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By GCN Staff

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Report finds US citizens unhappy with digital government

Report: Digital Government: Pathways to Delivering Public Services for the Future, from Accenture

Key Points: The United States is ranked sixth in the world in its use of digital government to communicate with and engage citizens. “Digital government” includes offering portals to access public services as well as employing digital channels and social media. Singapore, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Saudi Arabia all ranked above the United States.

Despite investing heavily in digital technologies, the Citizen Satisfaction Survey revealed many segments of the U.S. population feel uncomfortable adopting mobile and cloud technology to interact with government. 

Smart mobile devices are becoming a more universal channel for interacting with government, with U.S. federal agencies launching 140 free applications on iOS and Android platforms in English and Spanish. But 43 percent of U.S. citizens surveyed said they are not interested in using mobile devices in the future to communicate with government departments offering public services.

Although cloud computing offers great potential to securely and efficiently store and share government and citizen data, the United States ranked among the last three countries in citizens’ interest in using it for interacting with their governments. The report suggests citizens may be concerned about data security and privacy: specifically, how enterprise data is safeguarded and shared in third-party environments.  

According to U.S. citizens, the top three priorities for improving future public services are to provide cost-efficient, sustainable services, to deliver a clear and stable long-term vision and to better understand better the priorities of citizens and communities.

The federal government has seen success with IRS e-services. This program provides taxpayers with online services to improve voluntary compliance and reduce tax gaps. Of the 147.6 million tax returns filed in September 2012, 113.8 million (77 percent) were done online.

The IRS2Go smartphone app has been a major reason for the success of the e-service. The app lets citizens request and track their tax returns and account statements. It has helped the IRS avoid issuing $4.2 billion of potentially fraudulent refunds.

Bottom Line: Although the United States is one of the most experienced countries in the development of digital government services, its citizens are neither satisfied nor confident in the government’s ability to deliver public services to meet their future needs. 

Posted by Mike Cipriano on Feb 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM


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