Do e-government and digital technologies really help to prevent corruption? Companies appear to believe that they do — but what’s your view?
E-government such as e-procurement, e-customs, e-tax filing and e-sourcing aim to promote efficient and clean business. It is said that reducing personal contacts between companies and government officials helps to reduce the scope for discretionary decisions, diminishing the opportunities for bribery.
Initial results and comments received from companies participating in the Basel Institute on Governance’s survey (participate here) on the effectiveness e-government tools to prevent corruption reveal a variety of views — some say they actively consider whether they are available when entering a new market, others cite corruption prevention as being the number one reason for companies to use such tools.
Some firms are more prosaic and indicate that business reasons such as reducing transaction time and costs are why they prefer e-government.
The effectiveness of e-procurement is less clear cut as such tools are not only identified as being particularly helpful to curb corruption, but also as a means that might inadvertently enable bribery.
But what’s your view? Is your experience with e-government a different story, or reflective of some of the preliminary findings?
A more representative sample would improve the results of the survey, so spare us a few minutes of your time by participating in the short, anonymous survey here.
Scarlet Wannenwetsch is a Project Associate at the International Centre for Collective Action at the Basel Institute on Governance, she holds law degrees from London University and the Free University of Berlin.