The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Bonina, Cordella: The Internet and Public Bureaucracies: towards balancing competing values


Bonina, C., London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Management, Information Systems and Innovation Group


Innovation in public administration is one of the central aspects of public sector reforms. Given
the procedural nature of government tasks, the adoption of the Internet and related information
and communication technologies (ICT) has become critical for government organisations.

The aim of this paper is to discuss the implications of the diffusion Internet led innovations in the
public sector on balancing public values. Rather than diminishing their benefits, we aim at
highlighting challenges and dilemmas that can emerge from ICT implementation in the public

The paper starts by reviewing the main trends of e-government research and show a dominant
view towards managerial and private sector values embedded in the literature. To propose an
alternative approach, we then draw on an empirical example from Mexico, that of the Federal
Transparency and Access to Government Information Law. Using Mexico’s available statistics
and secondary data, the case explores how a quicker ICT-mediated interaction between citizens
and government can result in social and political dilemmas. We propose to bring into play the
public value paradigm to highlight these issues. Conclusions follow.

Carla Bonina, Cordella