JeDEM - eJournal of eDemocracy & Open Government (Mar 2014)

Safe Online e-Services Building Legitimacy for E-government. A Case Study of Public E-services in Education in Sweden.

  • Mariana Gustafsson,
  • Wihlborg Elin

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 2


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There is an increased use of public e-services integrating citizens into public administration through electronic interfaces. On-line interaction among public organizations and citizens is one core relation in e-government that hereby becomes embedded into daily practices. A safe entry into e-governmental systems is essential for security and trust in the e-governmental systems and schools as well as public services in general. This paper addresses how electronic identification has been used for access to public e-services in schools in a Swedish municipality. This paper draws on a case study of use of ICT platforms in education administration in order to study the implementation of secure login process and factors that may have implications upon trust in-and legitimacy of public e-services at local e-government level. Besides describing the implementation process and analyzing security and organizational arrangements connected to the use of the platform, the paper address the argument that secure identification tools are essential for increased use of e-services and lead to greater legitimacy of the public (e)services. The analysis focuses on information security, organization set-up and potential development of the platforms, contributing with empirical findings and conceptual applications. A key finding was that the organization of identification and access to public e-services seemed highly dependent of the organizational structure of the public schools. The more general implication of the findings was that safe and well organized identification systems that were considered as trustworthy and useful among citizens were essential for increased use of the services and legitimate public e-services in general.