Lessons Learned from E-Government in Thailand

0 downloads 0 Views 51KB Size Report
Nov 17, 2006 - and GFMIS (Government Fiscal Management Information Systems). ... Institute, with a free 'linux' operating systems, for their rural people is .... Page 14 .... Management Information Systems: Managing the. Digital Firm, 7 th ed.

Lessons Learned from E-Government in Thailand

Associate Professor Tippawan Lorsuwannarat Graduate School of Public Administration National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Serithai Road, Bangkapi Bangkok 10240, Thailand Tel: 661-833-4205, 662-727-3888 Fax: 662-374-0324 [email protected] [email protected] www.nida.ac.th Logistic supported needed: Overhead Projector

Seminar on “Modernising the Civil Service in Alignment with National Development Goals” Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration (EROPA) Brunei Darussalam 13-17 November 2006

E-Government in Thailand: Development or Illusion?


After adopting information technology for improving the service delivery for more than forty years, the Thai government (2001-2006) had strong determination to utilize egovernment as an enabling tool to move toward a knowledge-based society. However, there are many problems and limitations needed to be addressed, especially the approach guiding the policy formulation. This paper applies the approach of information systems to review some e-government projects in Thailand, including e-auction, smart card, Internet in Tambol District, and GFMIS (Government Fiscal Management Information Systems). Using a qualitative methodology by reviewing past research and documents, it is found that the technical approach is most used in e- government projects. This approach views egovernment as panacea for all kinds of problems. Thus, it tends to emphasize on ‘highend’ or physical technology and systems capabilities rather than the surrounding contexts, the readiness of public organizations, people behavior, and culture. Consequently, the outcome of the projects are problematic. Some considerations and lessons learned are drawn for the purpose of civil service improvement in the future.


INTRODUCTION There are various definitions of “development”, and it does not mean the same thing in different countries (Jussawalla, 1992; Mansell & Wehn, 1988). According to Amartya Sen, the idea of development is complexed. In the 1940s the focus of development was primarily driven by the economic growth theory. It was dominated by the basic concept that poor countries are just low- income countries, and the emphasis was simply on economic growth, increasing GNP and so on. However, a better way of thinking about development has to be concerned with advancing human well-being and human freedom (Sen, 2004). Seers (1979) cited that the purpose of development is to reduce poverty, inequality, and unemployment. For Sen (1999), development involves reducing deprivation or broadening choice. From Schumacher’s (1973) point of view, development does not start with goods, it starts with people and their education, organization, and discipline. His belief is to take poverty seriously and to care for people, because people are the primary and ultimate source of wealth. Therefore, he regards education as the most vital of all resources and as a way of transmitting values. He also believes that education is the key element in producing the “whole man”, one who has a clear view on the meaning and purpose of his or her life. The primary task of technology, in Schumacher’s (1973) view, is to lighten the burden a working man has to carry in order to stay alive and develop his or her potential. For developing countries, he believes that technology based on the imitation of developed countries is not the way to solve the problems of poverty because such technology is based on sophisticated, highly capital-intensive, highly dependent, and labour-saving technology. Schumacher suggests that poor countries need to help themselves by developing appropriate technology which recognizes the economic boundaries and limitations of poverty. However, the ability to evaluate and search for a technology, that fits with a


required task and its context, requires both information and relevant judgment criteria. These are often lacking in developing countries (Dahlman, 1989; Stover, 1984). One acceptable criterion is that the technology should fit their development objectives. Another criterion is that the benefits of technology should be distributed widely within the social system (Rogers, 1983; Stover, 1984). Otherwise, the diffusion of new technology will widen the socioeconomic gap between the high and the low status members of a system, since the high status members will have a higher potential to be the first adopters (Rogers, 1983). In Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra’s government (2001-2006) had pushed government







Technology Master Plan (2002-2006) was formulated to support e-government. A number of e-government initiatives were launched during this period in order to develop Thailand to become a country with e- industry, e-commerce, e-education, and then e-society. Many egovernment projects were expected to have a great deal of impact to the public services and Thai people since the government had spent a lot of budget on these projects. Therefore, a study of e-government projects in Thailand would help to review the appropriateness of its policy direction, whether it is consistent with the country’s development since there is a limited number of studies on this issue in our country. This paper, therefore, adopts an e-governance principle to examine the approach used in e- government projects in Thailand during Thaksin Shinawatra’s government (20012006), focusing on the new initiatives, i.e. e-auction, smart card, Internet in Tambol District, and GFMIS (Government Fiscal Management Information Systems). Some considerations of these projects are proposed along with the lessons learned thus far. The paper comprises six sections, inclusive of the introduction. Section two offers a conceptual overview of e-governance. The next section discusses e-government policy in


Thailand. Section four contains the rationale of the research methodology used in this study. Section five focuses on the results of the findings of the e-government projects. Section six presents the analysis, discussion, and some implications for the government policy and current managerial practice.

