University of Otago Otago University Press
The Press     Books & Authors     Landfall     Journals    Kiwi Phonics
News & Reviews     Author Information     Orders

  » Home > Books & Authors >

Dangerous Enthusiasms
E-Government, Computer Failure and Information System Development

Robin Gauld & Shaun Goldfinch


Dangerous Enthusiasms: e-Government, Computer Failure and Information Systems Development, by Robin Gauld & Shaun Goldfinch. Otago University Press.Key Points

• First book on e-government in New Zealand
• Includes Australian material
• Interesting stories of major failures
• Two chapters on health sector ICT



Information and the technology that supports its collection, communication and analysis is 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?



1 E-Government and Information System Development
2 What is E-Government?
3 ICT in New Zealand's Health Sector
4 A Major Health Care Information System Failure
5 The INCIS Fiasco in the NZ Police Force
6 LandonLine: A Qualified Success (or a partial failure?)
7 Lessons from Computer Development in the Public Sector



Robin Gauld is a senior lecturer in Health policy, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago. He is the author of Revolving Doors: New Zealand's Health Reforms, editor of Continuity and Chaos: Health Care Management and Delivery in New Zealand (2003) and co-author of The Hong Kong Health Sector: Development and Change (2002).

Shaun Goldfinch is Associate Professor of Public Administration at the School of Business and Management, American University of Sharja, and formerly a senior lecturer in Political Studies at the University of Otago. He is the author of Remaking New Zealand and Australian Economic Policy: Ideas, Institutions and Policy Communities (2000).


Publication details

E-Government, Information systems, Health policy
paperback, 230 x 150 mm, 160 pp, ISBN 978 1 877372 34 6, $39.95
Publication date: August 2006, reprinted December 2012