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Japan reveals key e-govt projects
In an exclusive interview with FutureGov, Japan’s e-government expert Kyosuke Tsuji, Deputy Director, Administrative Management Bureau (AMB), Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, revealed his country’s priority projects - IT consolidation and improving citizen service delivery.

AMB is the agency responsible for supporting and promoting e-government across the whole of Japan’s public sector. “One of AMB’s most important projects this year is the integration of information systems onto a single platform,” said Tsuji. The consolidated platform, targeted to launch in 2012, will start with systems for common administrative matters, such as personnel, backend control and procurement.

While standardisation should cut across the entire government, systems which require high security measures might not be included. Tsuji’s team is currently investigating the suitability of different types of systems.

The Japanese government spends an average of 450 billion yen (US$5 billion) a year on operating its information systems. The consolidation project, targeted to be completed in 2022, is expected to cut that by half.

AMB is also looking into providing better government services over the internet. “We received many complaints about the national portal. Citizens said the design of the site makes it difficult to find information quickly,” explained Tsuji. For the past six months, his team has been reviewing how to improve the portal’s navigation, search and quality of information.

The current government site receives 100 million visitors a year. “AMB, however, has not tracked the profile of its visitors. We therefore now need to survey the citizens to understand how best we can improve,” Tsuji added. The new national portal will be launched late this year or early next year.

A consolidated document management strategy is the third project on Tsuji’s list. There are many documents within the government that are disorganised, according to him. To address this issue, a new information system was implemented early this year, replacing a four-year-old legacy system.

“However, many government officers still do not use the system, thinking that it is difficult to use,” Tsuji said. The only solution – and a big priority for AMB – is to change the organisation’s culture. “The Japanese government is required by law to make information open and available to citizens. I believe that it will be easier for us to achieve that if we use the information system,” he elaborated. This information system will be integrated into the main government IT platform in 2012.

Reflecting on the key challenge facing Japan’s e-government transformation, Tsuji said it is the lack of attention paid to cost-effectiveness. “ICT has some kind of magic in Japan. Many think that technology is a silver bullet. While there are budgetary limits, ICT projects are easier to get approved than others,” he observed.

He added that it is important for the government to be mindful of costs and manage expectations.

Source: http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/2010/jun/29/japan-reveals-key-e-govt-projects/
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The 2018 WASEDA - IAC
Digital Government Rankings
No Countries Score
1  Denmark 94.816
2  Singapore 93.843
3  UK 91.921
4  Estonia 91.125
5  USA  90.340
6  South Korea 85.500
7  Japan 84.493
8  Sweden 81.700
9  Taiwan 80.383
10  Australia 80.248

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