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New Zealand ahead of Australia in e-Government Responsiveness

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Central and local government agencies in New Zealand have fared better than their Australian counterparts in a New Zealand based University of Otago study on e-Government responsiveness.

The study, headed by Associate Professor Robin Gauld from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, set out to see if e-Government was making government services more responsive. “Our key and consistent finding was that the Australian agencies performed significantly worse than their New Zealand counterparts, bringing into question their higher ranking in international e-Government studies and also their potential to deliver on the Australian government policy that e-Government means more responsive government.”

Researchers sent out an email message to 273 government agencies at both local and national level in Australia and New Zealand asking two simple questions: 'where are you located?' and, 'what are your open hours?'. Responses were monitored, recording how long they took, and were then analysed for quality of response.  Gauld says they heard back from 209 agencies, with 199 replying within 45 working hours. “A total of 67.5 per cent of the Australian and 89.3 per cent of the New Zealand agencies responded to the email, with strong evidence that the Australian agencies were less likely to respond than their New Zealand counterparts,” he says. “The Australian central agencies, at 60 per cent, were the least likely to respond and New Zealand local government agencies were the most likely, with 91.4 per cent providing a response of some sort.”

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