E-GOVERNANCE Recently Heeks (2003) developing countries.

studied the success and failure of e- government in

It is reported that 15 percent of e-government projects were

successful and could achieve the main objectives. Whereas 50 percent failed and could not achieve the main objectives, due to some unexpected circumstances. The remaining thirty five percent either totally failed, or the projects did not proceed or were cancelled. One key success factor of e-government is the appropriate approach to information systems, or e-governance, since it can determine the policy direction. There are many definitions of e-governance. According to UNESCO, “e- governance is the public sector’s use of information and communication technologies with the aim of improving information and service delivery, encouraging citizen participation in the decision- making process and making government more accountable, transparent, and effective” (UNESCO, 2006). Governments are institutions that contribute to governance (Riley, 2003). Table 1 summarizes the characteristic of conventional and electronic government and governance (Kettl, 2002 cited in Riley, 2003).

[insert Table 1 here]


E-governance, in this paper, is defined as a way of describing the links between egovernment and its broader environment – political, social, and administration (Kettl, 2002). E-government that fits with the surroundings would guarantee the success of implementation. Laudon & Laudon (2002) proposed that there are three contemporary approaches to information systems, i.e. technical, behavioral, and sociotechnical systems approaches. These three approaches can be applied as governance perspectives. The technical approach to information systems emphasizes physical technology and systems capabilities (Laudon & Laudon, 2002). The knowledge that contributes to the technical approach is computer science, management science, and operations research. The strength of this approach is that it will find the best technology or systems to be used. However, the limitations of this approach are that it tends to view information technology as panacea for all kinds of problems. Due to its pro-innovation bias, the adoption of information technology is influenced by technology in the market rather than the users’ needs. This approach tends to overlook the behavior of people and organization. The behavioral approach focuses on changes in attitudes, behavior, organization culture, and management. This approach applies behavioral science, psychology, sociology, organizational behavior in development and maintenance process of the information systems to obtain system acceptance. The strength of this approach is that it helps preparing the readiness of the organization before installing the information systems. However, by the time that people are ready, the technology may be out of date. A sociotechnical systems is the integration of technical and behavioral approaches to get a balance between user satisfaction and system efficiency.

This approach is

consistent with Schumacher’s perspective (1973) and Dhamapidok (1997) views on technology (Lorsuwannarat, 2006). Schumacher views that developing countries should adopt appropriate technology that is suitable for the users, organizations, and surrounding contexts of the country. Dhamapidok (1997) views tha t information technology should be 6

used wisely, by not being a technology slave. That is, information technology should be applied locally, suitably for the circumstances. The ‘simputer’, a small and cheap computer, developed by Indian Scientific Institute, with a free ‘linux’ operating systems, for their rural people is one of good example of

this approach. This project took into account

the infrastructure of the

country as well as the readiness of the people. The simputer can operate with small batteries and work by using voice recognition. Yamada village in Japan where old people use computers for their daily life (Asiaweek, 2005) is another successful case of sociotechnical systems approach. This project was implemented successfully five years before their government set up information technology policy.

E-GOVERMENT POLICY IN THAILAND The initial stage of computerization in the Thai public sector started in 1963 when two mainframe computer systems were first installed at the National Statistics Office for processing census data, and at the Faculty of Commerce and Accounting in Chulalongkorn University for educational programs (Lorchirachoonkul, et al., 1987). Soon after, computerization in the Thai public sector was established and quickly expanded. At the early stage of computerization in the Thai public sector, information processing was highly centralized. The government agencies sent their data to the National Statistics Office for processing. However, such centralized processing systems could not respond to the increasing needs of the public agencies efficiently. Many public agencies then set up their own computer centers at the departmental or ministry level in order to process their own data instead of sending it to the National Statistics Office.


