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Transparency: The Key to Better Governance?$
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Christopher Hood and David Heald

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263839

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263839.001.0001

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Transparency and Digital Government

Transparency and Digital Government

(p.196) (p.197) 12 Transparency and Digital Government
Transparency: The Key to Better Governance?

Helen Margetts

British Academy

Digital government refers to the use by government of information and communication technology, including the Internet, both internally and to interact with citizens, businesses, and other governments. This chapter briefly outlines the development of digital government. It suggests three key ways in which digital government could be more transparent than government of the ‘pre-digital’ era and three ways in which it might become less transparent. The chapter goes on to identify some ways in which these ‘barriers’ to transparency might be overcome, such as the use of electronic tools like search engines and software. Finally, it discusses the strong variations in the potential for digitally aided transparency across countries, within countries, and within groups of Internet users and non-users. Some non-democratic states have resisted the potential of e-government to promote transparency, and have been more interested in trying to restrict usage of the Internet within their boundaries. This chapter investigates some of these variations in digitally aided transparency.

Keywords:   Internet, digital government, transparency, e-government, information and communication, software, search engines

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