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 agimo.govspace.gov.au.

Inquiries 2.0

2009 September 1
by Nicholas Gruen

At a roundtable in Sydney, Miriam Lyons of the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) mentioned the idea of ‘inquiries 2.0’.

As I said to her at the roundtable, I’ve been giving a fair bit of thought to that question myself. Having spent some time on the Productivity Commission. We were proud of the transparency of our inquiries. Indeed the foundational rationale of the Commission championed by the modern ‘official founders of the Industries Assistance Commission of 1974, Alf Rattigan and Bill Charmichael, was the idea that people should not come to government asking for favours – tariffs and bounties in the case of the Commission and its predecessors – without being able to defend their case publicly and subject to independent scrutiny.

Now we have the tools to turbocharge that openness and transparency and to take it further – perhaps a lot further. We’re trying to model what an Inquiry 2.0 would look like though I’m being made painfully aware of our shortcomings – of which more in a moment. I know this blog could be improved in various ways, and a blog is not the ideal collaborative tool for building towards a complex and integrated position on a suite of issues as various commentators have pointed out. We are starting to do that offline – I promise!

But I think our blog is already a site for frank friendly and respectful exchange of information and views, and for dialogue and debate. But as the CPD submission which was not up on our website when I was writing this but may be now points out, there are plenty of ways we can take things further.

The [Henry] tax review is one of the most important inquiries held by the Rudd Government so far, with over a thousand submissions. Yet a member of the public who wants to find out what ideas other people have submitted about the future of Australia’s tax system [on the Henry Review website] has nothing more to go on than the fact that ‘AAFCIS’, ‘ACT Peak Oil’ and ‘Adams, James’ made submissions that are 1.2MB, 51KB and 9KB in size, in November, May and April.

On the bus home the next day, reflecting on the inspiring ideas of the #publicsphere presenters and on Lindsay Tanner and Joe Ludwig’s encouraging words on the role of the new Taskforce, one of my fellow noodle-eaters tweeted to ask the name of the inquiry I’d been complaining about. He then proceeded to scrape the PDFs from the url I sent him, and turned them into a searchable database at http://ray.haleblian.com/taxreview/index.html. It’s a pretty basic site, but overnight, purely for the hell of it, Ray Haleblian transformed an obscure, inaccessible mountain of data into something that is just that little bit easier for an interested citizen to use.

In fact a standard internet search engine can do some of this work, particularly if all the files exist in the same folder on the relevant website.

Still it’s clear that it wouldn’t take much to provide much better searchability and access to searchability than is available. I’m happy to join in the CPD’s implicit criticism of the Henry review if only it’s understood that it is a criticism of us too. We had no plans to do anything particularly different on this site.  Actually we hadn’t planned to address the specific point raised in the submission, but I have already suggested internally that each submission have its own comments thread so that people could focus on particular issues raised in them. As has been pointed out to me, my suggestion raises a further issue of consent. People weren’t told that this would happen to their submissions. I agree with the point which suggests ethical and possibly legal concerns (for instance with copyright). So I’ve suggested that we contact people who have sent us submissions offering them an opportunity to opt out.

As I was thinking about this I was registering online for the Government 2.0 Summit in Washington D.C. run by the redoubtable O’Reilly Media, Inc between the 8th and the 10th of September. And as I did so, the web page I was on didn’t just get me to give it my details. It gave me a profile. In fact the system didn’t invite me into a rich world of blogs and wikis hosted for the Summit itself (not that I could find), but it allowed me to set out some things about myself in the usual kind of way that a social networking site would. And I expect the only reason that the site doesn’t invite us all into a Summit specific blog is that the Government 2.0 community is already generously serviced (your increasingly time-poor Chairman thinks over-serviced) by a range of online communities with their profiles, blogs wikis and so on.

But that’s not always the case. And inquiries always generate their own communities. In addition to the blog we’ve provided here, there are plenty of other ways in which steps could be taken to help the community develop. The National Centre for Vocational Education and Research has recently published a paper of mine where I bemoaned the extent to which we suppress the release of data on student opinions about the quality of their higher education providers where the British take very similar data and broadcast it on a rich online database – www.unistats.com. This site enables students to ask questions like “Which pharmacy school (or any other type of school) has the most satisfied students?” and “Which pharmacy school rates best on the question ‘I was always able to get help with an assignment”. In Australia, we have similar data, and it’s made available to participating educational institutions, but then suppressed in the case of the general public.

