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Dangerous Enthusiasms

Friday, 1 November 2013 9:56am

E-government, computer failure and information system development

Robin Gauld & Shaun Goldfinch

Gauld Goldfinch Dangerous Enthusiasms cover imageThe book

Information and the technology that supports its collection, communication and analysis are a core concern of modern government, making e-government (meaning electronically enabled government) fundamental to the ongoing 'reinvention' of public administration.

But the quest for e-government opens up a range of issues – whether to take a 'big bang' or an incremental approach to computerisation, how to deal with security and privacy concerns, how to reconfigure the machinery of government to fit ICT practices – and decisions – hardware and software procurement, software architecture, access by whom to what. The spending of public money is always intriguing and perhaps money spent on ICT has been the most intriguing of all, with some spectacular failures costing millions.

This book is written for a general audience and takes a critical look at policies, problems and prospects for e-government in a series of case studies. Why have ICT failures in the public sector occurred and what lessons do they provide for the future?

The authors

ROBIN GAULD is Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, and Director of the Centre for Health Systems — that spans the School of Business and the Dunedin School of Medicine. His book The New Health Policy (Open University Press, 2009) was awarded first prize in the Health and Social Care category at the 2010 British Medical Association Medical Book Awards. Other recent books include Continuity amid Chaos: Health Care Management and Delivery in New Zealand (Otago University Press, 2003), Revolving Doors: New Zealand's Health Reforms - the Continuing Saga (Institute of Policy Studies and Health Services Research Centre, 2009), The Age of Supported Independence co-authored with Beatrice Hale and Patrick Barrett (Springer, 2010), Health Care Systems in Asia and Europe co-edited with Christian Aspalter and Uchida Yasuo (Routledge, 2011), and Democratic Governance in Health, co-authored with Miriam Laugesen (Otago University Press, 2012).

SHAUN GOLDFINCH is Professor in the  School of Management and Public Administration at the University of the South Pacific. He has previously taught at Nottingham University Business School, the American University of Sharja and at the Universities of Canterbury and Otago. He is the author of Remaking New Zealand and Australian Economic Policy: Ideas, Institutions and Policy Communities (Georgetown University Press, 2000) and most recently Prometheus Assessed? Citation Analysis, Peer Review and Research Quality (Woodhead Publishing, 2012, with Kiyoshi Yamamoto)

Publication details

Paperback, 230 x 150 mm, 160 pages, ISBN 978 1 877372 34 6, $39.95
2006, reprinted 2012