Theoretical Discussion: Relationship between E-government and Corruption
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Theoretical Discussion: Relationship between E-government and Corruption

By Jin-Wan Seo and Hasan Md Golam Mehedi
Department of Public Administration, Incheon National University, South Korea

Theoretical Discussion: Relationship between E-government and Corruption

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E-government refers to the use by government agencies of information technologies that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses and other arms of government. These technologies can serve a variety of different ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient government management [1]. 

E-government is more about government the process of reform and resulting benefits than about the technology. The resulting benefits can include: increased efficiency in governments’ functions; greater trust between government and citizens from increased transparency; empowerment of citizens through access to information; and contributions to overall economic growth etc. on the other hand, corruption as the misuse of public power, office or authority for private benefit through bribery, extortion, influence peddling, nepotism, fraud, speed money or embezzlement. Corruption is principally a governance issue, a failure of institutions and a lack of capacity to manage society by means of a framework of social, judicial, political and economic checks and balances [2].

However, a poor corruption perception index (CPI) score is likely a sign of widespread bribery; lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens’ needs [3]. The World Bank also identifies corruption as one of the single greatest obstacles to economic development and social development. It goes on to state that through bribery, fraud and the misappropriation of economic privileges. It is an important strategy for dismantling corruption can be the providing of easy access to information for all citizens through the use of e-government initiatives. 

Moreover, e-government can not only provide greater information to the population but also remove the discretion of the public official and allow citizens to conduct transactions themselves which, in turn, could lead to a reduction in corruption. Corruption has been cited as one of the most prevalent and persistent challenges in enhancing economic growth and improving the quality of life of citizens across the globe [4]. Haque [5] mentioned that the use of e-government can reduce costs and delays in processing and delivering services, expand citizen’s access to public sector information, increase transparency and public accountability, and weaken authoritarian tendencies.

Actually, information technology (ICT) as one of the enablers are regarded as alternative ways of minimizing corruption in service delivery and enhancing transparency [6,7]. In 2006, Andersen and Rand also studied the relationship between corruption and e-government and concluded that well-designed ICT policies are likely to be effective in the fight against corruption. The electronic delivery of services like as submitting internet applications and tax returns for computer processing can reduce corruption by reducing interactions with officials, speeding up decisions, and reducing human errors [8].

Klitgaard [9] mentioned also the use of e-government can substantially contribute to reducing corruption due to the positive impact on three indicators: the monopoly of elements of government by the political class, the discretionary power of state employees, and accountability bureaucracy. E-government is used, being considered an efficient and effective mean to improve public transparency and reduce corruption [10]. 

In addition, Shin & Eom [12] cited that ICT can reduce corruption by promoting good governance, strengthening reform initiatives, reducing the potential for corrupt behavior, strengthening relations between government employees and citizens, allowing tracking activities and monitoring and control behavior of government employees by the citizens. Also, the impact of ICT and social capital on corruption and argue that ICT has the potential to reduce unnecessary human intervention in government work processes, which reduces the need to monitor corrupt behavior. They used panels of datasets from various sources and concluded that ICT is an effective tool for reducing corruption and social capital also has positive effects on reducing corruption [13].

Cite this Article:

Seo JW, Mehedi HMG (2016) E-government Efforts against Corruption in Bangladesh: What We Have Done and What We Have to Do. Int J Polit Sci Diplom 1: 107. doi: / Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0





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