Citizen’s Perception of Public Services Digitization and Automation
Edna Dias Canedo
1 a
, Heloise Acco Tives
2 b
and Anderson Jefferson Cerqueira
3 c
Department of Computer Science, University of Bras
ılia (UnB), Bras
ılia, Distrito Federal, Brazil
Department of Computer Science, Lutheran University Center of Palmas, Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil
ıcia Militar do Distrito Federal, Bras
ılia, Distrito Federal, Brazil
Public Services, Service Digitization, Digital Government, Digital Governance Strategy, Digital
Transformation Kit.
The Brazilian government, with the objective of promoting the transformation of its government services
into digital services, has published relevant Decrees in recent years. This article aims to characterize public
services, especially the Brazilian ones, in the context of digital transformation and proposes a model/process
of digitization of public services focused on the needs of the citizen that can be used by any Government
Agency that wishes to digitize its services, being adaptable and flexible, according to its needs. In addition,
this paper presents the results of a survey in the scope of the Federal Public Administration to try to identify
the expectation of the citizen and/or public servant with the Digitization of Public Services by the Brazilian
Digital transformation has emerged as a term that de-
scribes the departure from digitization efforts to a full
stack revision of the policies, processes and services
in order to create simpler user experiences for citizens
and front line workers. While previous waves of dig-
itization focused on the transition from analog to dig-
ital services to increase efficiency and effectiveness
of government services, digital transformation aims
to redesign and reengineer government services from
the ground up to fulfill changing user needs. At the
center of these efforts are users both internal and
external users of digital services who are included
in the digital transformation efforts.
Across the globe governments and government
agencies are implementing digital transformation
projects and initiatives for a myriad of reasons, of
which the satisfaction and experience of a changing
citizen is one and cost savings another. These trans-
formations happen on all levels: national, regional,
local, supra-national. They also happen beyond gov-
ernments as such, among others in public sector ser-
vices such as public transport and national health
care, across various government agency areas and in
regulated and semi-regulated or state-sponsored ser-
vices, which differ per country. With the technolog-
ical evolution and expansion of the Internet, more
governments are adopting Information and Commu-
nication Technology (ICT) to provide services (Fang,
2002), the term e-Government stands for electronic
Government, and it has been expanding and evolving
onlund and Horan, 2005).
In relation to Brazil, the Brazilian government has
sought to encourage Brazilian agencies to transform
their services into digital services (a public service
where it occurs electronically) for access, monitor-
ing and evaluation of citizens. Since 2016, important
decrees have been published in this sense, defining
a Digital Governance Policy (Moura, 2016) and the
Digital Citizenship Platform (da Republica do Brasil,
2016) in the scope of the Federal Public Adminis-
tration. The Digital Citizenship Platform (da Repub-
lica do Brasil, 2016) aims to broaden and simplify the
access of Brazilian citizens to digital public services,
including through mobile devices.
The Federal Government Service Portal should be
a single integrated channel for the provision of infor-
mation, electronic request and monitoring of public
services, whose objective is, in addition to providing
practicality and agility for citizens and entrepreneurs,
for digital services to reduce the cost to government
Canedo, E., Tives, H. and Cerqueira, A.
Citizen’s Perception of Public Services Digitization and Automation.
DOI: 10.5220/0009409507540761
In Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS 2020) - Volume 2, pages 754-761
ISBN: 978-989-758-423-7
2020 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
by up to 97%. It is expected that the reduction will
eliminate the unnecessary commuting costs of the
government service, as well as waiting time in the
queues, possible printouts of certificates, and docu-
ment endorsements. The actions of the Platform are
aligned with the Digital Governance Strategy (DGS)
(Ministerio do Planejamento, 2016), (Musafir, 2018)
that will guide the actions of Information and Com-
munications Technology (ICT) until 2019.
Brazilian ones, in the context of digital transfor-
mation, investigating the pricing models of services
and analyzing the context of the strategies of the Dig-
ital Platform and the Transformation Kit of the Brazil-
ian Government. In addition, it is intended to answer
the following question: How to work more closely
with citizens and organizations in a context of contin-
uous technological change and budgetary constraints?
