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Study of e-Governance Initiatives in Papua New Guinea

(PNG)
Ponnusamy Manohar, Pulapa Subba Rao and Albert Mellam
School of Business Administration, University of Papua New Guinea
National Capital District, Papua New Guinea

pomanoha@yahoo.com
pulapsr@upng.ac.pg
al.mellam@upng.ac.pg

Abstract: e- Governance is a growing concept around the globe that brought paradigm shifts in the system of
exchange of information among the government organizations/departments and their citizens/ clients. Various
institutions of Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been working since the year 2000 in order to
improve their networking infrastructures while enhancing the security and performance of the systems.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy and regulatory and legislative framework has been in
place since 2008. The aim of this paper is to study the e- governance initiatives, infrastructure and human
capacity necessary to implement e-governance process in PNG in comparison with various countries and in
particular with South Pacific countries. The study is conducted primarily by using the secondary sources of data
and information from various departments and institutions of the Government PNG and the reports of
international agencies. However, primary sources of information were also made use of wherever, necessary. It
is observed that e-government infrastructure index for PNG declined from 0.2539 in 2005 to 0.2078 in 2008 and
the e-government infrastructure ranking for PNG increased from 142 in 2005 to 166 in 2008 due to higher growth
of e-government infrastructure in other world countries than in PNG. Web measure index, infrastructure index
and human capacity index for PNG in 2008 were 0.0870, 0.0221 and 0.5180 respectively in 2008 where as the
same were 0. 2742, 0.0982 and 0.8786 respectively for Fiji in 2008. E-government readiness index was only
0.2078 for PNG whereas it was 0.4156 for Fiji. It is concluded that no significant move is taken to implement eGovernance public service delivery system in PNG. Hence, strategic directions based on the findings of the study
are offered to modify the governance process in the areas of providing required e-governance infrastructure and
improving necessary human capacity to implement e-governance initiatives for efficient delivery of services in
mountainous and islands dominant PNG.
Keywords: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), E-Governance, Public Service Delivery,
Customer Satisfaction, Service Quality

1. Introduction
E-governance is a digitalization of government service delivery mechanisms. This has its own
advantages which include simplicity of service delivery, morality and integrity in the public sector as
well as accountability, responsiveness and transparency in the discharge of public goods and
services.
In technology, E-government and ecommerce all represent the introduction of technological
innovations. However, Unlike E-Commerce, E-government is usually defined as the use of technology
to enhance information sharing, service delivery, constituency and client participation, and
governance by transforming internal and external relationships. This includes transactions between
government and business, government and citizen, government and employee, and among different
units and levels of government. In another sense, E-business and e-commerce are subsets of egovernment.
The three main target groups that can be distinguished in e-governance concepts are government
G2G (Government 2 Government), citizens G2C (Government 2 Citizen,) and businesses/interest
groups G2B (Government 2 Business) as depicted in Fig.1. The external strategic objectives focus on
citizens and businesses and interest groups, the internal objectives focus on government itself.
E-governance is beyond the scope of e-government. While e-government is defined as a mere
delivery of government services and information to the public using electronic means, e-governance
allows citizen direct participation of constituents in political activities going beyond government and
includes E-democracy, E-voting, and participating political activity online. So, most broadly, concept of
E-governance will cover government, citizens participation, political parties and organizations,
Parliament and Judiciary functions. (Fang, 2003)
Harris (2000) argues that E-governance is not just about government web site and e-mail. It is not just
about service delivery over the Internet. It is not just about digital access to government information or

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electronic payments. It will change how citizens relate to governments as much as it changes how
citizens relate to each other. It will bring forth new concepts of citizenship, both in terms of needs and
responsibilities. E-governance will allow citizens to communicate with government, participate in the
governments' policy-making and citizens to communicate each other and to participate in the
democratic political process. Therefore, in broadest sense, E-governance has more implications than
E-Government.
Figure: 1 Interactions among main groups in e-governance

Source: Extracted from Michael Bakus, e-governance Developing Countries Research Report 2001

