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Digital Era GovernanceIT Corporations, the State, and e-Government$
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Patrick Dunleavy, Helen Margetts, Simon Bastow, and Jane Tinkler

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296194.001.0001

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Social Security: Managing Mass Payments and Responding to Welfare State change

Social Security: Managing Mass Payments and Responding to Welfare State change

(p.163) 7 Social Security: Managing Mass Payments and Responding to Welfare State change
Digital Era Governance

Patrick Dunleavy

Helen Margetts

Simon Bastow

Jane Tinkler

Oxford University Press

In advanced industrial countries, the key institutional means of accomplishing support is the welfare state, and between half and three-fifths of the population at any one time will depend wholly or in part on receiving transfer payments from social security agencies. Welfare state spending is usually nationalized, creating very large-scale social security systems in all the case study countries — systems where small defects or mishaps in the administration of payments can translate into phenomenally high costs in rapid time. Running social security IT is consequently every bit as politically visible and administratively demanding as collecting national taxation. This chapter describes the traditional character of transfer agencies and their IT systems, looks at the changing administrative and managerial context for welfare systems in some countries, and examines the changing contractual and e-government pictures for social security IT across the seven case study countries.

Keywords:   social security, information technology, welfare state, transfer agencies, e-government

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