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Government 2.0? Let’s Make Sure Government 1.0 Works First

by Andrea Di Maio  |  December 14, 2010  |  2 Comments

In my client conversations about government 2.0, people seem to be giving for granted that there is an electronic version of government 1.0 (what used to be called e-government) that actually works and there is great urgency to move on.

I just had a counterexample. I was on the Italian Tax Agency web site, looking for information about how a EU foreign national can request a fiscal code to be able to apply for employment. As I could not find that information (I found instruction for Italian citizens and for non-EU nationals but not for EU foreign nationals), I clicked on a button saying “Contact the Agency” (it is the one with a smiling face at the top right hand corner in the picture below).

I then chose the email channel over phone, certified email (for which you need to register) or counter (you can book a visit), and this is what I got:


For those who are not fluent in Italian, the message says “We have reached the maximum number of receivable emails. Please contact us in the coming days or use alternative channels”.

Isn’t it ironic that in 2010 we still get such a message, and from an agency that has been one of the leaders in electronic services in this country?

Being cynical, this may be due to the desire of pushing people toward certified email as the only electronic means to deal with government online. Given the huge investment and promotion of certified email, there are still too few people registered (I heard about 200 thousands versus a target of 1 million by the end of this year).

Or there might be very valid technical reasons for such a message. Just, it is not something one would expect to see in 2010, when terms like scalability, agility and immediacy echo in countless conversations about the evolution of e-government services.

So let’s forget about government 2.0 for a moment and focus on the fundamentals here. I do not think people would be any less disappointed with a post on the Tax Agency’s Facebook page saying “Wall Closed due to Too Many Comments” than they are by the message above.

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Category: e-government  

Tags: government-20  italy  

Andrea Di Maio
Managing VP
19 years at Gartner
33 years IT industry

Andrea Di Maio is a managing vice president for public sector in Gartner Research, covering government and education. His personal research focus is on digital government strategies, open government, the business value of IT, smart cities, and the impact of technology on the future of government Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Government 2.0? Let’s Make Sure Government 1.0 Works First

  1. […] Andrea Di Maio is a vice president and distinguished analyst in Gartner Research, where he focuses on the public sector, with particular reference to e-government strategies, Web 2.0, the business value of IT, open-source software… Read Full Bio Coverage Areas: ← Government 2.0? Let’s Make Sure Government 1.0 Works First […]

  2. Isaac Barnes says:

    I think it’s to late for Gov 1.0. The reason stuff like this happens is because the people in charge probably let the contractors go years ago that designed the website.

    I believe this is more of a reason to go to cloud-based solutions because their inbox would never get full if they used google apps. Just a thought. Good point though.

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