An assessment of application integration in public sector for e-government implementation

Jane Otoko
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The success of e-government initiative depends on the provision of reliable data and information as governments keep data and information on their subjects. The integration of applications is a critical factor of electronic governments to facilitate easy and fast access to data. Most governments have kept data in disparate systems. One of the medium term initiatives that were to be achieved by June 2007 was the concerted automation and integration of government information and records which include implementation of integrated systems for persons, property, assets and taxation databases among others (GOK, 2004). These integrations were part of a strategy for the Kenya government to move toward an electronic government. The objective of this research is to identify the status of application integration in the public sector in Kenya, to identify factors affection its adoption and to propose a framework to guide implementation for public sector. A case study of the Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons was used to investigate integration of applications on persons’ data in Kenya. In this research, factors that affect integration obtained from the study were compared with those found in the literature review. Interviews were used to obtain these factors from a survey carried out on staff. From these, an implementation framework was proposed to be used as a tool in assessing the likelihood of a public sector agency achieving integration using a scoring method. An analysis from the study indicates that application integration has not yet permeated the public sector and that factors that lead to this state are not only technological but organizational as well as political and leadership. The research recommends that purposed plans and implementation activities be carried out to in line with the proposed framework to ensure that electronic government initiatives are achieved.