E-Government in its various forms and extensions, notably T-Government, is often presented as the panacea for resolving such complex social problems as social exclusion, lack of governance transparency, poor value for money and other ailments of modern societies. Yet, E-Government has not been adopted up to predicted levels. Many case studies investigating success factors, maturity models, and the application of acceptance models have been presented over the last 15 years, but a deep understanding of the potential impact and consequences of E-Government is still lacking. This is especially true for those initiatives that involve socio-economic and cultural contexts, which makes their evaluation and the prediction of their impact difficult.
This paper reports on an on-going E-Government initiative in Ireland aimed at implementing E-payments for G2C, notably in the social welfare area. Three sets of personal surveys have been carried out to understand the perceived impact of governmental plans of moving from an almost fully cash-based payment system to a fully electronic based solution. Early results indicate that perceived pre-requisites for the planned change may be misleading. The impact on recipients’ lives cannot solely be measured in terms of economic gains: the consequences of such implementation may well reach further than expected