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Violated factors in building citizen-centric e-government websites: insights from the performance of the federal, state and local governments websites in Malaysia

Seng Boon Lim (Program of Town and Regional Planning, Department of Built Environment Studies and Technology, College of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi MARA – Perak Kampus, Perak, Malaysia and Responsive Environmental Development (RED) Research Interest Group, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Kamalia Azma Kamaruddin (Department of Information Systems, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 17 March 2023

Issue publication date: 29 March 2023

234

Abstract

Purpose

Common evaluation tools on e-government websites are available globally and locally to standardise and improve the quality of information and services. However, a commonly ignored aspect is the way to obtain detailed measurements of factors influencing citizen centricity; in other words, how official websites cater to the needs and contributions of citizens at different levels of government. Thus, this paper aims to apply a citizen-centric framework in evaluating the e-government websites of three different levels of authority in Malaysia: federal, state and local.

Design/methodology/approach

The adapted citizen-centric checklist for e-government websites (aCCEW) with 40 characteristics across four components – openness (21), transparency (5), participation (10) and responsiveness (4) – was adopted to evaluate case studies of 36 government agency websites in Malaysia. Any conformity between the characteristics was marked using a binary measure, and the citizen-centric value was calculated for each component/characteristic.

Findings

Through website observations, ratings and descriptive comparisons, this study found that the aCCEW is a useful tool, especially for identifying certain critically violated factors. These were deficiencies in e-decision-making, revealing successful initiatives created through open data, revealing fund transfers and expenditure records and the level of social media responsiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The research contributes theoretically by improvising characteristics in the CCEW to become aCCEW and testing it in multiple levels of government in Malaysia to see its applicability to be adopted in other similar research of e-governments. This could become a new benchmark through the additional research insights it offers into similar perspectives of public values realisation in e-government website design that focuses on more than merely functionality. Attempt to relate the violated factors and strengths of aCCEW website design components to the level of centralisation (power) of federal, state and local governments was also genuine in the e-government research.

Practical implications

Regardless of the many different government systems, federal, state and local governments can benchmark the examples assessed in this study, rethink their power relationships, and further improve their e-platforms to suit the contexts of their users/residents’ needs and contributions.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study contributed to the first Malaysia-based research that identifies and compares factors that contribute to citizen-centric e-government website building at the federal, state and local government levels. The discussion adds value by comparing different systems and levels of e-government websites to their power possession.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Research Management Centre (RMC), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Shah Alam for the financial support from FRGS-RACER Research Grant [600-IRMI/FRGS-RACER 5/3 (085/2019)].

Citation

Lim, S.B. and Kamaruddin, K.A. (2023), "Violated factors in building citizen-centric e-government websites: insights from the performance of the federal, state and local governments websites in Malaysia", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 109-132. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSIT-12-2021-0262

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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