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Legal issues in E-governance in Saudi Arabia and Australia Essay Example

  • Category:
    Law
  • Document type:
    Article
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    3
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    1914

10Legal issues in E-governance in Saudi Arabia

Aims and cont project

The main purpose of this study is to investigate on the legal issues that affect e-governance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Australia. This paper introduces the concept of e-governance in general and then proceeds to apply and compare it to the Saudi Arabian and Australian context. The essay will define e-governance and give the principles that e-governance operates upon. The essay will then compare the legal issue of e-governance in Saudi Arabia to those in Australia. The use of ICT in governance issues is guided by legal regulatory frameworks that seek to ensure the adherence to certain prescribed standards, policies and principles. Many countries are building their e-governance capacities by enhancing good governance procedures through the use of information and communications technologies (Akbulut, 2003). In reference to the government, the main customer of the Saudi Arabian government is the Saudi Arabian citizen. Other customers may include the business world, the private sector, other nations and other departments or arms of the government among others. Just like a business or company, the Saudi Arabian government has to ensure that it satisfies that needs and takes care of the interests of the customer, in this case the Saudi Arabian citizen or the other customers. It therefore follows that there have to be legal guidelines and policies that govern the use of e-governance tools so as to ensure that all parties are their business greatly use ICT. This is in their efforts to improve the E-governance.

As part of customer satisfaction, the Saudi Arabian government has to interact on different levels with the Saudi Arabian citizens when delivering public services or other important activities of democratic governance. In e-governance, the Saudi Arabian government has to exchange information, services and ideas with its citizens, businesses, the private sector, other countries and other arms of the same government. When dealing with different parties like in such a case, legal issues are bound to occur because their interactions are guided by a legal framework (Bryman, 2003). In Australia, information is exchanged with the citizens through e-governance, this as well is transmitted to the businesses and other private sectors of the Australian economy. Therefore, the use of e-governance is almost the same in both Australia and Saudi Arabia.

Academic contribution

This study is important to the field of research because it brings about academic concepts such as ‘new public management’ and ‘reinventing the government’. It provides a detailed analysis on the concept of e-governance and the legal issues affecting it based on research findings and empirical studies. The study also analyzes the national projects set up by the Saudi Arabian government to implement and manage e-government systems. Such analysis can be used by scholars to study the projects of the government in relation to e-governance. Those studying law as a field of knowledge or other units of law can benefit from this study by gaining knowledge on the legal issues that are related to e-governance. These legal issues discussed in this paper can be studied and used in different academic fields. This study also opens up a research topic that can be the researched on in future by other scholars. It also provides researches with new tools and instruments to study this topic and other related topics.

Practical contribution

Over the past two decades, Saudi Arabia and Australia have been experiencing many initiatives that are meant to transform the government processes so as to lead to further development in the country. Concepts such as new public management and reinventing the government have been very common since the inception of e-governance on Saudi Arabia and Australia. This study has contributed to creating awareness about the legal issues and implications that are associated with e-governance. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been in continuous efforts to embrace, implement and manage e-governance.

E-governance has been defined as the utilization of the potential of information and communication technologies in the operations of the government so as to meet the expectations of the citizens and other relevant stakeholders through the use of multiple channels. E-governance is considered to be a radical change in the Saudi Arabian public sector. The transition to e-government in Saudi Arabia has however not been easy. Despite the many challenges such as legal issues, the Saudi Arabian government has still managed to implement and manage e-governance.

Technological advances have made the transition to e-government much easier and faster. Electronic government applications are very common today in Saudi Arabia and they are being used to deliver government goods and services to the citizens over the internet. Governance and operational costs incurred by the government have been greatly reduced as a result of the paperless and virtual interactions between government agencies and the citizens (Trout, 2007).

Literature review

Question 1- Define e-governance

E-governance has been defined as the utilization of the potential of information and communication technologies in the operations of the government so as to meet the expectations of the citizens and other relevant stakeholders through the use of multiple channels. It comes about whenever the government uses information technology to exchange services and information with the citizens, other arms of government or businesses. In simpler terms, it is governance that is driven by technology (Silcock, 2004).

Question 2- Are there any legal issues associated with e-governance in Saudi Arabia and Australia?

There are a number of legal issues that come about as a result of e-governance. First, information of a very crucial and confidential nature may end up in the wrong hands and therefore be used for unintended purposes. This may result in legal suits and battles because the use of such vital information for unintended purposes is against the law. The Saudi Arabian government has put many government regulations and policies in place to address the legal issues associated with e-governance. These government regulations and policies include information criminal law, e-transaction law, shift to electronic methods and many others. These policies and regulations are not very comprehensive but they are contributing greatly to regulating e-governance and promoting communication effectively between the government, it citizens and business that operate in the country (Solove & Schwartz 2009). Australia as well has put strict measures to the information that may be a threat to its national security. In ensuring that such threats are reduced, several policies and regulations have been put in place including criminal laws and transaction laws.

