Study Shows Canadian Government Needs to Expand E-Services

Federal and provincial governments need to speed up the introduction of e-government services due to the growing number of Canadians on the Internet, according to the 1999 PricewaterhouseCoopers Consumer Technology Study.

Most Canadian voters are forecast to have home Internet access by the summer of this year; and already 32 percent of Canadian Internet users say they use the Internet to access government services.

The survey shows that Canadians make more use of online services from their provincial government than the federal government. Internet users in Quebec access provincial government online services four times as much as federal services.

Those now using government Web sites say they access them primarily to get information on government programs and services (82%), to find phone numbers or addresses (54%), or to search for work or career opportunities (52%).

Only 14 percent say they are applying for a service or payment and 8 percent are filing a tax return online, but there is broad interest in doing these types of transactions online in future.

“A clear Internet majority is forming and governments should step to the plate with enriched e-government services that communicate with Canadians in effective, informative ways,” said Oliver Kent, e-government leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Canada.

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