In 1992, the government set up the National Information Technology Committee (NITC) to be the central IT agency. The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) serves as NITC’s secretariat. NITC developed policies and plans on IT (IT 2000-2010 Policy) and got approval from the cabinet in 1996. This National IT Policy covers creating digital opportunity, ensuring proper modernization, forging the knowledgebased society, constructing infrastructure for government and infrastructure for the national economy (Krootkaew, 2002). After Thaksin Shinawatra came to the power in 2001, there was a big leap of information communication technology usage in the public sector. He announced the policy through broadcast on June 16, 2001 that: “I wish to see this government as “eGovernment”, the government that uses electronics and use most of internet for faster and convenient service delivery.” In addition Thaksin also said in the Meeting on “Strategy of Information Communication Technology Development” on February 4, 2002: “I dreamt that Thailand will have e-Citizen system, that is, everyone will have smart cards which can check everyone’s biography. This is great. It will help us to administer the country efficiently and transparently.” Thaksin’s government also approved a Master Plan on Information and Communication Technology (2002-2006) in order to increase efficiency of the administration and service delivery of the public sector within 2003. In 2001, the government set up an e-Government Committee in order to push and support e-government projects within a two-years timeline. At present, the government under Thaksin has attempted to launch many egovernment projects, i.e. smart card, e-auction, e-passport, and GFMIS (Government Fiscal Management Information Systems). This is a big jump of computerization period in the public sector. The government had spent approximately 90,000 million baht (about 2,500 8

million US$) for e-government projects during 2001-2006 (Bureau of the Budget, 20002005). In 2002 there was a major restructuring in the public sector, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology was established as a mechanism to push eGovernment, e-Industry, e-Commerce, e-Education, and e-Society.

METHODOLOGY This paper applies a qualitative research methodology by using past research and related documents on e-Government projects in Thailand. The scope of study focuses on egovernment projects initiated during 2001-2006 under Thaksin’s government. These projects includes e-Auction, Smart Card, Internet in Tambol District, and GFMIS (Government Fiscal Management Information Systems). Content analysis is used for data analysis.

E-GOVERNMENT PROJECTS e-Auction On October 1, 2002, the Thai cabinet had the resolution that every departments and state enterprises must procure through e-Auction and report the progress of implementation to the Office of Prime Minister every 3 month. This resolution was effective since January 2003. The objectives of this project were to improve the procurement process in the public sector in order to protect collusion and corruption, reduce the cost of procurement, increase efficiency, and stimulate the investment and economy. Lorsuwannarat








implementation success in Thailand by applying the MIS Implementation concept to be the research framework. There are five independent variables, top management support, understanding of official, readiness of equipments, law clarity, and infrastructure readiness. 9

The dependent variable is the success of e-Auction implementation.

The research

integrated both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The unit of analysis was at the organization level. It collected data from 308 departments and state enterprises together with 208 companies that involved with e-Auction in the government. In addition, the indepth interviews from top- management and the company were conducted. Regression technique was used to test the hypotheses. The response rate was 43 percent, comprising of 167 government departments and 55 companies. It was found that 47.8 percent of the respondents reported that their agencies completed or almost completed a plan for e-auction projects, 55.2 percent sent their official for a training, 50.6 percent already implemented e-auction, and 36.8 percent have evaluated the results. The level of success of this project was at the medium level, measured by the views on satisfaction, accountability and transparency, efficiency, and goal attainment. Five independent variables can explain the success of e-Auction 47.2 percent. Topmanagement, official understanding, and infrastructure had positive relationship with the success of e-Auction implementation significantly. Whereas the readiness of equipments and the clarity of laws did not have positive relationship with the success of the implementation. The related government agencies and companies did not need to have their own computers because they can use computers from anywhere, e.g. internet café. The clarity of laws did not have a positive relationship with the success of the implementation because the regulation enforces every agency to adopt e-auction, without exception. From an open-ended questionnaire, more than half of the respondents accepted that there were limitations of understanding of this project. In addition, they were uncertain that the systems can protect collusion or corruption as hoped. The inflexibility of regulations and laws blocked some suppliers to run business and pay mo re attention to price rather than the quality. Many projects were not worth enough to implement e-auction. It is suggested that the government should develop e-procurement for different types of goods/services. 10

Since the government agencies tend to look at the only factor, price, there should be some other technical factors to consider, such as quality and business information. The government should outsource the system design for e-auction.

