The fourth issue of the European Journal of ePractice provides insightful and provocative reflections on the topic of 'efficiency and effectiveness' of public eServices. There are analytical articles but also a couple of very telling concrete examples of how innovative deployment of ICT combined with institutional and organisational change have contributed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of public administrations.
After several years in which the policy focus for the Information Society has been simply on bringing eServices online and on benchmarking their availability and sophistication, at the end of 2003 the European Commission in its official Communication on the 'Role of eGovernment for Europe's future' stressed the need to go beyond simple availability and sophistication and to demonstrate concrete benefits and impacts. Ever since then 'efficiency and effectiveness' have become one of the key pillars of the eGovernment agenda.
In 2005 the Commission financed the groundbreaking study known as eGEP, which produced a new Measurement Framework spurring debate and building up momentum. 'Making efficiency and effectiveness a reality' was one of the key targets of the November 2005 eGovernment Ministerial Declaration adopted in Manchester and became later one of the objectives of the i2010 eGovernment Action Plan. The aim is to reduce by 2010 administrative burden and increase efficiency in public offices, as well as foster high transparency, accountability and user satisfaction. Currently the EC Benchlearning project is involving 12 public agencies in 9 different European countries in collaborative exercise to build measurement capacities and share experiences.