Facing economic pressure, social tensions, global competition and low public confidence, governments can no longer afford to address increasingly complex and interdependent public goals alone or step back and rely on the markets. Instead, they have to work through networks of state and non-state actors to organize existing resources, knowledge and capabilities in the pursuit of public goals. The new paradigm increasingly relies on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to connect actors to the network and to build, manage and sustain relationships between them. We refer to such ICT-enabled networks as Government Information Networks. This article serves as an introduction to the current issue of Government Information Quarterly on Government Information Networks. The issue comprises twelve cases of such networks selected from the papers submitted to the 5th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, ICEGOV2010, held in Beijing, China in October 2010. The article also presents a conceptual framework for public administration networks, and applies the framework to describe, analyze and compare the cases, thus relating the volume to the Public Administration literature.
This paper explores the relevance and opportunities for the application of mature Formal Techniques – techniques based on mathematical theories and supported by industry-ready tools and methods – to build technical solutions for Electronic Governance. The paper proceeds in four steps: (1) establishes the basic need for Formal Techniques in Electronic Governance, (2) identifies the challenges peculiar to Electronic Governance development, (3) presents the salient features and various application scenarios for Formal Techniques in general, and (4) carries out a mapping between the challenges to Electronic Governance and various application scenarios of Formal Techniques as part of solutions to such challenges. In the second part, the paper presents an overview of the tutorial and workshop on Formal Engineering Methods for Electronic Governance. The tutorial follows the four step program, as above, and the workshop includes the presentations of four papers that exemplify various elements of the mapping, particularly: the use of formal, precise modeling techniques; the importance of security risk assessment; model driven development of software systems; and the provision of semantic frameworks to coordinate development within and across major programs and initiatives. In the last part, the paper discusses how Formal Techniques can contribute to establishing a solid foundation for Electronic Governance.