Thursday, February 25, 2010

Accountability ... as more e-governance is deployed!

Dear Colleagues

I want to comment on a message on an Indian blog/listserve
Govt. plans $10 Billion e-governance program
In an attempt to provide better services to its citizens, the Indian government plans to spend $10-billion on the National e-Governance program, according to Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Additional Secretary, S.R. Rao.

The question is how does the public ensure that the activities of "government" are in the interest of the people ... how does society have an adequate level of accountability from those in power and in control?

In the USA, the press were included in the broad system of government in order to have some of this accountability ... but that was more than 200 years ago when the possibilities of computer driven manipulation was not possible. We know first hand from the financial implosion of 2007/2008 that computer driven gaming of the financial system can produce disaster ... and it is not much of a stretch to image equally obnoxious behaviors within government structures.

It is likely that there can be better outcomes all around if there are more decision that are made at the local level where there can be meaningful accountability ... but many things still need to be handled at a national and international level, and for this the methodology of accountability is, at best, clumsy. As more and more e-governance is deployed, there needs to be more and more effort to maintain a decent level of accountability.

Some of the methodology of Community Analytics (CA) has relevance for this.

Peter Burgess

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