2. e-Governance Partnerships and Initiatives


Summarized from a research on E-Governance, normally, government identifies and drives
implementation of major three types of E-governance which can bring significant benefits to the
Government, citizens, business, employees and other non-profit organizations and political and social
organizations. A more connected approach to service delivery will mean more efficient government.
Greater use of online, electronic and voice-based service delivery will help reduce costs. More
targeted and strategic investments in technology will result in less duplication and more common
underlying business processes across different government agencies. E-Governance initiatives
should focus on the following categories.
Government-to-Citizen (G2C): Provide the momentum to put public services online, in particular
through the electronic service delivery for offering information and communications directly to the
public. These services include licensing and permitting for hunting, fishing, and driving privileges. This
will not only include the payment of taxes, fines, and fees to state and local governments, but also the
payment of refunds to taxpayers.
Government-to-Business (G2B): Actively drive E-transactions initiatives such as e-procurement and
the development of an electronic marketplace for government purchases; and carry out Government
procurement tenders through electronic means for exchange of information and commodities. This
relationship model refers to those services consumed by entrepreneurs, businesses, and
corporations, for a commercial purpose (profit or non-profit). These include filing statements of
incorporation, obtaining business licenses, assistance with site locations, and obtaining workforce
information. (Najjar, 2003).
Government-to-Government (G2G): Provide the Government's departments or agencies
cooperation and communication online base on mega database of government to have an impact on
efficiency and effectiveness. It also includes internal exchange of information and commodities. This
refer to the coordination of both inter- and intra- agency cooperation and employees to improve
services inside or outside governments. This includes travel requests, purchasing requisitions, payroll
processing, intergovernmental fund transfers, and position applications, etc. We can also specify the
Government-to-Employee (G2E) model to embark on initiatives that will facilitate the management of
the civil service and internal communication with governmental employees in order to make e-career
applications and processing system paperless in E-office
Significance of the Study: Papua New Guinea comprises of largely mountainous and around 600
offshore islands. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papua_New_Guinea). Papua New Guinea is richly
endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by the rugged terrain and the

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high cost of developing infrastructure. As such movement of people as well as goods is mostly by air
which is exorbitantly costly and/or by sea which is considerably slow. Consequently, among others,
coordination among various government departments at various levels particularly at the provincial
and local level is very ineffective. E-governance is expected to play a critical and useful role in
avoiding most of the inconveniences of the geographical hurdles in providing the government services
efficiently and timely to the people throughout the nook and corner of the country. Hence the current
study is important and timely to present the current state of e-governance initiatives and offer
appropriate suggestions.
E-government in PNG, when implemented fully will improve services to citizens; improve the
productivity of government agencies; improve the quality of life for the disadvantaged; strengthen and
maintain good governance; broaden public participation and link all sectors within the country so as to
promote effective communication among all, for a better Government.
Methodology: The data and information were collected from the secondary sources like reports,
records and books. However, the information from the primary sources was also made use of to
supplement the information from the secondary sources.

