E-Government Failures Reflect Changing Workforce Needs

Governments have hard time attracting workers.

by / May 13, 2002
About 60 percent of all e-government initiatives fail, according to a recent Gartner analysis. That failure rate is about the same as the general rate of failure for all large government projects, according to Judith Carr, Gartner's executive programs VP.

However, according to Carr, there are specific pitfalls for e-government initiatives, such as project governance or management of complicated IT projects that cut across many boundaries or which serve multiple constituencies.

Mark Forman, associate director for IT and e-government at the White House Office of Management and Budget, goes further. Speaking at a recent conference in Seattle, he suggested that aging mid-level managers are a major impediment to e-government progress.

"Government is still living in a paper world -- the way we
think, the way we manage," Forman said, "which makes it difficult to attract workers accustomed to an electronic workplace."

According to Federal Computer Week, as more of the government workforce retires in the next few years, Forman hopes to attract new workers who are being taught in school how to do "team-based problem-solving" to improve the quality of service and accelerate response times by government.

As the man now regularly leading the charge for e-government on Capitol Hill, whether talking to subcommittee hearings, working at the agency level to win support for collaboration, or evangelizing for broader government cooperation, he faces a challenge.

The U.S. still only ranked third, behind Canada and Singapore, in the third annual global ranking of e-government initiatives by Accenture LLP of Chicago. The analysis studied 23 national governments' electronic services in the areas of defense, education, human services, justice and public safety, postal services, procurement, regulation, revenue and transportation.
And it rated maturity at three levels: informational, interactive and transactional.
Blake Harris Editor
Platforms & Programs