Smart Card In July 2003, the Thai cabinet approved smart card project to replace the existing national identification card. Smart card is a multi-application smart identification card that simply put microchips into identification cards to store data of the owner. This smart card links individual databases to other databases. Thailand implemented pilot projects of smart card by issuing 7,769 cards for politicians, heads of government agency district, people in three southern provinces. The government aims to issue 64 million cards from 2004-2006 with a budget of 6,630 million baht. Wanchai Pintabutra et al. (2004) studied the suitability of smart card for Thai society by collecting data through documents and in-depth interviews with politicians, academics, law experts, technology business people, people, media, and executives. It was found that the benefits from this project went to the ones who live in the urban rather than rural areas. This smart card project has high dependence on imported technology, especially microchip. Despite a strong belief of some top- management in related agencies that Thailand would produce microchip in the future, the chance is slim. Besides, people did not have an opportunity to participate in project formulation. The involved agencies were not ready in terms of data linkage, security standards, data standard, personnel development, and public relations. This was not a voluntary project, and people inevitably avoided to have this smart card. Also, there is no privacy law at the moment to protect data abuse or identity theft. In 1998 the Philippines Supreme Court decided that smart card conflicted


with people’s privacy according to the constitution, as did the Hungarian government. In other countries, mandatory versus voluntary is a hotly debated issue. Taiwan cancelled this project due to low acceptance from people. In Japan to have a smart card is voluntary since it is private matter. This research suggested that the government should have public hearings on benefits and limitations, and returns of smart card project since this project has an impact to every citizen. The privacy law should be issued so that people can be assure of their own personal data. The standards of security, information systems should be implemented as well as the ethics of involved personnel should be developed. Tambol Internet Internet in Tambol District has three objectives: (1) to provide computers to all Tambol districts, the lowest unit of local governments; (2) to facilitate Tambol officials in coordinating, informing, and commanding through internet; (3) to provide people in Tambol district with updated information; and (4) to publicize the One Tambol One Product project through internet.

This project started in 2001 by implementing pilot

projects in 9 provinces throughout the country. In 2003 the project finished installing computers for 5,845 Tambols. Danai Saengsrichan et al (2003), Somchai Jornsuwan et al (2003), and Sucheewa Nititanachuchoke et al (2004) studied the factors affecting the success of Internet Tambol implementation. These research used both quantitative and qualitative methods through questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Saengsrichan et al (2003) collected data in Kampaengpetch and Pichit Provinces, the northern part of Thailand. Jornsuwan et al (2003) collected data in Songkla and Patalung Provinces, the southern part of Thailand. Nititanachuchoke et al (2004) gathered data from Srakaew and Prachinbuir Provinces, the northeastern part of Thailand.


By using a Likert scale, it was found that the effectiveness and utilization of the project was at a low level in the selected provinces of northern part and at medium level in the selected provinces of southern part. Other factors, i.e. top- management support, computer skills, computer quality, internet accessibility, and resource sufficiency, ranged at low and medium level (see Table 2).

[Insert Table 2 here]

The problems were related to computer policy in the local government, technical problems, limited computer literacy, and low computer utilization due to the limitation of internet infrastructure.

That is, there was no clear delegation to tambol districts to

implement tambol internet, less monitoring and evaluation from the central government. Many tambol districts did not have internet accessibility, had outdated computers, bad signal, and it was very difficult to find technicians to fix the technical problems.


in tambol district did not know how to use computers. The offices of tambol districts were closed by the time people wanted to use computers. Tambol officers dared not to turn on the computer to use. Because they were afraid that the computers would be out of order. English language was also one of the barriers in using internet for people in tambol districts. The suggestions for this project are that there should be sufficient training for tambol officers and people in tambol districts. The application should focus on people’s daily life. An evaluation of the project should be implemented. 13

