ICT and local governance − e-government in the local public sphere in Poland and Norway
(University of Opole, Poland)
ABSTRACT: The paper takes on a comparative case assessment of e-government services at local government levels in Norway and Poland. In the Norwegian government structure, the municipality prevails as the level having the most direct contact with the citizens and businesses and is responsible for providing an array of basic services. In recent years the municipalities throughout Norway have made considerable efforts to establish and refine their on-line presence. Still, the functionality and quality of content vary greatly. In Poland, the path of e-government development has not been so smooth; as findings from previous research confirm the thesis of the initial existence of low e-services development and even the lack thereof in some regions of Poland. Now we can observe the rapid growth of ICT technologies in Poland and its visual impact in shaping the local democratisation process. The discussion captures both sides of this impact – positive and negative. According to cases mentioned above, this paper attempts to present some important digital initiatives being introduced in Poland and Norway at a local democracy level. I present ICT improvements, which are being introduced into communities. Secondly, I discuss the communication between local politicians and the community.