Streamlining local government : evaluating an eGovernment initiative in south east Queensland
CRC Construction Innovation (2007) Streamlining local government : evaluating an eGovernment initiative in south east Queensland. CRC for Construction Innovation, Brisbane.
Recent initiatives around the world have highlighted the potential for information and
communications technology (ICT) to foster better service delivery for businesses. Likewise,
ICT has also been applied to government services and is seen to result in improved service
delivery, improved citizen participation in government, and enhanced cooperation across
government departments and between government departments.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) (2006) identified local government
development assessment (DA) arrangements as a ‘hot spot’ needing specific attention, as
the inconsistent policies and regulations between councils impeded regional economic
activity. COAG (2006) specifically suggested that trials of various ICT mechanisms be
initiated which may well be able to improve DA processes for local government. While the
authors have explored various regulatory mechanisms to improve harmonisation elsewhere
(Brown and Furneaux 2007), the possibility of ICT being able to enhance consistency across
governments is a novel notion from a public policy perspective. Consequently, this paper will
explore the utility of ICT initiatives to improve harmonisation of DA across local
This paper examines as a case study the recent attempt to streamline Development
Assessment (DA) in local governments in South East Queensland. This initiative was funded
by the Regulation Reduction Incentive Fund (RRIF), and championed by the South East
Queensland (SEQ) Council of Mayors. The Regulation Reduction Incentive Fund (RRIF)
program was created by the Australian government with the aim to provide incentives to
local councils to reduce red tape for small and medium sized businesses. The funding for the
program was facilitated through a competitive merit-based grants process targeted at Local
Government Authorities. Grants were awarded to projects which targeted specific areas
identified for reform (AusIndustry, 2007), in SEQ this focused around improving DA
processes and creating transparency in environmental health policies, regulation and
An important key factor to note with this case study is that it is unusual for an eGovernment
initiative. Typically individual government departments undertake eGovernment projects in
order to improve their internal performance. The RRIF case study examines the
implementation of an eGovernment initiative across 21 autonomous local councils in South
East Queensland. In order to move ahead, agreement needed to be reached between
councils at the highest level.
Having reviewed the concepts of eGovernment and eGovernance, the literature review is
undertaken to identify the typical cost and benefits, barriers and enablers of ICT projects in
government. The specific case of the RRIF project is then examined to determine if similar
costs and benefits, barriers and enablers could be found in the RRIF project. The outcomes
of the project, particularly in reducing red tape by increasing harmonisation between councils are explored.
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|Keywords:||CRC for Construction Innovation, Program A : Business and Industry Development, Project: 2004-032-A : Construction Industry Business Environment (CIBE)|
|Divisions:||Current > Research Centres > CRC Construction Innovation|
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|Deposited On:||25 Aug 2009 11:43|
|Last Modified:||09 Jun 2010 23:58|
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