Government Fiscal Management Information Systems (GFMIS) The objectives of this project are to build a comprehensive integrated computerized fiscal system to best serve the government, citizens and investors. This system is a computerized database covering all activities related to the public finance sector, i.e. budgeting, procurement, financial and accounting, cost, personnel systems. It is expected to provide smooth automatic flow of information between the Ministry and its departments, and between the Ministry and other ministries. This project is expected to provide timely, up-to-date, and right fiscal data for economic management of the country (Office of GFMIS, 2004). The government approved the Government Fiscal Management Information Systems (GFMIS) on July 22, 2003. The implementing agencies were the Comptroller’s General Department responsible for training, Krung Thai Bank – state enterprise- outsource private company to design and install the systems. The GFMIS rolled out in October 2004. Chaweewan Thongkorn, et al (2004) studied the factors affecting the success of GFMIS, Case of Pitsanulok Province by using quantitative methodology. The conceptual framework included six independent variables: top management support, user characteristics, computer quality, quality of internet access, resource sufficiency, and responsible agency support, and dependent variable are systems utilization and official satisfaction. Questionnaires were conducted through 137 government agencies, together with 15 in-depth interviews from top and middle management of public agencies in the Pitsanulok province. By using Chi-square method, it was found that top- management support, user characteristics, computer quality, resource sufficiency, and responsible agency support were significantly related with systems utilization. In addition, top- management support, user characteristics, computer quality, quality of internet access, resource sufficiency, and responsible agency support were significantly related with official satisfaction. 14

Problems of GFMIS implementation at policy level included lack of coordination among involved agencies, lack of participation in policy formulation, insufficient attention to evaluation from the central agencies, and insufficient training. Operational problems included the slowness of budget transfer, wrong transfer, confusion in data input, difficult to check the fiscal status of government agencies, problem with coding, changing regulations, not enough terminals at the regional level, too many mistakes, take long time to correction. Security of the system was also another problem; a sum of 900,000 baht was stolen from the system. The study suggested better coordination among agencies in order to set up clear guidelines and efficiently solve the problems, good evaluation, training, and regulation improvement.

ANALYSIS The objectives of e-Government implementation in Thailand are to create good governance, to increase the competitiveness of the country, and to develop a country to be a knowledge-based society. The government had a strong political will to push e-government projects. This can be seen through many events, such as e-government projects initiated by the government, budget priorities allocated to the projects, the prime minister’s promises, and cabinet’s meetings through video conferences. Despite such strong political will, there are some potential issues on e-Government projects in Thailand. Approach to e-Government The technical approach plays an important role in guiding e-Government policy and projects. Most of the projects emphasize advance technology, and pay less attention to the people’s behavior and the social circumstances.

Many projects are influenced by

modernized technology rather than the real needs of people. High-end technologies are adopted, even though there may be still some limitations to such technologies. Before


launching such projects, other developed countries have pilot projects and use evaluation feedback to improve the projects. Technical approach views information technology as the only answer for the government and the country. Information Technology is seen as panacea to help increase efficiency, transparency, anti-corruption, and good-governance in the public sector. However, IT is only a tool, depending on how the policy makers use it. There are many other factors needed to be considered, such as culture, behavior, social structure, economic, and politics. Regarding the e-government projects studied in this work, e-Auction is a project which aims to protect collusion. In practice, collusion is possible even before e-Auction starts its course. One objective of Tambol District Internet is to facilitate the people in the district to obtain updated information and to have a “world library” at the district. This may be the objective set by urban people who do not know the basic infrastructure of rural area and rural people behavior.

At present, there are only a few people used these

computers in tambol districts. Smart-Card aims to be a multi-application ID card that uses the 13 digit ID to link with other databases. In reality, people can use smart card as a single application like a normal ID card only, since it cannot link with other databases at the moment. People had limited participation by the people and there were no public hearings on these projects. From the study, the beneficiaries would be people in the urban area rather than people who live in the rural area. Objectives of the Policy The Thai government wanted to use information technology to provide services to people in every areas of central, regio nal, and local government services before 2010. This objective is quite idealistic since Thailand has only 9.56 percent of population who can access internet (http://portal.unesco.org). Comparing with other developed country, such as South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Canada and United 16

States, which have very high internet accessibility of approximately 50-60 percent of the population (see Table 3).

