n Journal of Public Administration - Public Administration and the future : modernising government through Information Technology

Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



In almost all Western bureaucracies in recent years there has been a tremendous growth in the use of market type mechanisms and prescriptions for the ailments and shortcoming of public service delivery systems, policy instruments and norm based, as well as management ethos. These mechanisms are aimed at a national level to combat inefficiency, waste and redundancy in government, through the separation of operation from policy. The principle thrust of this reform comes from the emphasis on "outputs".

Empirical evidence would appear to support the notion that there is an inevitable convergence of public management governance principles and practices taking place throughout most bureaucracies. This has largely been driven by the new public management (NPM) initiative, which attempts to bring the entrepreneurial model from the private sector into public agencies to improve efficiency and cut costs.
Undoubtedly the public service understands that technology can play an important role in increasing public access and enabling governments to deliver services in new and innovative ways. Technology will not only assist decision-makers to manage data, but also to identify problems and align service delivery. In this way technology serves not as a silver bullet, but a golden arrow, pointing the direction and improving government's ability to do the right thing and to do things right.
This paper attempts to provide an understanding of the importance of information technology and communication to public management, provide a perspective on the role of new technologies in the formation and implementation of public policies, evaluate the role of the public and of new technology and their implications for democracy vital to the appreciation and understanding of contemporary public management with a strong emphasis on the uses and flows of information in and around public institutions.

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