Fighting corruption with e-Government

A very interesting study called E-government as an anti-corruption strategy showed that establishing e-Government reduces corruption. This should not be a surprise to anyone working with e-Government since it commonly believed that introduction of e-government diminishes the contact between corrupt officials and citizens, as well as increases the transparency and accountability. Unfortunately, hard evidence for these claims have been lacking (United Nations Development Programme, Fighting Corruption with e-Government Applications – APDIP e-NOTE 8, 2006).

The study is innovative as it uses a statistical approach to examine trends between e-Government and anti-corruption. Most other papers presenting quantitative data in the area do not use a statistical approach, which makes it more challenging to trust the results.

However, in this publication the author inspected, in a sound statistical way, the changes in corruption, using the control of corruption index presented by the World Bank, versus the changes in e-Government, using data from a Global e-Government Survey.

Unfortunately, for the OECD countries the author was not able to find any clear trends. This could be explained by less corruption in the OECD countries (compared to non-OECD countries), which means that the OECD countries had less to win, when it comens to anti-corruption, by introducing e-Government. Note that this is not evidence for absent of reduced corruption because of e-Government in OECD countries, just that the trends are not clearly visible in the data.

However, for the non-OECD countries, there are clear trends in the examined data. The results strongly imply that the introduction of e-Government has led to a significant reduction of corruption. Thus, supporting the view that e-Government is a very useful for reducing corruption – on a global scale.

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One Response to Fighting corruption with e-Government

  1. Kow Bondzie says:

    In developed countries, customers/citizens interact with internet portals to receive government services online, thereby eliminating contact between corrupt officials and customers/citizens. This is a self-service model of e-government. However in developing countries, we mostly have a manual model of e-government where online services counters are manned by government officials who deliver the online services to citizens. In this case therefore, citizens do not interact directly with the internet portals, but through government officials who may be corrupt. So, how can e-government adequately reduce corruption in developing countries where due to literacy levels of citizenry and perhaps weak economies, direct interaction with internet portals by customers is uncertain?

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