In the study presented by (Janowski, 2015), an anal-
ysis of the evolution of initiatives for Digital Gov-
ernment is done, and a model with four evolution-
ary stages is shown: Digitization, Transformation,
Engagement, and Contextualization. Each of these
stages is analyzed in regards to their impact in three
variables of the evolutionary process: the internal
transformation of the government, the impact of the
transformation on external relationships (Citizens and
Government), and if the transformation is specific to
the applied context (city, state, country).
Besides his study with the definition of the stages,
Janowski (Janowski, 2015) presents a framework of
evolutionary analysis for the institutionalization of
the Digital Government as a result of governmen-
tal innovations executed to alleviate social, politi-
cal, economic, and ecologic pressures. According to
(Janowski, 2015), for each stage of the evolutionary
process there are different pressures to be resolved
and different available technologies, which lead to
specific innovations and institutionalizations of the
Digital Government. The impact of technologies in
the government is causing a rupture in the digital
capacities of the citizen. There are five main areas
among the factors that influence and can facilitate
digital transformation: Strategy, Leadership, Work-
force Talents, Digital Culture, and Citizen Focus
(citizen-driven) (Eggers and Bellman, 2016).
The steps of the digital evolution foresee that suc-
cessful public agencies will be more flexible, adapt-
ing to the only constant of the digital era: change.
This points to the need of reimagining services and
of engaging the citizen. While some governments
struggle against change, others will take advantage of
the transformation and prosper (Eggers and Bellman,
2016). Worldwide experience and best practices are
very important for implementation of digitized ser-
vices. E-government maturity models can serve as a
way for provide best practices and recommendations
to implement and move to higher stages of maturity in
implementation of services(Fath-Allah et al., 2017).
Backoffice ICT use in Georgia has been a suc-
cess, as has the introduction of key enablers, relevant
registers and standards. Similarly, a number of high-
volume, high frequency online services are available.
The areas of open data, data reuse in government and
eParticipation can be improved, but show some ini-
tial promise - particularly in relation to the open data
portal. Georgia faces several recurrent challenges,
including: limited budget availability; a shortage or
underutilization of qualified staff; expensive infras-
tructure; a lack of some key national standards; data
compatibility; and security issues. These challenges
are amplified by the vacuum left by an inefficient
or missing governance structures to ensure cross-
governmental cooperation and joint development and
has led to a fragmented ICT framework (Nielsen and
Goderdzishvili, 2017).
The work proposed by (Nielsen, 2016) identifies
three gaps in current e-government research: Which
variables positively effects e-service use and whether
these correlations be statistically proven; the de-
gree with which governance and cooperation mod-
els ensure successful supply and use of e-services,
and; existing stage models for mapping e-government
progress only address supply-side, technology and or-
ganizational issues. The work concludes by outlining
a proposal to address the identified research gaps. The
work proposed by (Pieterson et al., 2017) determine
how newer generations of service channels interact
with existing channels and how these interactions im-
pact the evaluations and success of public service de-
2.1 Related Works
Digitization, routine automation, robotics, and artifi-
cial intelligence affect business structure, organiza-
tions, and tasks at the most diverse levels of service
delivery. (Jylh
a and Syynimaa, 2019) presents the re-
sult of a survey of the 11 largest companies providing
outsourced services in Finland. The study identified
that with the development of new technologies there
will be changes in the profiles of professionals. In
addition, it has helped to identify potential benefits
from the use of these new technologies, helped to un-
derstand new ways of decision making, management
Citizen’s Perception of Public Services Digitization and Automation
and staff training to adapt with less difficulty to this
phase of significant change in the way we work and
deliver. services, since the spread of digitized services
needs to have in its structure professionals able to de-
liver services and support for the most different user
profiles (Jylh
a and Syynimaa, 2019).
Simonofski et al. (Simonofski et al., 2017) con-
ducted a systematic literature review to understand
citizen participation in the delivery of digitized ser-
vices. The authors identified four main factors that
make up citizen participation in service delivery: 1.
Stakeholders, who may be citizens, acting as end
users, public servants, politicians, and software de-
velopers; 2. Preconditions that can be classified into
motivations and barriers; 3. Participation methods,
which may be classified as service co-design and ser-
vice co-execution; 4. Results, which can be classified
into traditional e-government information systems.
