessary document-application connectivity, process intelligence and secure transmission features.

With 1,000+ users worldwide, PAVO™ has been extensively implemented in various environments ranging from local authorities to legal departments and social welfare organizations.

This paper was recently delivered in the recent e-Government show organized by Sun Microsystems under the title “Collaboration: Improving Government-Business Efficiency” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Hua Hin, Thailand.

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