Date of Award

Spring 2-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Information Systems


Business and Information Systems

First Advisor

Josh Pauli

Second Advisor

Surendra Sarnikar

Third Advisor

Mark Hawkes


Ample amount of evidence is available discussing the barriers to e-government adoption and initiatives. Of the many barriers or challenges mentioned, security concerns are a recurring theme (Angelopoulos, Kitsios, Kofakis, & Papadopoulos, 2010; W. A. Conklin, 2007; Ebrahim & Irani, 2005b; Gilbert, Balestrini, & Littleboy, 2004; Pipe, 2006; Schwester, 2009; Stibbe, 2005).

The majority of research however does not focus or discuss security considerations for e-government systems. This is even more notorious when looking specifically at municipal e­govemment literature. As such, this study takes an in-depth look at the e-govemment security practices of the 34 incorporated cities within the county of Orange, California through a descriptive case study. This case study yields important findings about the capabilities of municipal government agencies in implementing and maintaining secure e-government services by using federal e-government security requirements as a benchmark.

This study utilized a case study research design collecting both quantitative and qualitative data from the participating municipal agencies. To date, limited research has been conducted in the area of municipal e-government research as evidenced by the literature review conducted as part of this study.

Furthermore, this study proposed and responded to three (3) key research questions as follows:

1) What level of e-government security do municipalities currently have when benchmarked to federal e-government security requirements?

2) How can municipal agencies reach a federal level of e-government security?

3) Why are municipalities not fully compliant with federal e-government security requirements?

To collect evidence this study asked all participants to complete a pre-interview participant survey. Subsequently, participants were interviewed and asked to respond to two interview questions. Findings from the survey indicate that average compliance with federal e-government security requirements as required by NIST SP800-44 was 38.05 percent as a totaled average. Participants were also asked to rate the degree of difficult in becoming fully compliant as easy, medium and difficult. The averaged totals for all 34 surveyed agencies were as follows: 20.59 percent (easy), 20.77 percent (medium) and 18.57 percent (difficult).

Results from the first participant interview question after coding yield seven (7) themes as to what the greatest challenges are to implementing and maintaining e-government security:

1) Staffing

2) Budget/Financial

3) Training/Expertise

4) IT Contract Services

5) Vendors

6) Changing Nature of IT Security

7) Time/Resources to Monitor Security Threats

Results from the second interview participant interview question in regards to what change or resource would assist municipal agencies in enhancing their e-govemment security were as follows:

1) Budgeting

2) Staffing

3) IT security training

Overall, the findings from this study highlight two key issues that surround municipal e-govemment security. First it is evident that from the surveyed agencies, compliance with all federal e-govemment security requirements does not exist. Secondly, municipal agencies needed additional resources in the forms of budget, staffing and training to be able to provide a federal level of e-govemment security.