The Government of Portugal, according to San-
tos (de Lemos Santos et al., 2019), has been trying
to identify ways to meet citizens’ needs regarding
public services, in order to make them simpler, eas-
ier to use and access, especially through mobile de-
vices. Currently public services in Portugal are avail-
able through several non-integrated portals that are
still in use. To minimize this problem, a Digital Ex-
cellence Center, called TicAPP, tries to support the
Digital Transformation process of Public Administra-
tion. TicAPP follows development with a top-down
approach to business architecture and based on the
TOGAF ADM methodology. In the final stages of de-
velopment, which are still running, it is expected to be
able to assess the ticAPP maturity level using the Ar-
chitecture Capability Maturity Model framework in-
cluded in TOGAF and thus calculate the maturity rat-
The government of Uzbekistan, according to Shin
(Sang-Chul and Rakhmatullayev, 2019), aims to
achieve the optimization of government and admin-
istration units to create a digital government, promote
decentralization of administration and create a “sin-
gle center” that serves citizens and businesses based
on integrated and centralized services on a single plat-
form. Specifically, the proposal involves improve-
ments to the technology infrastructure available both
within the government and to the population that will
have access to the new service delivery format, in-
crease human resources and improve public services,
mainly by using interactive service portals. , which
provide broad and rapid access, thus reaching the
maximum digitization of government services, thus
achieving the idea of achieving the sustainable devel-
opment of society .
The digitization of government services is a grow-
ing trend today. The digitization of public services
has been transformation the relation between govern-
ments and citizens throughout the world. this pro-
cess has been seen as a great opportunity for govern-
ments to ensure universal access to public services,
offered with more quality and agility, as well as in-
creasing citizen participation in the day-to-day of the
public life, thus promoting the effective exercise of
the concept of citizenship (Daugherty et al., 2016).
Even though the benefits are unquestionable, there are
many ways to approach government digitization, and
each country adopts distinct, varied practices, accord-
ing to their goals and possibilities. Therefore, it is
a complex task of establishing comparisons between
countries in regards to their maturity level in digitiza-
tion. However, a recent report presented a comparison
of the performance of ten countries in regards to their
actions towards government digitization.
Brazil was one of the ten countries participating in
this survey, and even though the report acknowledges
and praises its government’s efforts in relation to dig-
itization, the results are lackluster, as the country
takes the last place in the ranking of surveyed coun-
tries (Masson and Al-Yahya, 2014) (Coelho et al.,
2016). Assessing the context of Digital Government
in Brazil, some initiatives of the Brazilian government
can be seen with the Definition of Digital Gover-
nance and Digital Citizenship Policies, such as the
construction of programs,guidelines, and institutional
The Digital Governance Strategy (DGS) (Minis-
terio do Planejamento, 2016) defines the strategic ob-
jectives, goals, and indicators of the Digital Gover-
nance Policy, and asserts that its biggest challenge
is cultural. With the objective of exploring, poten-
tializing, and orchestrating synergies that promove
higher efficacy, efficiency, and economy to the Brazil-
ian Government, the DGS intends to foment a move-
ment of simplification and optimization of public ser-
vices, with improvements in the business environment
and efficiency of public management.
The DGS acknowledges the need of refocusing
when it comes to the stage of Electronic Government
in Brazil, expanding it towards digital governance,
where the citizen becomes a participant in the con-
struction of public policies. Its purpose is, then, to
”orient and integrate the initiatives relative to digi-
tal governance in the Public Federal Administration,
contributing to increase the effectiveness of generat-
ing benefits for the Brazilian society through the ex-
ICEIS 2020 - 22nd International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
pansion of access to government information, the im-
provement of digital public services, and the amplifi-
cation of social participation” (Ministerio do Planeja-
mento, 2016).
In this scenario of Digital Governance and Digital
Citizenship Platform, the Ministry of Planning, De-
velopment and Management anticipates that the Fed-
eral Government Services Portal will become a sin-
gle, integrated channel for the display of information,
electronic request, and monitoring of public services.
To such end, one of the initiatives comprehends a
technical solution for the automation of public ser-
vices and deployment of services in the Government’s
Digital Citizenship Portal.
