This paper aims to present a meta‐model for electronic government (e‐government) which takes account of the broad nature of this contemporary socio‐technical phenomenon. As such it contains within it a number of possible “business models” for the development of e‐government – strategies for e‐government focused around key business processes and information systems.


This meta‐model is built from literature taken from the domains of informatics, business and public administration. It is also built on established academic, policy and practitioner literature from the domain of e‐government itself.


The paper demonstrates and validates the use of this meta‐model in three ways. First, it is used as an explanatory tool to help review the contemporary experience of e‐government in the UK. To help in this process we position specific case examples of e‐government against the model from this experience. Second, it is used to evaluate a number of existing models of e‐government, particularly those which provide an explicit framework of e‐government progress. A number of deficiencies in such models are identified from this evaluation. Third, the meta‐model is proposed as a framework for evaluating and potentially benchmarking e‐government. The intention is to raise the perspective of evaluation and benchmarking in this area beyond its contemporary focus on electronic service delivery.


To demonstrate the worth of this approach, the paper describes the application of elements of this meta‐model in two evaluation/benchmarking exercises undertaken by the author in the context of regional e‐government.