When most people talk about e-government, in practice, they are referring to e-public administration. Discussion of how information and communications technology (ICT) might be used in the processes of governing as such has been limited to a few areas such as document flow management and executive support type technologies. A decision by the Irish government in 2003 to disperse government departments throughout the state raised many questions, not least political and administrative, but amongst these was the potential of technology to alleviate the problems the practical problems likely to arise when senior civil servants are geographically dispersed and, by implication, on the ability of technology to facilitate the process of government itself. This paper is a theoretical exploration of the likely contribution, if any, of ICT to supporting the process of policy formulation where those involved in the process are dispersed and asks whether this is yet another technology where the hype fails to take account of practicalities.
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