The Ministry of Planning, Development and Man-
agement (MP) coordinates the strategy of automation
of public services together with agencies of the Public
Federal Administration (PFA). In 2017, for the Por-
tal of Government Services, they stipulated the sourc-
ing, in the cloud, of a technologic solution for the au-
tomation of public services, in the Software as Service
model (SaaS) (Pereira et al., 2017). This solution in-
cludes the adaptation and automation of the services
public, with the use of the available technologic solu-
tion, including technical support and training, capable
of serving the PFAs agencies in need of automatizing
public services.
The Digital Platform (da Republica do Brasil,
2016) is a tool for request and monitoring of public
services, which will allow for services to be offered
electronically, including the: 1. Identification of pub-
lic services and its main stages; 2. Electronic request
of services; 3. Electronic scheduling, when neces-
sary; 4. Monitoring of requests by stage/progress; and
5. Electronic petitioning of any nature. The platform
has the following functionalities: graphic visualiza-
tion of the demands; digital interaction such as chat
and e-mail; and history of service and interactions be-
tween citizen and service provider (da Republica do
Brasil, 2016). The platform is under construction,
under the responsibility of the Ministry of Planning,
Development and Management (MP), through a Dig-
ital Government program called Transformation Kit
(Ministerio do Planejamento, 2017).
Based on the studies carried (Acco Tives Le
ao and
Canedo, 2018) out and in accordance with the Trans-
formation kit of Public Services for the Brazilian
Government, a digitization model of services to be
tested by the Brazilian Government was proposed.
The model proposed to customize the services pro-
vided by the Brazilian Government needs to have the
Process centered on the Citizen, where each phase
represents the activities necessary to be executed. The
first phase, for example, which is to customize it. The
goal is to understand citizen), requires the following
activities/tasks to be performed:
1. Map the Stakeholders: Map the general out-
line and description of the different individuals,
groups and organizations that interrelate, directly
or indirectly, with each other.
2. Identify the Possible Stakeholders: Conducting
a survey or interviewing citizens in a busy loca-
3. Identify Communication Channels: Verify
which communication channels will be used, and
can be structured: surveys, interviews; formal un-
structured: e-mail, chat; and informal: social net-
4. Identify Needs: Map and classify quantitatively
the priorities of services and/or functionalities to
be implemented.
5. Apply Techniques to Identify the Profiles of
Citizens: Profiles related to age group, educa-
tional level, economic situation, among others,
must be identified for delivery of the adequate vol-
ume of information. Profiles related to difficulty
of access or deficiency (auditory or visual) should
be identified to suit the way the service is deliv-
6. Provide a Tool to Evaluate the Services Pro-
vided: Services must be continuously evaluated
to identify changes or improvements to be devel-
oped, access below expected, as well as to per-
ceive infrastructure or security problems.
7. Apply Improvements in Services Provided: Im-
provements or changes must be implemented to fit
the perceptions of citizens.
8. Implement Mechanisms to Maintain and/or
Encourage the Use of Services: The citizen
should be encouraged to use the services as if they
were part of their daily life.
This model will be implemented in a federal govern-
ment agency with the purpose of executing all activi-
ties of the customize phase, recording all the collected
information, as well as the citizens’ feedback regard-
ing the proposed model. If the necessity for adjust-
ments is identified at this stage, these adjustments will
be made prior to the implementation of the complete
model, in order to allow the other phases to be de-
tailed and implemented with the aim to validate the
model as a whole and especially the first phase that is
Citizen’s Perception of Public Services Digitization and Automation
important to understand the profile of the citizen who
will consume the digitized services.
This work carried out a questionnaire survey in sev-
eral Federal Public Administration (FPA) located
in Bras
ılia-DF, with information technology (IT)
servers. The research was conducted in this city for
being the headquarters of several Brazilian FPA. The
IT servers were chosen for bringing a practical, real-
world view of the current state of the technologies and
infrastructure currently in place. The 15 applied ques-
tions were developed aiming to identify the current
scenario of the digitization of public services of the
APF according to the vision of the servers themselves.
A survey is not just the instrument (the question-
naire or checklist) for gathering information. It is a
comprehensive research method for collecting infor-
mation to describe, compare or explain knowledge,
attitudes and behavior. The purpose of a survey is
to produce statistics, that is, quantitative or numeri-
cal descriptions of some aspects of the study popula-
tion. The main way of collecting information is by
asking questions; their answers constitute the data to
be analyzed. Generally, information is to be collected
from only a fraction of the population, that is a sam-
ple, rather than from every member of the population
(Kitchenham and Pfleeger, 2008).
