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Digital Government at WorkA Social Informatics Perspective$
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Ian McLoughlin and Rob Wilson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557721

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557721.001.0001

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On-Line on the Front Line: FAME

On-Line on the Front Line: FAME

(p.113) 6On-Line on the Front Line: FAME
Digital Government at Work

Ian Mcloughlin

Rob Wilson

Mike Martin

Oxford University Press

The social informatics perspective places ‘users’ at the centre of understanding the design and use of digital technologies. In this chapter we focus on one key group, the ‘street level bureaucrats’ on the front line in providing public services. We explore their role at the local level and the implications of the e-enabling of services for their work. We consider this issue through the largest of the projects within the UK Government National Programme for Local E-Government—FAME. This experience suggests that neither does putting services on-line inevitably erode the discretion of the street level bureaucrat, nor do front-line service providers act as a barrier to innovation. In fact their resistance, where it occurs, seems to arise for reasons such as the poor design of digital technologies rather than a desire to defend institutionalized bureaucratic working arrangements and work practices.

Keywords:   local e-government, ‘street-level bureaucrats’, National Programme for Local e-Government, resistance to change

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