New Public Management (NPM), e-government, beneficiaries, taxation, Ireland.
e-Government in the Irish Revenue: The Revenue On-Line Service (ROS) – a success story? AbstractThe Revenue Online Service (ROS) is one of the first e-government initiatives introduced in Ireland. The primary purpose of this paper is to examine this reform initiative in the Irish Revenue, assess it through the lens of the New Public Management (NPM) and e-government literatures and to critically assess whether its implementation can be deemed ‘a success story’. Many of the components of NPM were evident in the introduction of ROS which facilitated its implementation: decentralisation, the use of private sector styles of management, an emphasis on performance measurement and a search for efficiencies. ROS has, inter alia, transformed both access to taxation information for taxpayers and their agents, and the system of tax payment and filing in Ireland. Assessing its implementation in terms of the objectives of an e-government initiative, ROS is ‘a success story’, and the Irish Revenue organisation has clearly benefited from its introduction in many ways. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that tax/accounting practitioners are also beneficiaries of this e-government initiative. However, a critical analysis of the findings of this study contests the idea that ROS is an unqualified success story.