The questionnaire was composed of 15 questions,
14 of which were multiple choice using 5 points in the
Likert scale (Completely Agree, Agree, Neutral, Dis-
agree e Completely Disagree) and one which was de-
scriptive, to obtain information on services that have
already been digitized by the surveyed Agencies. The
applied questions are related to the expectation of the
citizen and/or public servant in regards to the Digi-
tization of Public Services by the Brazilian Govern-
5.1 Results and Analysis
In the application of the questionnaire, 31 people an-
swered the questions. The participants are part of dif-
ferent Agencies of the APF. In Figure 1, the results
obtained are presented, with the perception of the user
in regards to the economy of resources (such as out-
sourced workforce, water, telephone, electricity, and
number of servants) that can be achieved with the dig-
itization of public services. 90% of the participants
hope that there is such economy. It’s important to
highlight that there were no answers disagreeing with
such affirmative, which is a positive aspect. Accord-
ing to the public needs and government parameters,
it’s important to have a conscientization of the econ-
omy of resources.
Figure 1: Do you think that the digitization of government
services will achieve an economy of resources?
Among the myriad of services labeled as already dig-
itized by the Agencies, the most relevant ones are
the following: 1. Military Enlistment; 2. Consult-
ing owed taxes; 3. Expedition of Certificates; 4. In-
put of documents of processes relevant to the society;
5. Implementation of the Electronic Process of the
Electronic Information System (SEI); 6. Expert Re-
ports; 7. Ombudsman Service; 8. Tracking protocol
for shipment delivery; 9. Proceedings of documents.
In relation to the use of electronic spreadsheets for the
pricing of services rendered by an Agency, Figures 2
and 3 summarize the result of these questions. The
first one refers to the utility of such spreadsheets, and
the second to practicity in its utilization.
The analysis of the results show that the use of
such spreadsheets, even if indicated by the MP, are
not well known by the servants inside the Agencies -
39% stated that they didn’t know there spreadsheets.
When the spreadsheets are used, they generate dis-
satisfaction among some users (13%), which can be
considered a point of attention for the process of dig-
itization of services.
Figure 2: Has the use of electronic spreadsheets for the pric-
ing of the services provided by your agency been useful?
ICEIS 2020 - 22nd International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
Figure 3: Is the collection of data to compose the electronic
spreadsheets used to price digitized services accessible and
The results show that 58% of the citizens make daily
service requests from the digitized services already
offered by the Agency. 10% request it weekly, 3%
monthly, and 29% weren’t able to inform the fre-
quency with which citizens make requests. Figure 4
shows these results.
Figure 4: How often do citizens make requests to the digi-
tized services offered by your Agency?
The time to answer these service requests was also
evaluated and is shown in Figure 5. In the analysis
of results, improvements that must be applied by the
PFA in such processes were found, as a significant
number of answers (35.48%) pointed to the unaware-
ness of the information, which could indicate a lack of
monitoring in that process or failures in the process of
disclosing information by the Federal Government.
In regards to the questionnaire related to the aver-
age time of service of the requests, there are also op-
portunities for improvement, as the highest percentual
found (22.58%) indicated an average of 15 days to
have a request serviced. Such time frame can be im-
proved with an efficient digitization and automation
of services, bringing significant gain to the citizens.
There are many services that need a faster response
time, as waiting for 15 days for the citizen to receive
a document can be quite problematic and case insur-
mountable damage to the society.
The perception on the time spent by the citizen
to request a service and the quality of the digitized
services offered by the APF are presented in Figures
6 and 7, respectively. The analysis of these graphs
show that these are the biggest factors of dissatisfac-
tion among the participants. 19% of the interviewees
Figure 5: What is the average time to service the requests
of citizens made on your Agency’s digitized services?
claim that the time spent in current adopted solution
is unacceptable and 7% completely disagree. This
means that 26% of the interviewees think they spend
too much time filling forms. Besides that, 61% of the
participants informed that the quality of the digitized
services offered is not adequate, and is below the ex-
pectations of such services. Again, this result shows
a need for improvement in the quality of the services
offered by the PFA, be them technical or usability im-
Figure 6: Is the time spent by the citizen to request a service
in your Agency acceptable (is the request process fast)?