Question 3- What are the advantages of e-governance?

E-government is known to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government service delivery. E-government systems provide a one-on-one and direct link between the government and its citizens (Jeong, 2007).

Question 4- Are there any challenges facing e-governance?

In both Saudi Arabia and Australia, e-governance is faced by many challenges such as lack of policy and regulation for e-usage, lack of programs to promote the use of e-government, resistance by some people to change to electronic ways of interaction, lack of collaboration and partnership, security issues, lack of qualified personnel, lack of strategic planning, cultural challenges and financial barriers among others.

Question 5- How are legal issues in e-governance in Saudi Arabia being addressed?

The Saudi Arabian government has come up with several regulations and policies that are meant to address the legal issues associated with e-governance. These government regulations and policies include information criminal law, e-transaction law, shift to electronic methods and many others. Even though these policies and regulations are not very comprehensive, they are contributing greatly to regulating e-governance and promoting communication effectively between the government, it citizens and business that operate in the country.

Approach and methodology

This study will analyze the legal issues that affect e-governance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Australia. This paper has introduced the concept of e-governance in general applied it to the Saudi Arabian and Australian context. The essay has researched widely on e-governance, defined e-governance and given the principles that e-governance operates upon.

Conduct of interviews

The information contained in this study was mostly collected from interviews conducted on government employees concerned with implementing and managing e-governance systems. Many government agencies and institutions were surveyed so as to come up with this information. Scholarly journals and books were also consulted.

Analysis of data

Most of the parties interviewed seemed to be in agreement that technology has changed the way people interact, communicate, live and do business. E-governance has the potential to improve and enhance the internal operations of the Saudi Arabian and Australian government and their agencies. This will ensure that the customers are served well and satisfied. E-government is a tool and instrument that the Saudi Arabian government has embraced in its bid to bring reforms to governance. The study conducted in this research shows that e-governance is not merely concerned with the automation of the already existing government procedures and operations. It is about totally changing the manner in which the government conducts its business and interacts with its customers. The main objective of this study has been to find out whether are any legal issues associated with e-governance in Saudi Arabia.

Comparison of Legal Issue in E-governance in Saudi Arabia and Australia

The legal issues in e-governance in Saudi Arabia and those in Australia are similar to a great extent. In both countries many parties agree that technology has changed the way the government interacts with the people. Since the inception of e-governance in Australia in 1991, things have never been the same. Both the Saudi Arabian and Australian governments have come up with several regulations and policies that are meant to address the legal issues associated with e-governance. These governments’ regulations and policies include information criminal law, e-transaction law, shift to electronic methods and many others. Even though these policies and regulations used by the two governments are not very comprehensive, they are contributing greatly to regulating e-governance and promoting communication effectively between the government, it citizens and business that operate in the country.

Also the challenges being faced by both governments when it comes to e-governance are similar to a very large extent. These include lack of policy and regulation for e-usage, lack of programs to promote the use of e-government, resistance by some people to change to electronic ways of interaction, lack of collaboration and partnership, security issues, lack of qualified personnel, lack of strategic planning, cultural challenges and financial barriers among others.

References

Akbulut, A. (2003). An investigation of the factors that influence electronic information sharing between state and local agencies. Louisiana: Louisiana State University.

Akther, M. S., Onishi, T. & Kidokoro, T. (2007). E-Government in a Developing Country: Citizen-centric Approach for Success. International Journal of Electronic Governance, 1(1), 38-51.

Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2003). Business research methods. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chen, Y. & Gant, J. (2001). Transforming Local E-Government Services: The Use of Application Service Providers. Government Information Quarterly, 18, 343-355.

Garson, D.G. (2006). Public Information Technology and E-Governance. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Jeong, C. H. I. (2007). Fundamental of Development Administration. Selangor: Scholar Press.

Silcock, R. (2000). What is E-Government? Parliamentary Affairs Journal, 54, 88-101.

Solove, D. & Schwartz, P. (2009). Privacy, Information, and Technology. 2nd ed. New York: Aspen Publishers.

Trout, B. (2007). «Cyber Law: A Legal Arsenal For Online Business.» New York: World Audience, Inc.

West, D. M. (2004). E-government and the Transformation of Service Delivery and Citizen Attitudes. Public Administration Review, 64 (1), 15–27.

Yin, R. K. 2003. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. 3rd ed. London: Sage Publications.