[Insert Table 3 here]

GDP per head of Thailand is only 2,270 US$ in 2003, but Thaksin’s government has spent not lower than 2,500 million US$ on information technology in the government during 2001-2006. The beneficiaries are only a small group of people in Thailand. The worth of the projects need to be reviewed, together with the fiscal status of the country. Time Line Master Plan of ICT (2002-2006) indicates that back office of public agencies, general administration, personnel, accounting, budgeting, should be implemented in 2004. Front office, service delivery to people, should be 70 percent finished in 2005, and completed for every process in 2010. This timeline is set up without the consideration of the limitations of the country. Some policies had pilot projects, but no serious concern of the evaluation, or some did not have pilot projects at all. Readiness of the country to have e-Government Though there are many e-Government projects implemented in Thailand, but a lot of problems lying ahead, especially the readiness of the country seems to be the common problem of eve ry project. People still have low computer and English literacy. There are only one main law supporting e- government: Electronic Transaction Act, B.E. 2001. The other laws involved with privacy, electronic payment business services, computer crime and so on, are still many years away. One of the most important issues is that there is very limited use of evaluation feedback for project improvement. Technical approach as the only approach using in implementing e-Government would ignore the reality of Thai society, i.e. infrastructure, personnel understanding and 17

capacity, training, and regulations. This has led to ineffective implementation of the egovernment projects studied.

E-Auction has the limitations of lacking of top- management

support, and inflexibility of the regulations. Smartcard does not have readiness in term of privacy laws, safety, databases of related agencies, and crime protection. Internet Tambol has no evaluation, infrastructure, and low computer utilization rate. GFMIS still have the problems of coordination among central agencies, lack of participation, the readiness of the personnel, equipments, training, and evaluation; problems of process, difficult to check errors of the systems.

CONCLUSIONS Though e-government is an internationa l phenomenon that is happening around the world that causes civil services to change dramatically, it is not a ready- made application. Each country has to apply suitably to their own contexts. This paper provides an overview of e-government projects in Thailand and found that these projects have been applied a technical approach. The consideration of social and organizational contexts is too limited. Thailand still has low readiness in information technology in terms of infrastructure, computer literacy, supporting law, and low accessibility of internet. High investment in egovernment needs to be evaluated in terms of the worthiness of the projects, especially when the country has limited resources and many significant problems are still remaining. The purpose of e- government should be aligned with national development goal and the benefits of e-government should be distributed widely. If only a small group of people can gain advantage from e-government projects, the modernization through these projects will be questioned as to whether it is a development or an illusion.


REFERENCES Bureau of the Budget. 2000. Budget Document: Expenditure of Fiscal Year 2001, Bangkok: P.A. Living. Bureau of the Budget. 2001. Budget Document: Expenditure of Fiscal Year 2002, Bangkok: P.A. Living. Bureau of the Budget. 2002. Budget Document: Expenditure of Fiscal Year 2003, Bangkok: P.A. Living. Bureau of the Budget. 2003. Budget Document: Expenditure of Fiscal Year 2004, Bangkok: P.A. Living. Bureau of the Budget. 2004. Budget Document: Expenditure of Fiscal Year 2005, Bangkok: P.A. Living. Bureau of the Budget. 2005. Budget Document: Expenditure of Fiscal Year 2006, Bangkok: P.A. Living. Dahlman, C.J. 1989. “Technological Change in Industry in Developing Countries: The Main Trends, and the Issues They Pose for Government Policy,” Finance & Development, June: 13-15. Heeks, Richard. 2003. “E-Government for Development: Success and Failure Rates of eGovernment in Developing Transitional Countries Overview,” available at www.egov4der.org/sfoverview.htm (accessed October 27, 2005). Jornsuwan, Somchai, et al. 2003. Factors Affecting the Success of Tambol Internet Implementation: Cases of Songkla and Pataloong Provinces, Research Paper of Management, Public Administration for Executive Program, School of Public Administration, National Institute of Development Administration. Jussawalla, M. 1992. The Economics of Intellectual Property in a World without Frontiers: A Study of Computer Software. New York: Greenwood Press. Kettl, Donald F. 2002. The Transformation of Governance. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press . Krootkaew, Chumphol 2002. “Overview of Thailand e-Government: Development & Monitoring,” slide presentation in ASEAN Workshop on Measurement of Digital Economy, September 19, 2002. Laudon, K.C. & J.P. Laudon. 2002. Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Lorchirachoonkul, Vichit, et al. (1987). “Thailand: Country Overviews and Case Studies,” Searching for a Puddle: Trends in IT Applications in Asian Government Systems. Vol 2, Kuala Lumpur: Asian and Pacific Development Center, 171-234. Lorsuwannarat, Tippawan.. 2006. e-Government Bangkok: Ratanatrai. Lorsuwannarat, Tippawan. 2003. “e-Procurement: Case of e-Auction.” Research submitted to the School of Public Administration, National Institute of Development Administration. Mansell, R and U. Wehn. 1998. Knowledge Societies: Information Technology for Sustainable Development. New York: Oxford University Press.


