This site was developed to support the Government 2.0 Taskforce, which operated from June to December 2009. The Government responded to the Government 2.0 Taskforce's report on 3 May 2010. As such, comments are now closed but you are encouraged to continue the conversation at

Help us finalise our Issues Paper

2009 July 18

As visitors to this blog are aware, this blog offers a platform for a constant stream of comment from anyone who wishes to help us out in the comments section and/or guest post (by nomination or invitation only at this stage).

However both because some people prefer other methods of communicating and because even some commenters will want the opportunity to send us their considered and consolidated thoughts in an official submission, we have prepared an Issues Paper to introduce people to the issues as we’re seeing them now at the outset of our inquiry, and to help them make formal submissions to us.

Because we are trying to get things done at a fair clip, we are seeking submissions by start of business Monday 24th August.  The Issues Paper as it now stands will be a good guide for you if you want to get cracking right now. However we’re also aware that some of you may want to comment on the issues paper itself. As such, we are releasing the issues paper as a Beta for a few days to give you the chance to help us best reflect our terms of reference in this document.

We also welcome your input to refine the discussion questions we have posed. The Issues Paper as it now stands can be found as the first item we’ve posted on the part of this site devoted to consulting on specific documents and draft documents, or you can click through to the Issues Paper directly. We’ve used the WordPress theme CommentPress to mount the Issues Paper to enable you to comment paragraph by paragraph.  Please bear with us if and please contact us on the contact email below if you notice any bugs.  We will be posting our current draft of the Issues Paper in .doc and .rtf formats very soon.

Feel free to tell us whether you think we’ve done a good job or not and why.  But unless you uncover any major problems, because of time constraints, we are not contemplating any major re-writes.

If you think we could improve a section, please suggest how. If we’ve blundered on some matter of fact or interpretation, please tell us where and (even better) how we can fix it.  If we’ve left something out that is sufficiently important to go into the paper, please tell us what and how to put it right.  But remember two things.  Firstly this exercise is not about debating the substantive issues; it’s about identifying and introducing them, and in ensuring we’ve posed the questions the way we should have.  And secondly it’s not about mentioning every possible issue or question.  Indeed, we have already culled about one quarter of the questions in an earlier draft.  The role of the Issues Paper is to be a reasonably concise guide to the issues and prompt for those contemplating making formal submissions.

We intend to post the final Issues Paper by start of business on Thursday 23rd July 2009.

Postscript: I’ve just noticed that the CommentPress format makes it difficult to format ‘boxes’. The Issues Paper has several boxes including for instance a box on “Apps for Democracy”. This is not clear from the formatting on CommentPress, but it is in the documents we intend to publish.  If you are in doubt, please check the paper in a paper bound format.

Alternative versions:

12 Responses
  1. 2009 July 19

    I am curious why you didn’t take the same approach as the critically acclaimed FutureMelbourne website by using a wiki — regarded as a much better vehicle for collaboration than comments on a blog.

    Oh, here’s the reason:

    …because of time constraints, we are not contemplating any major re-writes.


  2. 2009 July 19
    Nicholas Gruen permalink

    I’ve just been looking at some of the comments on the Issues Paper and there are some very good comments/suggestions. So thanks – and keep it up . . .

  3. 2009 July 20
    Jim Macnamara permalink

    There are many issues as reported in a research report based on tracking the recent online consultation trials. But one key issue is facilitating “citizen participation that matters” – that is, when citizen do engage and particularly if they participate in policy making in some way (eg. giving comments, ideas, etc), it is important that someone is listening and processing their input. That does not necessarily mean agreement, but large volumes of citizen input pose challenges in information processing necessitating consideration of staff resources and possibly automated software solutions for ’sense making’ and argumentation. But congratulations on the initative.

  4. 2009 July 20

    Minor comment re: comments. It might be helpful to put the RSS feed for comments for the whole blog in the right hand tool bar.

  5. 2009 July 23

    As Secretary, and on behalf of the Board of Software Queensland, we commend the Taskforce, not only on this initiative, but on the release of the Government 2.0 Paper and this collaborative mechanism for engaging Community comment.

    Well Done!


    Glenn Irvine
    Secretary – Software Queensland

  6. 2009 July 24

    Actually a little surprised the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne wiki didn’t feature as a leading edge example of Web 2.0 adoption in collaboratively drafting and consulting on government policy within the Australian context. Instead, I only noticed references to the New Zealand Police Act Review wiki, a much older and comparatively limited application of this technology.

    A Post-Implementation Review of the Future Melbourne wiki project has recently been completed and would prove a valuable resource for the Taskforce.

    Looking forward to where things head to next!

  7. 2009 July 26

    Much of the content of this document has to do with the work of the W3C eGovernment Interest Group. In particular, I’ve noticed that the key questions section are about public sector information and digital engagement, exactly the two topics most dicussed during year 1 of the group’s work.

    The IG published its own issues paper on May 12, 2009. the paper is titled “Improving Access to Government through Better Use of the Web.” In case you hadn’t found it yet, I encourage you to read it since it’s very much in line with your work and could provide some useful insight.

  8. 2009 July 31

    A small but symbolic point: It’d be a nice gesture to release it in the internationally recognized open document standard, ODF.

  9. 2009 August 3
    Nicholas Gruen permalink

    Thx David,

    I agree. I’m not sure why the Issues Paper Beta wasn’t published in ODF, but the final has been and was always intended to be. I think perhaps because we were racing to get the Beta out. But I certainly agree with your point.

  10. 2009 August 3

    And while I’m making the smallest, least helpful points possible: The RTF link 404′ed on me this morning.

  11. 2009 August 3

    Sorry to be a whinger, but the CommentPress version isn’t working for me in either Firefox or Safari; the “read/write comment” buttons have no visible effect, so I can neither see the comments nor add to them. Since there are over 100 comments there, it’s clearly something screwy in my environment. (I’ve sent my comments in via email.)

    • 2009 August 3

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your feedback – we’ve received your comments by email and have taken note of them.

      The Beta Issues Paper was closed for comments on CommentPress shortly after the final Issues Paper was released on July 23rd, which is why the comment buttons no longer work. However you can still read the other comments submitted by visiting our Consultation page and following the “Browse Comments” links in the top right-hand corner of the page. And you can still comment on the final version of the Issues Paper (please see this post for more info).

      And thank you for pointing out the broken link to the RTF of the Beta Issues Paper – it’s now been fixed.


      Taskforce Secretariat

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