3. e-Governance Initiatives in PNG vis-a-vis Other Countries


Use of information technology for all kinds of purposes has been growing in various countries.
Availability and use of information technology infrastructure are highly essential to introduce and
operate e-governance in any country including PNG. Internet emerged in PNG in 1995. At that time
only few large cities in PNG were connected through the internet and the internet user population was
as small as few hundred users. However, since 2007 the same has been increased more than 10
times from its inception. The internet access has now been made available to all cities while the total
number of internet users reached to about 0.5 million in May 2010. This is mostly due to the various
steps taken by the Government of PNG like connection of remotest areas of the country with the
wireless Internet access. However, International Telecommunication Union report indicates that PNG
scored 0.26 in access to information and communication technology. (ADB Institute, 2005).
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report considered availability of infrastructure,
affordability of access, educational level, quality of ICT services, and Internet usage while computing
the index. The result of the index shows that the access to ICT infrastructure and services are very
poor in PNG. Hence it is felt that the comparative study of availability of e-government infrastructure in
various countries would make it clear with regard to e-governance initiatives in PNG. (Expert National
Report, 2009).
Availability of required infrastructure and capacity to use it determine the readiness of a country to
proceed with the implementation of e-governance initiatives. The average global e-government
infrastructure index continues to increase as more countries invest resources in developing websites
that are informative. Most countries have e-information on policies, laws and an archive section on
their portals/websites. The gap between e-information, e-consultation and e-decision-making is still
wide for developing and developed countries (UN e- governance Report, 2008).
For the first time since this survey has been produced, there is a new leader. In the 2008 Survey,
Sweden (0.9157) took the number one spot from the United States. The Scandinavian countries took
the top three spots in the 2008 Survey, with Denmark (0.9134) and Norway (0.8921) in second and
third place respectively. The United States (0.8644) came in fourth. In 2008 e-government readiness
rankings, the European countries make up 70 per cent of the top 35 countries. (International
Telecommunication Union Report,2008).The Asian countries make up 20 per cent of the top 35 and
the North American and Oceania regions 5 per cent. The European countries as a group have
invested heavily in deploying broadband infrastructure, coupled with an increase in the
implementation of e-government applications for their citizens. Yet, according to the ITU, the
European countries make up nine of the top ten countries in broadband subscribers per hundred, with
Denmark, the Netherlands and Iceland being the top three countries. (UN Report 2008).
In the Oceania region Australia (0.81080) and New Zealand (0.7392) continue to lead this region by a
wide margin and should be treated separately from other island countries. Papua New Guinea ranked
142 out of 182 on the studies in 2008 while Fiji (105) leads pacific island group. Table- 1 depicts the
overall picture of the e-government index and ranking in the region.

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Table-1: E-Government Infrastructure for Oceania
Country
2008
2005
2008
2005
Index
Index
Ranking
Ranking
Australia
0.8108
0.8679
8
6
New Zealand
0.7392
0.7987
18
13
Fiji
0.4156
0.4081
105
81
Tonga
0.3950
0.3680
112
104
Samoa
0.3761
0.3680
115
91
Solomon Islands
0.2748
0.2669
147
140
Vanuatu
0.2510
0.1664
154
165
Papua New Guinea
0.2078
0.2539
166
142
Kiribati
Marshal Islands
0.0440
177
Micronesia
0.0532
176
Nauru
0.0357
179
Palau
0.0564
175
Tuvalu
0.0370
178
Region
0.4338
0.2888
World
0.4514
0.4267

Table 2: Extracted from UN report on E Government Survey 2008


Ranking
The results of the Public e-Governance infrastructure index indicates that governments are moving
forward albeit at a slow pace, which is normal when considering the infrastructure, policies, capacity
development, applications and content that need to be in place in order to fully implement egovernment services.
The governments that invested in broadband infrastructure scored relatively high in 2008 survey. A
closer look at the infrastructure index reveals that investment in cellular phones has been dramatic
over the last three years by both the developed and developing countries. According to the ITUs
2006 data, 41 inhabitants per 100 have cellular phones and this number will inevitably grow.
Governments must now look at ways of providing e-government services via cellular phones.
Table-2:

E- Government - Infrastructure Data 2008


Main
Country
Internet
PC
Cellular
Telephone
Per 100 Per 100
Subscribers Per
Lines Per 100
Users
Users
100 Users
Users
Papua New Guinea
1.83
6.64
1.27
1.08
Australia
75.12
76.61
97.02
48.81
Fiji
9.36
5.9
24.17
13.27
Source: Extracted from UN E government Survey 2008

Broadband
Per 100
Users
0
19.15
0.83

Table-3: E- Government - Infrastructure Index 2008


Country

Internet
Index

PC
Index

Cellular
Index

Main Telephone
Lines Index

Papua New Guinea


0.021 0.073
0.006
Australia
0.845 0.848
0.639
Fiji
0.105 0.065
0.157
Source: Extracted from UN E-government Survey 2008

0.011
0.506
0.137

Broadband
Index

Infrastructure
Index

0
0.604
0.026

0.0221
0.6884
0.0982

Tables-2 and 3 reveal the survey results of the three countries viz., PNG, Australia and Fiji. It is
observed from these two tables that PNGs index is very lower level in the e government setup

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Ponnusamy Manohar et al
process. As such, it is necessary to enquire into the status of e-governance development in PNG to
know the reasons for the low e-governance index for PNG.

