Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Impact of Information Technology (IT) on Public Administration in Nigeria (E-Government)

Complete project on  Impact of Information Technology (IT) on Public Administration in Nigeria (E-Government). A Study of Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria.

1.1        Background to the Study
In the last decade, much research in information systems (Llopis, 2000) has presented information technology as the fastest and most efficient way for an organization to go towards performance and efficiency. The 21st century was claimed as the digital revolution era. At the opening session of the first World Summit of Information Society (WSIS 2003), the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, stated (UN-ICT-TF, 2005) We are going through a historic transformation in the way we live, learn, work, communicate and do business (...)

Technology has produced the information age. Such terms like information age, information society and knowledge society are often used to describe the deep-seated impact of the ICT on our lives. Experts argue today that we are living a new industrial revolution more fundamental than the former. Tapscott and Caston (1994:395) point out The companies which will not be aware of this new era and will not know how to clear themselves a road during the period of transition will be vulnerable and quickly old-fashioned.

In the mid 1980`s, technology has played a major role in the development of business in the world. Almost all business sectors have leaned on technology to get into the competition in order to survive. Information systems have been the key step towards efficiency when automating different tasks in the companies, presumably to help reduce margin error and realize larger savings. In the mid 1990`s, the Internet brought a new breath in the market when extending the frontiers of the globalization, challenging time and space; therefore, having a profound impact on the way the world conducts economic and business practices. Many acute observers argue that ascendancy of one trend over another owes more to rhetorical devices and selective emphasis from this corpus of conflicting ideas, together with an inherent cyclical dynamic in professional fields argues Hood (1994).

This observation may explain why each new movement fails practitioners of every field in ___ succeeding deterministic thought, which always leads to a distorted view of a phenomenon (Not sure if this is the thought you want). Due to concerns like corruption, waste and incompetence, there have arisen several movements in public management fields in order to solve radically these deficiencies.

We may identify principally two successive major trends: Bureaucracy and the Post-Bureaucracy which includes: Progressive public administration, new public administration and today networked administration or e-government. Then what is public administration? What do we learn from those successive movements? What is the impact of technology on each of these public sector movements? May we consider e-government as the completed form of the old thought in a new technological environment?

Public Administration is a field of social science and a discipline, which is generally described as the marriage of public policy and public good. This term is often referred to government and bureaucracy. Yet the cross-disciplinary and intertwined character of the public administration makes it useless to be summed up to one definition (Stillman and Stillman, 20006). Accordingly, Mosher (1956) posits, It is best that it (Public Administration) not be defined. It is more an area of interest than a discipline, more a focus than a separate science ... It is necessarily cross-disciplinary.

The overlapping and vague boundaries should be
viewed as a resource, even though they are irritating to some with orderly minds". Parker, the most skeptical scholar regarding Public Administration, asserts "There is really no such subject as Public Administration`, no science or art can be identified by this title, least of all any single skill or coherent intellectual discipline. The term has no relation to the world of systematic thought... It does not, in itself, offer any promising opportunity to widen or make more precise any single aspect of scientific knowledge  ". Dwight Waldo, more considerate, mentioned the identity crisis of the public administration field. Nonetheless the public administration is traditionally defined as the power of law (Rosembloom, 1998), which refers to regulations for administrative processes, and constitutional law for civil rights matters. 

Over the year law and regulations themselves do not suffice to maintain satisfactory condition for quality public sector performance. True they furnish grounds for healthy organization and constructive outcomes, but do not account for its effectiveness and efficiency (Vigoda, 20029). Let us review basic scholar definition over the past decade in order to comprehend the contour of the Public Administration.

Consequently, it becomes more important that we have access to superior and timely information. As a nation our toehold in the information age relies heavily on technological progress and scientific and technical information. problems (organizational or otherwise), nor will they magically remove the variety of organizational and managerial ills that plague us. It is only through careful design, planning, acquisition, and implementation of ITs that we may benefit from more effective operations and solutions to problems.

While ITs are not the instant cure-all that many view them to be, they are certainly an asset and can provide a number of advantageous and effective solutions if properly adopted. The successful implementation of ITs in any organization depends on a multitude of important and interrelated factors. For close to 30 years the private sector, in particular, has spent a great deal of time and effort researching the question of how best to plan for and implement ITs in organizations. But even with reams of background research and countless results from institutional studies, they still face a mixture of problems for which there are no easy solutions. (Andersen and Dawes 1991)

A strategic planning process must be undertaken at regular intervals giving rise to longterm plans; the long term plans should periodically be translated into operational plans setting clear and concrete short-term goals. The Information Systems (IS) strategic plan involves the creation and maintenance of a technological infrastructure plan that sets and manages clear and realistic expectations of what technology can offer in terms of products, services and delivery. (Braithwaite,1996)

Public Administration is both an activity and a subject of study or intellectual discipline. As an activity it is as old as social life itself In" the spheres of the family, the clan, the tribe and even the state, the differentiation between the public and private aspects of affairs did not assert itself for a long time. The management of the public concerns mixed up with that of the private concerns of the head, leader or the ruler. Gradually the state emerged as a separate entity from the lesser forms of associated life and the management of its affairs-public administration - also came to be recognized as an independent activity.