In any event, my paper pointed out that we could take things a lot further than even the British have. The journey I sketched out – and I’m sure some people on this blog could help me sketch it out further – would be the transition from Gov/Web 1.0 to Gov/Web 2.0. This is how I concluded the essay (with apologies for the length it adds to this post):

One could permit users [of a site like unistats] to adopt ‘avatars’ or internet identities chosen by them which presented them on the Internet as a specific person, whilst preserving their anonymity to other users. However this is a structured and not absolute or anarchic anonymity. To acquire an avatar they would undertake to communicate truthfully and in good faith. Their identities would be known to ‘the system’ so that their privileges could be modified or removed for misbehaviour and they could be pursued in the event of defamatory comments. They would also be warned that it may be possible for other users of the system to work out or speculate as to their true identity.

For the sake of our example we have a student who is at the Mildura TAFE doing hospitality. He gives himself the avatar ‘Sunraysya’. When ‘Sunraysya’ contributes to discussion forums about the hospitality course at the Mildura TAFE, the system verifies that he is indeed qualified to comment – i.e. that he is or has been a student in the relevant course.

Scientist Michael Neilson has commented on “the untapped creative potential existing in latent connections between scientists, and which could be released using suitable tools to activate the most valuable of those latent connections”. Of course this is just an aspect of the greater value of human connectedness, something which is going through a epoch making step change. Once this system of avatars and permissions is established, it becomes possible to facilitate the evolution of very socially, professionally and educationally useful networks of information and communication.

They do not exist currently because the necessary ‘social networking’ technology is only just coming into common use on the Internet, and because to date, statistical systems established by governments have typically imposed a ‘one size fits all’ set of privacy protections on users. Thus most statistical agencies have strict protocols for preventing the release of any information that might enable the identification of someone contributing data. Yet amongst those whose privacy is being protected, there exists a possibly substantial number who would be prepared to forego some privacy in return for others’ doing the same. Indeed the way relationships typically develop, whether in our normal social lives or in cyberspace, is by a process of gradual and reciprocal revelation of information which remains private to others.

Thus people could choose to establish ‘profiles’ either in their own name or in the name of an avatar and to allow others to search them. They could elect to allow people to e-mail them (either directly or via their avatar which would still protect their anonymity) if viewers of the profile wished to contact them. They would then be able to respond as they wished – outing their identity, responding still in the name of their avatar or blocking the sender and/or ignoring the advance.

Such a system would facilitate the evolution of communities of interest and communities of common experience. A student having problems with an aspect of a course could search for mentors or seek private tutors ad hoc tutorial assistance. And it would enable the deep mining of the database, where people might interrogate the system to identify whether a course or a teacher had been well regarded by ‘people like them’ in some specified respect(s) or search for those who had made the transition from one area of professional training to another. It would likewise enable teachers and course administrators to identify some of the strengths and weaknesses of an existing course and/or teacher in terms of their appeal to different kinds of students at a much greater level of detail than is possible today.

Of course this may remind readers of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Facebook began in a tertiary institution – Harvard – with the initial goal of facilitating social, professional and pedagogical networking and communication. It has been built into a vast network with over 150 million users. And Facebook now hosts applications, of precisely the kind – though I doubt yet of the scale – of what is being proposed here. It may well be that the most efficient and effective way to build the capability described here is not to build it on the analogy of Facebook, not to build it like Facebook, but to build it as an application in Facebook.

I wrote the concluding paragraph not to necessarily advocate the course of action contemplated, but to get people thinking. On reflection and taking the example explored in this post, I expect that while individual inquiries are likely to benefit from using facebook there are plenty of good reasons why it may not be sensible to migrate such a central feature of the running of inquiries to Facebook.

But my experience registering for O’Reilly made me realise how easy and cheap this stuff has become – as one would realise on a moments reflection – if it’s being found useful by a lot of parties, particularly parties who have a penchant for open source software, pretty soon it will become commoditised and accordingly cheap. O’Reilly presumably has adapted some software package to its needs and there it is – a capability that can be wheeled out for next to nothing for every function it runs.

Shouldn’t Australian Governments build a similar Inquiry 2.0 capability – not to mention Parliaments which conduct their fair share of inquiries? What other ways could would it be worth moving towards Inquiries 2.0.

Postscript: there are two follow up posts to this post here and here.

