Hippocratic data sharing in e-government space with contract management
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The research reported in this dissertation focuses on seamless data sharing in e-government space because of the intrinsic complexity, disparity and heterogeneity of government information systems as well as the need to improve government service delivery. The often observed bureaucracy in government processes, especially when verifying information, coupled with the high interdependency of government departments and diversity in government operations has made it difficult to improve government service delivery efficiency. These challenges raise the need to find better ways to seamlessly share data between government to citizens, government to businesses, government to suppliers and government to public institutions. Obviously, efficient automatic data sharing is an important phenomenon that contributes to improvements in communication, collaboration, interaction and efficiency in the service delivery process because it reduces information verification time and improves reliability of information. The general applications of data sharing systems become perceptible in institutions such as banks and government establishments where information verification is highly necessary in the process of service delivery. Data sharing usually occurs between a data holder and a data requester when copies of authorized data are transported from the source databases to the requester. This data sharing process should guarantee a high level of privacy because of the confidential nature of certain data. A data integration gateway (DIG) is being proposed in this research as a methodological solution to seamlessly share data in e-government space, using Hippocratic database principles to enforce data privacy. The DIG system is a centralized web application that utilizes a lightweight database within the government data centre to hold information on data contracts, data sources, connection strings and data destinations. The data sharing policies are stated as contracts and once indentures on how to share data are established between different data publishers, it is possible to ensure a seamless integration of data from different sources using the DIG application being proposed in this dissertation. The application is malleable to support the sharing of publisher data that are stored in any kind of database. The proposed DIG application promises to reduce costs of system maintenance and improve service delivery efficiency without any change to the existing hardware infrastructure and information systems residing within different government departments.