The Bureau of Public Enterprises envisages that all the enterprises coming under the bureau shares its performance reports and all other information that is required time to time through electronic media and information processing is done through the systems rather than manual computation is done. Bureau also envisages that for all the transaction and administrative purposes it is linked with the treasury and the transactions are recorded electronically with the treasury. 

The role of the Bureau is of the watchdog for all the public enterprises in the state and the analysis of performance has significant impact on overall policy making for the public enterprises therefore the bureau wants that all the IT systems which are deployed are secured and no unauthorized transactions are posted in to their systems. For the purpose of safety the bureau looks forward to robust systems and also audit trails built within the system.

Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria adopt E-government as a way for governments to use the new technologies to provide people with more convenient access to government information and services, to improve the quality of the services and to provide greater opportunities to participate in the democratic institutions and processes. These include gains in efficiency and effectiveness from better use and management of information, whether in support of policy making or the administration of programs. Internet technologies offer the possibility of establishing knowledge bases and cross departmental working.

In realizing the vision of providing services efficiently and promptly bureau looks forward to provide personal computers upto the level of senior clerk / section officer. The basis of providing computers upto this level is that the paper work is mostly handled by them, and by automating the services upto this level of bureau e-Government services can be provided efficiently to the beneficiaries. Automating the services in phased manner will enable the department to provide G2C and G2B and G2G services to the citizens / and other stakeholders in effective and efficient manner. The bureau envisages framing the policies and pressing effective services in those areas that require immediate and focused attention and for this collection of information and data from all points of service is extremely crucial. (Theiruf, 1994).

However typically, government administrators and employees have not had the same education and depth of expertise with regard to IT as those in private sector or state and federal governmental organizations. In addition Public Sector often lack the resources for the training and development necessary to deal with current and future technologies. Slowly, but surely, things are changing. Within the last ten years, the public at large has become more technologically savvy. This has raised awareness of available technologies and what their use may entail for citizens and government organizations alike. With this new awareness has come increased pressure from the public, press, and other organizations for Public Sector to make use of a wider variety of information technologies in enhancing their operations and the often erroneous assumption that they will provide more efficient and effective means of operation. 

Unfortunately, many localities are unable to react proactively as technologies constantly change and evolve around them. The public sector suffers from what is known as “IT lag time. (Turban, 1993). It is inline with the above background this Research Work Assess the Impact of Information Technology (IT) on Public Administration (E-Government) in Nigeria with specific reference to Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria.

1.2            Statement of the Problem
The factor to consider technology: Mainly information and communication technology in public management as a means toward performance. This raises many questions when considering closely the virtual environment created by information technology, which is very complex due to the human-factor concept and the polysemic character of information that is the core of any information systems. Also if we consider each country with its own socio-cultural reality and the root causes of the reforms undertaken, the performance concept as well as the technology, which is viewed differently. How do developing nations see performance relating to technology? Can public sector of developing nations reach performance by the use of information technology? In fact, is it rational to correlate performance to information technology? In what level can we really measure the performance achieved by an organization? What sorts of impacts are truly driven by the use of technology in public administration? How to improve the positive impacts such as performance and efficiency in Public Administration? 

It is essential that the services of the bureau are provided through the gradual stages of e-Governance. Investing in the right services is a critical factor for the success of the e - governance initiatives and accrual of the benefits to the stakeholders of the bureau. The move towards E-Government should deliver key and tangible benefits to the stakeholders of the Bureau.

The bureau envisions itself as providing prompt services to all of its beneficiaries (public enterprises / Government / Other departments / General Public interested in knowing the performance of the enterprises) in the state. This would require an extensive coordination with all enterprises in the state. In order to the necessary extensive coordination the bureau sees itself linked with them, seamless transfer of information and having MIS that can help bureau develop sound policies and to facilitate services to the enterprises.

Ironically, despite all these efforts and provisions financially and morally by the Bureau to cope with the global challenges of ICT/E-government fail, the biggest Research Question raised by the Researcher is how would adoption of IT/E-Government by the Bureau will lead to Modernization or Digitalizing of Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria been it mirror to Public Enterprises in Nigeria for Effective and Efficient services to Nigerians as dividend of Democracy?

