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Worldwide Municipality Websites between 2005 and 2007: An OCED Perspective that Compares Maturational and Curvilinear Best Practices Explanations

PAQ, Vol. 35 No. 2, (2011)

Digitized government is probably the most important innovation currently affecting the public sector. A central issue is whether jurisdictions—at all levels—are permanently strengthening their electronic applications. Prior longitudinal research on worldwide municipal Web sites finds that best practices are inconsistent. Employing survey data from the National Center for Public Performance (NCPP) between 2003 and 2007, the scores for aggregate digitized government increased in the two main electronic areas: delivering customer services and establishing citizen participation. The disaggregate data, however, disclosed that early adopters relapse on both these electronic dimensions. The present study compares city Web site data from 2005 to 2007 to determine whether any intervening consistency emerges. The control variable is cities in the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD). If municipal digitized government best practices improve between 2005 and 2007, they affirm the hypothesis that digitized government is steadying. Yet, if discontinuity arises, municipalities are failing to attain the pronounced electronic goals desired by global institutions. The findings serve as grounding to calculate the effects of fiscal restraints surfacing in 2008.

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