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Regulative Powers of ICT in E-government: The Case of Elster

Author:

Christian Poeschl

London School of Economics, GB
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Abstract

The academic community has developed a vast interest in analysing information and communication technology in the public sector. Drawing on the concepts of functional simplification and closure combined with Mintzberg’s forms of bureaucracy, this paper aims to investigate how technology influences processes by which decisions are made in the public administration. The analysis of the German tax declaration system, known as Elster, reveals four aspects: Elster allows faster decision making, redistributes discretionary power, makes the work of public officials more demanding and analytical, and increases the degree of formalization in the decision-making process. These findings indicate how the regulative powers of this technology are able to structure surrounding social and organisational systems. This paper concludes with a call to further analyse the role of normative agreements, such as the one epitomized by the Konsens council, in the successful deployment of technology.
How to Cite: Poeschl, C., 2020. Regulative Powers of ICT in E-government: The Case of Elster. iSCHANNEL, 15(1), pp.38–43.
Published on 25 Aug 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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