E-governance within municipalities
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Information and communication technologies facilitate easier access and information flow using the internet and therefore constitute an enhanced traditional form of communication. Throughout the world governments have adopted the new method of communicating with citizens by internet thus making possible simpler and faster access to information of public significance by introducing e-governance. An increasing number of governments are using e-governance as a new form of information exchange and accessibility with the goal of offering improved electronic services, increased transparency, and cost reduction. The introduction of e-governance implies fundamental changes within the administrative system and on the level of citizen – government relations. Besides, the introduction of a new system of communication between the government and citizens raises political, social and technological issues which greatly impact the quality and speed with which services can be implemented. Developing countries still must face numerous problems when implementing e-governance, although they may be applying principles which had proved successful in developed countries. Serbia also must deal with a variety of problems and challenges when introducing new e-services. This study is an analysis of the current state of affairs with regard to e-governance in two Serbian municipalities. The study is based on the experiences, problems and challenges faced by citizens in the course of using available eservices. The research performed by means of surveys and informal interviews, with citizens of both municipalities, has shown that the level of sophistication of the services is low because local administrations for the most part allow only access to information and downloading of application forms. The availability of these services suggests that communication between citizens and the administration is mainly one-way. The example of these two municipalities has shown that available services are insufficiently interactive, which is one of the preconditions for the transition to full two-way communication. In addition, there is a clear need, supported by citizen sentiment, to develop and implement a more efficient system of two-way communication with local government.