4. Status of e-Governance Initiatives in PNG


E-government has not been implemented completely in Papua New Guinea. The Government WAN
(Gov Net) serves National Departments located only within Port Moresby, the capital city. The network
is comprised of both point- to point copper links, and wireless spread spectrum links, leased telecom
data lines and a microwave link. The main use of this network is for e-mail and limited Internet access.
However, recently, technical discussions have been initiated and are ongoing between the Deputy
Head of the Department of National Planning and the Government of the Republic of Korea, which
proposed to assist Papua New Guinea in implementing e-government. The government of PNG
enacted ICT policy and legislation in 2007 to provide all kind of ICT services in PNG.

5. Stages of Service Delivery - eGovernment Evolution


The e- governance initiative should progress through the following stages as the discussed in the UN
e governance report 2008. The discussion is given the status of PNG e-governance initiative on the
each stage.
Stage I - Emerging: A governments online presence is mainly comprised of a web page and/or an
official website; links to ministries or departments of education, health, social welfare, labour and
finance may/may not exist. Much of the information is static and there is little interaction with citizens.
Governments around the world are fully cognizant of the benefits of employing ICTs for improving
public sector management practices and relationships with internal and external stakeholders. In PNG
the government enacted ICT policy in 2008. (http://knol.google.com). Many are seeking to harness
this potential for further gains in service delivery, efficiency and transparency. To ensure better
functioning, many governments have embarked upon strategies aimed at tapping new synergies
between technology and development to find innovative solutions to government and governance.
Recent evidence shows that in many developed countries, where most services are already online,
citizens and businesses prefer to have both traditional and non-traditional channels of delivery at their
disposal, depending on where and when they wish to access services and on the nature and type of
service required.
Stage II - Enhanced: Governments provide more information on public policy and governance. They
have created links to archived information that is easily accessible to citizens, as for instance,
documents, forms, reports, laws and regulations, and newsletters. PNG government is still
constructing its own web page of Pngonline.gov.pg.
Stage III - Interactive: Governments deliver online services such as downloadable forms for tax
payments and applications for license renewals. In addition, the beginnings of an interactive portal or
website with services to enhance the convenience of citizens are evident. Except e mail
communication on isolated network system no any other coordination or collaborative data base
developed or implemented in PNG.( Nalu,2007).
Stage IV - Transactional: Governments begin to transform themselves by introducing two-way
interactions between citizen and government. .( Ndou,2004).It includes options for paying taxes,
applying for ID cards, birth certificates, passports and license renewals, as well as other similar G to C
interactions, and allows the citizen to access these services online 24/7. All transactions are
conducted online. PNG government has yet to initiate this stage.
Stage V - Connected: Governments transform themselves into a connected entity that responds to
the needs of its citizens by developing an integrated back office infrastructure. Governments must
also ensure that their back office operations are seamless and integrated into one system that bridges
the contents and data available at different sites. This is critical for any administrative and financial
transaction over the Internet. This was reflected in the Survey, with a number of countries from
Northern Europe having revamped their national and ministry websites to handle financial
transactions over a secure network. Government of PNG has not yet reached this stage.
Table-4 provides the development stages of the e- governance setup of Papua New Guinea, Fiji and
Australia in terms of percentage of utilization in 2008. Utilization is defined as services provided
through e-governance as a percentage of the maximum services in a category. It is observed from
this table that Australia and Fiji are leading in the regions e- government service delivery.

