How Can GovTech Close the Governance Gap?

Governments suffer from a governance gap, described in a post last week. That post described government digital transformation opportunities. Governments tap into digital opportunities through ‘GovTech’ enterprise software tools provided by firms like FreeBalance. This includes Government Resource Planning (GRP), Public Investment Management (PIM), and Open Government. The core to overcoming the global government governance gap is fiscal management – Public Financial Management (PFM).

Digitally-enabled government through PFM and GovTech

Comprehensive GRP covers the entire government budget cycle, all public financial functions, and non-financial functions associated with PFM functions. We describe this in the Public Financial Management Component Map.

Comprehensive GRP and overcoming the governance gap

Governments overcome this governance gap by understanding dependencies. Overcoming the Information Gap has the most significant impact to other governance gaps.

Information Gap

  • Theme: Unified Information
  • Description: Common metadata across all financial subsystems, aligned with budget classifications as core source, extendable to big data sources such as IoT, documents, web pages, and social media feeds
  • GovTech Implications:
    • use of unified systems where metadata is shared across subsystems, or use of metadata management systems with strong data governance for integration
    • near real-time integration for timely information
    • use of governance technology platform that functions as a “service bus” [Technology Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • All GRP applications, focus on Government Performance Management applications for reporting, scorecards, dashboards and alerts

Policy Gap

  • Theme: Citizen-centric
  • Description: Methods to better align government policy with citizen perceptions of value collected through surveys, sentiment analysis, participatory budgeting, 3rd party reports about happiness and wellbeing
  • GovTech Implications:
    • document and collaboration tool linkages to combine structured and unstructured analysis [Information Gap]
    • use of budget outreach open government functionality [Participation Gap], and use of fiscal portals for transparency [Transparency Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Government Performance Management: Policy, transparency and open government applications

Planning Gap

  • Theme: Priority alignment
  • Description: Development of budget allocations tied to citizen-centric policies holistically with integrated views of capital, operating, salary, and development budgets
  • GovTech Implications:
    • use of performance and program structures in budget classifications aligned to policy [Performance Gap, Policy Gap]
    • sufficient information for planning analysis [Information Gap]
    • alignment of outcome goals from data collection to the performance structure [Performance Gap]
    • multiple year perspective because important initiatives, such as large public investments, takes time to implement and for results to be revealed
    • multiple version support during budget preparation, with narrative, to track allocation decision-making
    • efficient processes [Efficiency Gap] executed by informed public servants [Capacity Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Government Performance Management: budget planning applications

Transparency Gap

  • Theme: Fiscal Portals
  • Description: Online government fiscal portals that include multiple year budget information (original budget, budget transfers, final budget), budget plans or budget books with narrative, government financial statements, public investment results for large projects, procurement tenders and awards, audit reports
  • GovTech Implications:
    • support deployment of structured and unstructured information, including automatic assembly of documents from structured data, like budget book
    • common metadata and classifications to provide near real-time information [Information Gap]
    • search, sort, and filter functionality
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Government Performance Management: transparency portals

Participation Gap

  • Theme: Open Government
  • Description: Online and offline methods for citizen engagement to encourage positive political activity, citizen oversight, efficacy and tax compliance, while providing valuable information for personal and business decisions
  • GovTech Implications:
    • effective and understandable fiscal portals [Transparency Gap] with accurate information [Information Gap]
    • collaboration and case management software functionality
    • survey and participatory budgeting applications [Planning Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Government Performance Management: budget planning applications

Financing Gap

  • Theme: Anticipatory Scenarios
  • Description: Use of scenario planning, sensitivity analysis, and statistical modelling to predict cost and benefit effects of important hard public investments, such as infrastructure, and social public investments, such as mental health prevention, to identity best financing methods that also reduce risk perception among funders
  • GovTech Implications:
    • effective, reliable and consistent data for projections [Information Gap]
    • integration of budget planning, debt planning and sovereign wealth data [Planning Gap]
    • integration with non-financial sources, such as economic information like commodity pricing, interest rates, and exchange rates [Information Gap]
    • risk articulation and mitigation methods in planning [Planning Gap]
    • ability to recast scenario based on current data when scenarios are imminent [Planning Gap]
    • ensure effective debt, cash and spending execution to optimize fiscal space [Performance Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Government Performance Management: budget planning
    • Public Financials Management: fiscal controls to achieve credible budgets
    • Government Treasury Management: liquidity and debt management
    • Government Receipts Management: tax and non-tax revenue collection
    • Public Expenditure Management & Civil Service Management: spending controls