Figure 7: Is the current quality of the digitized services of-
fered by the Agencies of the Public Federal Administration
In regards to the gain in transparency in the servicing
of requests, it is possible to identify an expectation by
the survey participants that the digitization increases
the benefits and brings more transparency and trust to
the services provided by the APF. 84% hope for such
transparency. This result is shown in Figure 8.
The question related to the possibility of using
differentiated technology according to the level of
Citizen’s Perception of Public Services Digitization and Automation
Figure 8: Will the digitization of public services offer more
transparency in the services of your Agency?
knowledge of the citizen showed the most agreement
by the participants. 87% of them agree that the use
of a differentiated technology will bring more accep-
tance by the citizens. Figure 9 shows this result.
The acceptance and necessity of using new tech-
nologies to support the digitization and automation of
services by the APF needs to take into account the
use of methodologies for gathering the views of cit-
izens/users when elaborating proposals and/or hiring
the ones responsible for the development of a solu-
tion. Interviews, questionnaires, focal groups, etc.
can be used to see the satisfaction or register com-
plaints by users, investigating behaviors, reasons, and
experiences, thus identifying the profile of citizens
for different cultural levels or social classes. It will
be very important to perform this study together with
the citizen to identify their profile and propose differ-
entiated solutions, according to the profiles identified
(Figure 9).
Figure 9: Will a technology differentiated according to the
level of knowledge of the citizen have more acceptance by
Figure 10 presents the results regarding Public Ser-
vices Transformation Kit, solution proposed by the
Ministry of Planning, Management, and Development
to support the digitization of services of the PFA. 55%
neither agree nor disagree that the Kit will solve the
bureaucratic problem for the services offered by the
PFA. 19% believe that the Kit alone won’t have con-
Figure 10: Do you think the Transformation Kit will solve
the bureaucratic problem for services offered by the Agen-
cies of the APF?
ditions of solving the bureaucratic problems of the
Brazilian public services. 26% claim that the Kit is
able to assist in the improvement of the bureaucratic
process that often consumes much of the citizen and
servant’s time.
Other results were obtained with this research.
The ones considered relevant were presented in this
The limitations in this work are related to the cul-
ture of people who work in the Agencies of APF, be-
cause they aren’t convinced that the Transformation
Kit will solve the bureaucracy existing actually. Un-
fortunately, most part of them are not worried about
become the actually process faster or to engage with
the cause of digital transformation, they think that
what exists is enough. Therefore, the threat to validity
this work is change the mind of people who work and
use the public services. It is necessary to show that we
can improve the services to become better and faster.
To reach this, the Government has to invest in quali-
fying and transparency.
The current situation of the Public Federal Adminis-
tration of the Brazilian Government regarding the dig-
itization of its services is still flimsy and insufficient,
according to international reports and articles/studies
analyzed during the development of this research and
the carrying out of the survey. The Brazilian Govern-
ment needs to begin the development of a support tool
that assists in the pricing of the public services, seek-
ing a real calculation of the costs of the services pro-
vided to the citizen, since the results gathered indicate
ICEIS 2020 - 22nd International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
a lack of knowledge or dissatisfaction with the spread-
sheets indicated by the MP. Besides that, it is neces-
sary to facilitate and optimize the process of collect-
ing the information needed to calculate these costs.
With the tools to support the pricing of services,
level of maturity, and user satisfaction, the Brazilian
Government may have real feedback on the digitized
services it offers to the citizen, as well as perform an
improvement in such services, if necessary. Another
needed initiative is the development of a support tool
to evaluate the level of maturity of the services of-
fered, and the level of satisfaction of the citizen, in-
cluding resources in the tool that are able to evaluate
and make available differentiated services to the citi-
zen, according to their level of knowledge, as well as
facilitate the usage of such technologies. Overall, this
study shows that the PFA has had initiatives focused
on digitizing public services, but much still needs to
be done to reach an acceptable level of satisfaction
and meet the needs of the Brazilian Citizens.
This research work has the support of the Research
Support Foundation of the Federal District (FAPDF)
research grant 05/2018.
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