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Ponnusamy Manohar et al

Table-4: Development stages of the e- governance setup in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Australia.
Stages of
Service delivery
Emerging status
Enhanced status
Interactive status
Transactional status
Connected status
Total

Percentage Utilization 2008


PNG
Australia
Fiji
63%
88%
75%
9%
92%
35%
10%
61%
35%
0
45%
0
0
70%
0
8%
67%
24%

Source: Extracted from the UN report on e Government Survey 2008


Thus, it is clear from the discussion that PNG is lagging behind in building-up of e-governance
infrastructure. The major issue in the e-capacity infrastructure building in any country is availability of
competence human resources in the area of development and implementation of the ICT facilities.
Table-5 depicts PNG is lagging behind Fiji and Australia in web measure index, infrastructure index
and human capacity index. Table-6 indicates that the reasons for poor human capacity index are poor
adult literacy rate, gross enrolment and education index.
Table-5: E-Government Readiness Data 2008
Country
Web
Infrastructure Human
E-Government
Measure
Index
Capital
Readiness
Index
Index
Index
Papua New Guinea
0.0870
0.0221 0.5180
0.2078
Australia
0.7525
0.6884 0.9933
0.8108
Fiji
0.2742
0.0982 0.8786
0.4156

Source: Extracted from UN E- government Survey 2009


Table-6: Education Index 2008
Country
Papua New Guinea
Australia
Fiji

Adult
Literacy
57.30
99.00
94.40

Gross
Enrolment
40.72
100.00
74.78

Education
Index
0.52
0.99
0.88

Source: Extracted from UN E government Survey 2008


Thus, PNG is facing challenges in building-up of ICT infrastructure including building human capacity
for implementation of e-governance initiatives.

6. Suggestions
The development of basic infrastructure to capture the advantages of new technologies and
communications tools is essential for implementing ICT and e-business. Different access methods,
such as remote access by cellular phones, satellite receivers, etc., need to be taken into
consideration by the Government of PNG in order that all members of society can be served
irrespective of their physical and financial capabilities. However, an ICT infrastructure does not consist
simply of telecommunications and computer equipment. E-readiness and ICT literacy are also
necessary in order for people to be able to use and benefit from e-business and e-government
applications. Education, freedom and desire to access information are critical to e-governance and ebusiness effectiveness. Presumably, the higher the level of human capacity development, the more
likely citizens will be inclined to accept and use e-business services.
Human competencies are catalyst for social, economic and business development of any country
(Subbarao and Manohar, 2005). Building human competencies should begin at early stages from the

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formal education systematically with approved syllabus and practical component. (Lake, 2004). ICT is
to be introduced as part of general educational programs. ICT should be part of the formal education
subjects. Furthermore, such formal education can also be provided to those without access to formal
education such as the aged and the poor segments of society. The following measures are suggested
to improve human capacity to implement and use the e-governance initiatives.

Encourage ICT training institutes by providing them with incentives, connecting them with
international firms having similar objectives and involving them in national training
requirements
Encourage the certification of workforces on ICT products that are non-technical in nature but
of general use for knowledge workers.
Launch eLearning projects addressed at the PNG workforce that provide them with improved
ICT and organizational skills.
Identify and promote the use of ICT skills training on the web.
Define ICT literacy levels for various jobs allowing managers to develop their staff and
perform regular evaluations.
Career paths need to be streamlined to include growth in ICT skills.
Encourage academic institutions to cooperate with the ICT sector to ensure that the
educational programs provided by such institutions improve the ICT skills of various job types.
Ensure that the Ministry of Education coordinates with universities and the ICT sector when
developing its own ICT educational curricula. This would have a direct impact on the skills of
future workforces.
Encourage business organisations to train their workforces on ICT skills. This also requires
ensuring that such organisations provide the necessary ICT infrastructure.
Develop training programs for ICT skills throughout the public sector to understand the ebusiness and e-government applications
Improve the availability of books that support ICT skills by encouraging technical book fairs,
reduction of taxes on books and CDs.

7. Conclusion
The discussion reveals that the current status of the e Governance initiatives, infrastructure and
human capacity in PNG that compared with the global and regional setup is poor. The e-governance
initiatives taken by the Government of PNG are quite inadequate. Added to this the human capacity in
PNG is to be geared-up on a large scale to meet the implementation and usage needs of egovernance initiatives. Hence, it is suggested that the Government of PNG as well as all institutions
concerned are required to take appropriate steps at the earliest to improve the infrastructure and
human capacities in order to provide e-governance services to the people.