1.3        Research Question
Based on the above Research Question, Other Research Questions include inter-alia:
     i.  Does the Bureau have adequate physical infrastructure (LAN, WAN, PCs, Servers and other networking components)?
   ii.     To what extend has the Bureau possessed human capacities to manage e-Governance?
iii.        Does the Bureau have policies that are conducive for establishing secured e-Governance environment?
 iv.     To what extend does the Bureau have necessary Legal and Regulatory framework which is essential to the broadest utilization of e-government?
   v.    How has the Bureau instituted organizational and cultural change from analogue to Digital services?
 vi.          What preparation does the Bureau’s initiate to have a technical  team to take care of the on-going demands arising out of e-Governance initiatives?

1.4        Objectives of the Study
The central objective of this research project is to Assess the Impact of Information Technology (IT) on Public Administration (e-Government) in Nigeria with specific reference to Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria. This means that this work is aimed at assessing the application of Electronic means in the Interaction between Government and Citizens, and also Government and Businesses, as well as in Internal Government Operations to Simplify and Improve Democratic, Government and Business aspects of Governance. It also means the transformation of government to provide Efficient, Convenient & Transparent Services to the Citizens & Businesses through Information & Communications Technologies (ICT). E-Governance is the continuous optimization of government service delivery and governance by transforming internal and external relationships through digital technology, the Internet and new media.

Success to e-Governance projects largely depends upon three factors (a) People, (b) Processes and (c) Technology. Bureau of Public Enterprises needs concerted efforts in all the three areas to ensure that departmental services reach to its beneficiaries / customers efficiently and e-Governance efforts meet the objectives successfully. E-Governance can fundamentally change the way government operates and relates to the stakeholders, for example:    Tighter integration of delivery networks,   Horizontal integration within Governments, across departments, organizationally and functionally. Change in role from that of an implementer to that of a facilitator; and    Citizens gain greater visibility and insight into Government activities.
Other Objectives include:

        i.            To identify the Bureau’s adequate physical infrastructure (LAN, WAN, PCs, Servers and other networking components).
To find out the extend in which the Bureau possessed human capacities to manage e-Governance.
To examine the Bureau’s policies that are conducive for establishing secured e-Governance environment.
    iv.            To assess the Bureau’s necessary Legal and Regulatory framework this is essential to the broadest utilization of e-government.
      v.            To find out how the Bureau instituted organizational and cultural change from analogue to Digital services.
To examine preparation in place by the Bureau’s initiate to have a technical team to take care of the on-going demands arising out of e-Governance initiative.
  vii.            Based on i to vi above, make vivid recommendations for improving Information Technology (IT) for Effective and Efficient Service delivery in Public Sector with reference to the Bureau.

1.5        Hypotheses to be Tested
In order to provide a fundamental framework upon which to carry out this research, tentative statements (Hypotheses) will be formulated which will proof authenticity or otherwise of this research work from Data gathered by the researcher in field from respondents, that is staff of Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria. This statements will be designed in scientific notion of Null (H0) and Alternative (H1), as thus:

H0: There is no significant relationship between the application of Information Technology and Transforming Government Services to Efficient, Convenient & Transparent to Nigerians.
H1: There is significant relationship between the application of Information Technology and Transforming Government Services to provide Efficient, Convenient & Transparent to Nigerian.

1.6           Significance of the Study
Study of this nature has vital significance which cannot be over emphase. Significance of Information Technology (IT) in relation with Public Administration (E-Government) can be viewed as thus:

Firstly, this study is significant as its ginger and boom Nigerian Public Sector to corp with the challenges of 21st Century of Information Technology for Fast, Reliable, Effective as well as most Easiest way of Delivery Services to Citizens and Business Partners using I.T.

Secondly, its also significant as its create avenue for educating both Staff of the Bureau and Nigerians in general on what is all about ideas and principles of Information Technology and its applicability. Thirdly, its also significant as its add to existing stock of Literature on Impact of Information Technology and E-Government in general.

Furthermore, this study is also very significant in the sense that its drives into wellbeing of Nigerians which is the aim and motive of Democracy and also make vivid recommendations for improving lives of Nigerians by providing effective and efficient services to them by their Governer’s.

Finally, its believed that this research work will assist future Researcher’s, Students, Lecturers as well as other interested Personnel’s who intend to carry out further study on E-Government.

1.7        Scope and Limitations of the Study
This research project Assess Impact of Information Technology on Public Administration (E-Government) in Nigeria with specific reference to Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria, it covers the period between 2005 to 2012. The choice of this period is couple to the fact that its Era of raise of Information Technology Globally as well as Democratic Dispensation were Nigerians expect benevolently Good Governance as Dividend of Democracy.
However, this project like all other research works cannot be deviated from Limitations as thus:

Time: Timing is very paramount and its importance cannot be overwhelming. This is due to much committed of the Researcher to his studies and to come out with appropriate research result on the other hand as well as the distance between Zaria (my study city), Abuja (my case study) as well as Jalingo (were am based) which consumed Tens of Hours. This is Limitation to this work.