Nititanachuchoke, Sucheewa, et al. 2004. “Tambol Internet: Cases of Sra-Kaew and Prachinburi Provinces,” Research Paper of Management, Public Administration for Executive Program, School of Public Administration, National Institute of Development Administration. Pintabutra, Wanchai, et al. 2004. Suitability of Smart Card Adoption in Thai Society, Research Paper of Management, Public Administration for Executive Program, School of Public Administration, National Institute of Development Administration. Riley, Thomas B. 2003. “E-Government V.S. E-Governance: Examining the Differences in an Changing Public Sector Climate” International Tracking Survey Report ’03, number four, Prepared under the auspices of the Commonwealth Secretariat and Government Telecommunications and Informatics Services, Public Works and Government Services Canada. Rogers, Everett M. 1995. Diffusion of Innovation. 5th ed. New York: Free Press. Saengsrichan, Danai, et al. 2003. Tambol Internet : Case Studies of Kamphaengpetch and Pichit Provinces, Research Paper of Management, Public Administration for Executive Program, School of Public Administration, National Institute of Development Administration. Schumacher, E.F. (1973) Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. New York: Harper & Row Publishers. Seers, Dudley. 1979. “The Meaning of Development, with a Postscript.” In Seers, Nafziger, Cruise O’Brien, & Bernstein, 9-30. Sen, Amartya K. 2004. Development as Freedom: AsiaSource Interview with Amartya Sen by Nermeen Shaikh, accessed http://www.ciaonet.org/wps/shn09/ accessed on September 18, 2006. Sen, Amartya K. 1999. Development as Freedom. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Stover, W.J. 1984. Information Technology in the Third World: Can IT Lead to Humane National Development? Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. Thongkorn, Chaweewan et al. 2004. Factors Affecting the Success of Government Fiscal Management Information Systems : Case Study of Pitsanulok, Research Paper of Management, Public Administration Executive Program, School of Public Administration, National Institute of Development Administration. http://portal.unesco.org www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/technology/2005/0112/tech.society.html.


Biographical sketch of the author Tippawan Lorsuwannarat is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Administration at the School of Public Administration, the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), in Bangkok, Thailand. She received her B.A. in economics from Thammasat University and M.P.A. from the National Institute of Development Administration in Bangkok, Thailand. She was granted a Netherlands Fellowship to have a training in management information systems at the Research Institution for Management Science (RVB), the Netherlands. Afterwards, she received a Canadian Scholarship to study in Canada. She graduated with an M.E.S. from the School of Environmental Studies and Ph.D. in Administrative Studies from the Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada. Her books, articles, research, and teaching are in the area of e-government, management information systems, and modern organization and management.


Table 1 Comparison between Conventional and Electronic Government and Governance GOVERNMENT Superstructure Decisions Rules Roles Implementation Outputs E-Government Electronic service delivery Electronic workflow Electronic voting Electronic productivity

GOVERNANCE Functionality Processes Goals Performance Coordination Outcomes E-Governance Electronic consultation Electronic controllership Electronic engagement Networked societal guidance Source: Kettl, 2002.


Table 2 Tambol Internet Implementation Variables

Northern Provinces1/ Low

Southern Provinces2/ Medium

Northeastern Provinces3/ Medium

Computer Literacy




Computer Quality




Top Management Support

Internet Accessibility Quality




Resource Adequacy








User Satisfaction




Project Effectiveness





1/ 2/ 3/

Saengsrichan et al (2003). Jornsuwan et al (2003). Nititanachuchoke et al (2004).


Table 3 Comparison of Information Communication Technology Basic Data of Different Countries in 2003 Countries

Population (Million) 1/ 63.08 47.93 127.62 19.94 4.01 5.22 8.98 290.81 31.72

Thailand South Korea Japan Australia New Zealand Finland Sweden USA Canada Sources:





calculated by Lorsuwannarat, T.



GDP per head (US$)2/ 2,270 12,631 25,359 19,290 183,588 33,586 -

Internet Users (Million) 3/ 6.03 29.22 61.60 11.30 2.11 2.79 5.66 161.63 17.60

Internet Accessibility4/ 9.56 60.97 48.27 56.67 52.63 53.40 63.00 55.58 55.48

adjusted from http://portal.unesco.org (accessed in November 2005)