Chanuka Wattegama presents findings from a benchmarking study of regulatory websites. The objective of this study is to do a performance evaluation of the web sites of the Telecommunication National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of selected countries in the Asian Pacific region and benchmark their performance as e-government service providers.
Points of Discussion:
What is the role of a website in effectiveness of an NRA?
CW – serves as a window to stakeholders
RS – should have website as central organizing factor. organize yourself around putting everything up on the website. when the regulator operates according to the principle that everything you do is reflected on web site, transparency etc becomes embedded in the culture of the organization. it is likely that there’s a correlation between a good website and a good regulator (not always guaranteed)
LS – agree that website is useful for transactions – d’loading forms, etc. but website needs to take account of ‘masses’ and be more participatory
LS – less literate and less Internet savy communities cannot make use of the website
RS – but many of them don’t have phones and thus aren’t immediate stakeholders
RS – SL doesn’t have any ‘transactional’ websites
DG – web is a tool that can create transparency and provide information
RS – media can be an interface for people in the rurals without access.
need normalization on weightings;e.g. India – equipment certification is done by ministry, thus will get 0 for that category, etc.
for example, where would a regulatory handbook fall in the marking scheme?
would be covered under info for consumer, licensing, etc. it is covered in many categories
Remove, but maintain business information weightage around 20%.
add in procurement, etc for how effectively NRA uses its website for internal processes.
‘telecom news’ should be changed to regulatory news’ and weightage increased.
consultation papers are missing. they are very important to transparency. TRAI does this, FCC, etc. Apporx 10%, under separate category.
RS – it is possible ot have a good regulator with a bad website, but it is likely that a good website will have a good regulator. the results are begingn to illustrate this (e.g. Pakistan). transparent outsourcing is also a sign of good regulation. organisational cart is also important, as it guides people as to where to direct their quiries; most often people do not know who to ask; go to people who know rather than into the system.
Ideal website opens with a common initial interface, with ‘doors’ that you can select depending on what you are (consumer, investor, researcher, etc..). the content that you see is prioritised according to what you are.
One shortcoming of the research is that it only surveys the websites in English Lannguage.
DG – can website assessment be part of the TRE [telecom regulatory environment] evaluation?