- Published: 26 February 2023
It all started exactly two decades ago, but only in the last few years has the e-government formula developed. Much is done, much remains to be done
Japan’s Waseda University, in cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC) from 2005-2021, has been publishing the annual “Global E-Government Ranking” report, which counts the e-government scores of various governments.
In 62 countries/regions, Macau ranks 32nd-51nd, “which is slightly lower than that of previous years, mainly because of insufficient Government to Citizens two-way communication, electronic payment, and data disclosure methods. For example, cloud computing is not yet mature,” states a paper authored by three researchers from Macao Polytechnic University (MPU), and published last year.
Cheong, Li and Wang identify several phases of e-government development in Macau and conclude that in the (fourth) phase started in 2010, and still ongoing, “the Macau e-government as not fully achieved. Basically, it is slightly lower, can’t meet the expectations of the public.”
Recognizing that “the Macau government attaches great importance to the application of e-government, and has been specially established an e-government working group to formulate policy goals and development strategies for e-government in Macau,” the three authors from MPU understand that “the development stage of e-government in Macau is basically the same as the development model of advanced countries in the world.”
A great contribution came with the creation of the ‘Macau One Account’, to gradually attribute the services of various governments, so that citizens can get the government services online.
“It is worth noting that the performance governance system of the public sector that is being launched is incorporated into the evaluation system,” noted Dr. Noah Tang, President of Macao Doctoral Think Tank to Macau Business.
“It is believed that it will accelerate the development of electronic government affairs. One of the problems to be solved is the infrastructure construction and cross -departmental electronic government services. With the development of 5G, it is necessary to have greater overall planning,” Dr. Tang added.
Still according to the President of Macao Doctoral Think Tank, “the epidemic has accelerated the demand for electronic services in Macau’s residents, especially in terms of consumption,” so the “residents hope to be more convenient and faster to obtain the required services.”
Another expert consulted by Macau Business, Professor Alfred Wong, also highlighted the importance of the ‘Macao One Account’, that “has a very good contributions in Macau’s smart city. The resident can be more convenient to process too many tasks through this account. They know why smart city technologies can benefit their life. The e-Payment is well developing in Macau now, because government can catch up the opportunity.”
At present, from the perspective of the application forms of e-government in Macau, the development of e-government in Macau includes government e-commerce, government e-procurement and bidding, online welfare payment, e-mail, e-database, electronic document system, e-tax, electronic Identity authentication and other content; from the perspective of service objects, Macau’s e-government has included several aspects such as government-to- enterprise, government-to-public, and government-to-government. “In Macau, online office, business reorganization, and public service have become the main parts of Macau’s e-government,” reads the paper Evaluation in Development of E-Government: Taking Macao E-Government as An Example (2022).
According to the last balance made by the Government, about a month ago, more than 435,000 people have already opened the ‘Macao One Account’, which offers 180 functions and electronic services in various areas such as social work, employment, transport, health care health, education, culture and recreation, entrepreneurship and business, registration and notary, court matters and payment of household expenses, etc.
The next steps involve introducing the electronic identity into the ‘Macao One Account’, to be used at border posts, medical or even banking services. However, the Government has already said that this function, at least for now, will not be mandatory.
During this year, electronic book lending services, business tax declarations or the renewal of insurance intermediary licenses will also be added to the ‘Macao One Account’
At the same time, the Government has other challenges, as the eyes of the population also catch up with what is happening in other cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).
“The digital economy development of the GBA and Macau is at different stages,” explained Dr. Noah Tang. “The electronic consumption of the GBA has developed earlier. Therefore, the demand for e-government has also increased, and Macau’s electronic consumption has only developed in recent years.”
“Therefore, electronic government affairs are the next. The focus of the development of the stage is, for example, the fastest day of registered companies in Nansha, Guangzhou is only one day, and Macau needs to spend several months, which shows that the demand for e-government in Macau is huge,” the expert pointed out.
(The word “e-government” appeared for the first time in an official document in 2002, in the Policy Address of that year. The following year the electronic process relocation declaration service was launched and in 2004, the portal website of the Macau SAR Government, www.gov.mo, was opened)
Big data and counterfeits
We have been witnessing the transformation of physical consumption into online acquisition for a long time, allowing a different approach on the part of criminals, who take advantage of the Internet to sell counterfeits.
The pandemic has caused an increase in online consumption, including of these products too.
The Customs Services in Macau were not caught off guard, since 2018 they have been relying on the Big Data System to Combat Counterfeiting.
While before the Services spent a lot of human and material resources to track and analyse cases, with the use of big data the investigation became simpler and faster.
Autor(en)/Author(s): João Paulo Meneses
Quelle/Source: Macau Business, 19.02.2023