ECONOMIC VALUE OF E-GOVERNANCE: A CASE STUDY ON ONLINE HOLIDAY BUNGALOW RESERVATION SYSTEM OF DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

M.S.L.R.P. MARASINGHE, A.S. DHARMASIRI

Abstract


“e-Government” is the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve the activities of public sector organizations expecting greater efficiency and effectiveness of public sector operations. However, in practice, e-Government projects are given a low priority by the decision makers though stated otherwise. Apparent reason for this behaviour is the higher private risk, high level of failures, higher project costs and the difficulty of recognising the benefits in quantitative terms in order to justify the investment.Estimation of the economic benefits or the social welfare of e-Government projects in quantitative terms is a vital requirement in order to eliminate the reluctance and the fear mindset of the management and rational justification of such projects.

Outcomes of e-Government projects often do not have apparent direct market values or their values could not be elicited through associated surrogate markets. In such a situation, only option is to move in to the world of contingent valuation. This study aimed at estimating the economic value of the e-Government solution proposed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation of Sri Lanka, aiming at better citizen services.

The derived demand functions for different options of the proposed e-Government solutions were following exponential and quadratic functional forms. The analysis shows that 1,059.45 Rupees of consumer surplus per person per use could be generated by the e-Government solutions and the economic value of the solution is 135 million Rupees annually. According to the results of the study, the willingness to pay is affected by the education level and not by factors such as income level. It is also found that, the Contingent Valuation Techniques, which are used in various other disciplines in estimating social welfare of the commodities in non-markets, could be effectively used in estimating the value of the social welfare of e-Government solutions in order to facilitate informed policy decisions.


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