The purpose of this paper is to offer a critical discussion of information system adoption in the public sector (often referred to as e-government) and to contribute to the debate by offering a public value perspective. The paper points to the public value paradigm as an alternative approach to studying ICT-enabled public sector reforms. This paradigm, we argue, proposes an alternative way of framing the nature of the problems faced when ICT enabled public sector reforms are initiated and studied. The public value perspective proposes a new and richer context in which to study and research these phenomena. It also calls for the redefinition of the ways we assess e-government in the context of public sector reforms. It is therefore seen as vital to evaluate the socio-political impact of ICT adoption in the public sector.