E-government for the distribution of public services in Sweden: Privatization, vulnerability and social responsibility reshaped
Sweden is one of currently 25 countries in the world that has a very developed (electronic) e-government system for the distribution of public services (United Nations E-Government Survey, 2014). E-government is the use and application of information technologies in public administration. In practice, this means that the technology is used to manage data and information, streamline and integrate work processes, transform public service delivery and create new means of communication for the state and its citizens (OECD, 2005; The World Bank, 2006). 2 Rapid advances in information and communication technology are currently stimulating the emergence and development of e-government globally. The opportunities offered by the digital development are constantly widening the opportunities, for example with mobile apps, online services, social media and cloud computing. The overall aim is to allow the government to overcome various economic, social and environmental challenges, and, at best, become more open and responsive when providing services (Silcock, 2001). The system is also intended to move control over decisions closer to citizens, increasing service access and transparency and cutting down on service administration. This development is strongly supported internationally by the global and regional political communities. For example, the EU sees e-government systems as a means of improving public services and democratic processes, as well as dealing with the weighty costs of public administration
(EU Commission, 2008). The United Nations is also very supportive and claims in its survey (United Nations E-Government Survey, 2014, p. 2) that e-government can provide significant opportunities to transform public administration into an instrument of sustainable development in the world.