Finance: Finance is the most important resources that determine the accuracy, appropriacy as well as authenticity of any project or activities of life in this world. Financial implication of covering above distance, sourcing materials for this research as well as its compilation and production consumed a lot, considering the current situation of Global Financial Crises with particular reference to Comatose and Ecliptics’ Financial nature of our country, this also serve as major limitation.
Bureaucratic Bottlenecks: This is due to the nature of the organization, its difficult if not impossible to get access to some relevant materials which is according to them is highly confidential.
Insecurity: because of the current security challenges facing our nation, its difficult to get into the Bureau sometimes due to security reasons, this also serve as Limitation to my study.

1.8         Methodology
Methodology as employed by this research will explain the Population, Sample Size, Method of Data Collection and Analysis as well as Administration of Questionnaire and the Statistical Tool that the researcher will adopt.

1.8.1   Research Design
This research adopted survey research method. The method focuses on the population or the universe in which data collected from the said population are used for intensive study and analysis. A sample from a subset of population or universe is carefully selected to represent the characteristic of the population.

This provides the opportunity to generalized the findings of the study for the whole population. The research is designed to investigate the Impact of Information Technology (I.T.) on Public Administration (E-Government) in Nigeria. A study of Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria. Variables relating to Information Technology and E-Government are investigated. The variables are qualitative variables collected from respondents based on their perceptions. A five points Likert Scale ordinal level measurement of Strongly Agreed, Agreed, Undecided, Disagreed as well as Strongly Disagreed are used.

1.8.2  Method/Instrument of Data Collection
For the purpose of this research work, both primary and secondary sources of data collection are utilized.

Primary Data; this refers to the data collected from the field by the researcher which have not been already stored for him during this research work. The instruments of utilized by this study include the questionnaire that will be administered to staff and beneficiaries respondents to solicitate first hand information for this study. The participant Observation will also be utilized during this study as well as Oral Interview.

Secondary Source; for the purpose of this study, secondary data were also used. The study make use of available records and published and unpublished materials. The instrument include also official records, progress reports, text books, journals, magazines, news papers as well as the Internet.

1.8.3  Population for the Study
The targeted population for this study are the entire staff of Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria totaling to 132. For Nigerians the researcher uses 60 People. The population for this study stood at 192.
1.8.4   Sample Size for the Study
Since the target population is few, the researcher adopted using all the population, also 192 stood at Sample Size to which the Questionnaire will be administered to.
1.8.5   Sample Technique/Frame
The sampling frame for this study are all Public Enterprises of Nigeria. In drawing samples from the population of staff of the Bureau, Non-Stratify sampling technique is employed because of the small number of the Population.
1.8.6   Administration of Questionnaire
For the purpose of this research, questionnaires will be administered to the staff of the Bureau and some Nigerians to solicit first hand information. The questionnaires amounted to 192 will be administered to respondents by the researcher and research assistant for vivid scientific conclusion and recommendations.
1.8.7   Method of Data Analysis
For the purpose of this study, both qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis will be utilized by the researcher. Two types of analysis will be carrying out on the data collected. These include; Descriptive Statistics Analysis using Frequency Tables, Simple Percentages and Pie Chart. Moreso, Inferential Statistical tool of Chi-Square will also be utilized for vivid scientific generalization and conclusions, after running the analysis with Statistical Packages for Social Science SPSS IBM 17.0 Evaluation.
Decision Rule in Chi-Square stated that:
Accept the Null Hypothesis (H0) if X2 calculated value is less than X2 tabulated or critical value and reject the Alternative Hypothesis (H1). However, if X2 calculated value greater X2 tabulated value, reject the Null Hypothesis (H0) and accept the Alternative Hypothesis (H1).

1.9         Plan of the Study
This Research Project is plans to be divided into five chapters as provided by Guidelines of Writing Research Project for Sub-Degree and Undergraduate Students’  of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Chapter One which is an introductory chapter covers Background for the study, Statement of the Research problem, objectives of the study, Significance, Scope, Limitations as well as methodology adopted by this research project and also definition of key terms. Chapter Two will deal with Literature Review as concept of Information Technology and Public Administration will be seen, it will be concluded by Theoretical Framework and relevance of the theory adopted to the study. Chapter Three will contain Background of Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria and its I.T. plans.

Chapter Four will deal with Data Presentation and Analysis collected from field by the researcher as well as Major Findings of the study. Chapter Five will conclude the research with Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations on how best to improve application of I.T. in discharging Governmental businesses and services to Nigerians.


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