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Bjrn Johansson holds a PhD in Information Systems Development from the Department of Management &
Engineering at Linkping University. Currently he works as Associate Senior Lecturer at Department of
Informatics, Lund University. Previously he worked as a Post Doc at the Center for Applied ICT at
Copenhagen Business School. He is a member of the IFIP Working Groups IFIP 8.6 and IFIP 8.9.
Miranda Kajtazi is a PhD candidate in Informatics, at the School of Computer Science, Physics and
Mathematics, Linnaeus University in Sweden. She received a Master Degree in Computer Science from
Vxj University and a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from South East European University. She
also worked in software engineering for industry.
Ranjan Kini is a Professor of Information Systems at the School of Business, Indiana University Northwest,
Gary, IN, USA. He teaches internationally, is an active member of several professional organizations. Kini
has published over fifty papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings. His current research
interests are in Electronic and Mobile Commerce.
Misoo Kwon Ph.D. Director, of IT Policy Planning & Evaluation Dept. National Information Society
Agency(NIA) Professor, Graduate school of policy studies, Korea University. PM for Green IT National
Strategy Development Project of Presidential Committee on Green Growth Expert Advisor of Korea
Presidential Government Deregulation Committee
Jenny Lagsten, PhD in Information Systems Development. Jenny is a Lecturer in Informatics at Swedish
Business School at rebro University, Sweden. Among the organizations that he has worked for are the
Swedish Postal Service, the Swedish Employment Agency and the Swedish social welfare services.
Lus Velez Lapo is Professor of Health Systems Management at IHMT of the New University of Lisbon and
Senior Researcher at CINTESIS (Centre for Health Information Systems Research). Member of the
International Medical Informatics Association (active participant on the WG10 - Health Information Systems)
and Consultant of the European Commission for Health Information Technologies.
Cristbal Lpez received the B.Tech. degree in telecommunications engineering from the E.T.S.I.
Telecommunications, University of Mlaga, Spain, in 2008 and he is currently working toward the M.S.
degree in electrical systems for smart environments in University of Mlaga. He works in the Research &
Development Area at CITIC since 2007.
Monika Magnusson is currently doing her postdoc at Karlstad University, Sweden. She holds a bachelors
degree (1999) and a PhD (2007) in Information Systems, both from Karlstad University. Her primary
research areas include the adoption of e-commerce, open source ERPs and public e-services along with
adoption and usage of IT in the retail industry.
Paolo Magrassi has contributed to introduce the internet of things and geoweb concepts in the 1990s and
is the co-creator of the AlphaIC methodology for assessing the value of information technology investments.
He is conducting research on collective intelligence and non-linear issues in the business world.
Ponnusamy Manohar is currently engaged with School of Business Administration, University of Papua
New Guinea as Head of Business Management Division. He has been in the academic for last 15 years. He
has published business discipline textbooks and research papers in the international academic journal. He
has presented many academic and research papers in international conferences.
Panagiotis Manolitzas holds a Bachelor in Public Administration (specialization in Management Science)
from the University of Athens and an MSc in Public Management (specialization in Management Science)
from the University of Athens. Panagiotis has worked as Instructor at University of Athens. As of September
2005 he is laboratory instructor at Technological Educational Department of Piraeus, Department of
Business Administration. He teaches courses in undergraduate level (Management Information Systems)
while maintaining active links with the industry through consulting projects. He has written the book
Principles of Business Administration. He is a Member of Hellenic Operational Research Society.
Nenad Markovic is a professor at the Belgrade Business School, courses: ICT Strategy; Management
Information Systems. M.A. studies finished on System Science and Control System. He has three ERP
systems building and implementation experience. He has published four books on IT and a number of
papers (12 of them are dealing with the IT-PMS relations).
Ana Marques is pursuing her master degree in Statistics and Information Management from Universidade
Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. Since her graduation in Statistics and Operational Research in 2003, shes been
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