Infrastructure Gap

  • Theme: Smart Public Investments
  • Description: Alignment of public investments with citizen priorities and sustainable economic growth
  • GovTech Implications:
    • program and performance classifications used that are tied to citizen-centric policy information [Policy Gap, Performance Gap]
    • integration of capital budgeting for construction with projections for operating budget for maintenance for realistic infrastructure plan [Planning Gap]
    • register of infrastructure assets [Information Gap] and value for maintenance, disposal and replacement analysis
    • integration of maintenance and usage information for financial projects, and preventative maintenance to reduce maintenance costs [Information Gap]
  • GRP Functionality
    • Government Performance Management: public investment planning
    • Public Expenditure Management: public investment procurement
    • Public Financials Management: asset, facilities and property management

Technology Gap

  • Theme: Post-Modern Flexibility
  • Description: Use of modern and adaptable enterprise software to meet current and future needs in financially sustainable ways
  • GovTech Implications:
    • use of open systems and open source, rather than vendor-proprietary systems, to reduce vendor lock-in
    • highly configurable environments augmented by no-code and low code systems, rather than highly customized systems that are complex to change, maintain and upgrade, while meeting government capacity [Capacity Gap]
    • deployment agility to run on public cloud, private cloud, community cloud, government shared services or on-premises
    • ability to model future costs to reduce technical debt and refresh systems [Financing Gap]
  • GRP Functionality
    • Technology platforms used in GRP subsystems – generally called “non-functional” capabilities

Efficiency Gap:

  • Theme: Process Automation
  • Description: Automation, workflow and intelligent systems that eliminate manual and antiquated processes
  • GovTech Implications:
    • access to data to track business process efficiency [information Gap]
    • progressive activation through configuration methods to enable phased migration to more modern processes and to support government reform [Technology Gap]
    • process automation functionality such as workflow, exception handling, and integration with knowledge bases [Technology Gap]
    • support for emerging machine learning and artificial intelligence such as conversational UIs, chatbots, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) [Technology Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Automation across all GRP applications

Compliance Gap

  • Theme: Unified Controls
  • Description: Shared budget, commitment, approval, and alert controls across subsystems
  • GovTech Implications:
    • unified metadata management across subsystems [Information Gap]
    • unified and shared control structures [Technology Gap]
    • alert and audit management functionality
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Controls across all GRP applications

Capacity Gap

  • Theme: Talent Management
  • Description: Methods for public service capacity building, retention, promotion, succession, performance appraisal, and merit incentives
  • GovTech Implications:
    • integrated human resource and payroll systems to align incentives
    • cascading performance structures [Planning Gap, Performance Gap]
    • long-term salary planning systems to measure impact of merit pay [Planning Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Civil Service Management: capacity building, talent management, recruitment, performance management

Performance Gap

  • Theme: Performance Alignment
  • Description: Cascading performance structures from policy through budget allocation to performance appraisal for programs, projects, and public servants
  • GovTech Implications:
    • performance aligned with citizen-centric policies [Policy Gap]
    • data-driven performance insights through unified data [Information Gap]
    • budget allocations aligned to priorities [Planning Gap]
    • high public servant capacity [Capacity Gap]  augmented by modern systems [Technology Gap] that automate routine tasks [Efficiency Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Government Performance Management: performance structures, salary planning
    • Civil Service Management: capacity building, talent management, recruitment, performance management

Innovation Gap

  • Theme: Smart Public Investments
  • Description: Agile methods to improve outcomes for citizens through scaling experiments
  • GovTech Implications:
    • initiatives tied to citizen priorities [Policy Gap]
    • performance structures tied to innovation [Performance Gap]
    • agile and automated procurement [Efficiency Gap]
    • unified data to support data-driven experiments [Information Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • Government Performance Management: performance structures
    • Public Expenditure Management: agile procurement and contract management

Trust Gap
All government governance gaps lead to the trust gap.

  • Theme: Outcomes and Accountability
  • Description: Governments accountable for meeting important outcomes meeting citizen aspiration
  • GovTech Implications:
    • detailed and reliable data to gauge outcomes, including tracking across the entire budget cycle [Information Gap], particularly large public investments [Infrastructure Gap]
    • government priorities tied to citizen needs [Policy Gap]
    • citizen feedback and ideas [Participation Gap]
    • budget allocations tied to citizen priorities [Planning Gap], that can be sustained [Financing Gap]
    • reduced errors, improved citizen services [Capacity Gap, Performance Gap & Efficiency Gap] through automation on adaptable modern systems [Technology Gap]
    • strategic selection of innovation [Innovation Gap] tied to citizen priorities [Policy Gap]
    • fiscally transparent government to generate trust [Transparency Gap] including presentation of public investment results [Information Gap]
  • GRP Functionality:
    • All applications, properly implemented, can lead to improved trust in government

Governance Gap and GRP Dependencies

Government Performance Management functionality most needed for governments to overcome governance gaps.


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