28 Responses
  1. 2009 September 1
    Neil Henderson permalink

    I suggest Inquiry 2.0 is one of the extremely useful new capabilities that could come out of this taskforce. We may also need:-
    a) Policy 2.0
    b) Capability 2.0 (incl Servioe 2.0)
    c) and others………..
    As someone who works in government designing capabilities to be used by the public (individuals, businesses, intemediaries) it is extremely difficult to know if what I am designing is appropriate for the publics needs. I would love to have something which lets me put ideas (design blueprints) out there in the public arena and then let people contribute their ideas, knock the ideas down, provide alternatives.
    At the moment I have to go through and expensive, slow, formalised evaluation & feedback process – in today’s world we need something better. Imagine how good our government services would be if they were designed based on direct citizen feedback? And yes, I know some agencies do elicit feedback in their service design processes – but we also know that more could be done.
    So, Nicholas I suggest that Inquiry 2.0 is one of the applications/capabiltiies that could be delivered as a result of this taskforce, but there are many more – personally I find it difficult to think of anything more important than well designed service delivery based on direct citizen feedback.

  2. 2009 September 1

    You’re talking about trust relationships. In the education sector a lot of work has been done around trust federations with organisations acting as identity providers.
    In the education sector there is a huge amount of activity in relation to knowledge sharing – take a quick look at me.edu.au and groups.edna.edu.au – national projects with tens of thousands of participants. using those services for networking, for projects, communication, collaboration, and other purposes.

    But communities are made, not born, and must be nurtured and sustained by facilitators: collaboration and communication is a culture and a process, not a product.

  3. 2009 September 1
    Mike Nelson permalink

    We don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. New Zealand has already done this with the very successful Police Act Wiki for public consultation in the review of the that piece of legislation.

    It would be rediculous to build any sort of Australian Gov 2.0 community on Myspace, Facebook or any offshore service that is not subject to Australian law.

  4. 2009 September 1
    laurence millar permalink

    Brilliant idea – I have not heard the idea articulated previously, and IMHO justifies the establishment of the taskforce. While there is a long way to go from headline to implementation, and a lot of fishhooks along the way (in my experience, serious inquiries have a lot of lawyers involved, and participants often do not embrace open-ness in the gathering of information), it is a journey worth traversing.

  5. 2009 September 1

    It’s worth noting that there are “social networking” tools for getting input and discussion about policy development already in use by the Australian Law Reform Commission (talk.alrc.gov.au), that does have profiling of a sort. I’m unaware of any others like this, as I’m unaware of any central server that can provide such a register.

    At least it’s better than the attempt at registered users providing electronic forms to make submissions to senate inquiries (which are pretty much one-way discussions with little interaction, unless you refer to previously posted submissions with support or rebuttal). Back in January 2009, that new system was regularly crashing and timing out, either by poor architectural design, poor testing or poor capacity planning.

    But again I think one of the greatest impediments to greater participation is not the machinery of any particular inquiry, but the discoverability problem, especially with inquiries in odd committees, tucked away inside agencies, etc. I’m unaware of any consolidated feed for inquiries, and I don’t think any inquiry RSS feeds, multiplexed or not, have any categorization. (If I want to search for them using more than one keyword , it’d probably be better to get all the feeds into Google Reader, put them under the same label, and use Google Reader’s search capabilities.

    Mind you, I’d never want to see disappear the tried, true, and guaranteed anonymous means of making submissions to inquiries: snailmail.

  6. 2009 September 2
    Felix Barbalet permalink

    I can imagine an ‘Inquiry 2.0′ report being written using a collaborative public Wiki, notwithstanding the many potential complications that would go along with it.

    Have you used any collaborative mind mapping tools? Two examples are MindJet’s Mind Manager and the open-source XMind?

  7. 2009 September 2
    Kerry Webb permalink

    While not wishing to minimise the impact of Ray Haleblian’s work, I suggest that you could do the same with an Advanced Google Search, limiting on the domain and PDF files.

  8. 2009 September 2
    ben rogers permalink

    Nicholas, enquiry2.0 sounds like a much neater version of what has been attempted on this blog and in other places, most recently the PM’s new blog. The big issue, that I see is, what happens to the feedback once given. Whilst sensible policy that reflects the views of the majority is an ideal aim, it appears from the outside that the Govt of the day tends to make policy that has a. may be sensible, but b. may also be used to wedge the opposition in some format or in for some other purpose not related to the actual implementation of the policy. Is it possible do you think that the greater transparency available through ideas like Gov2.0 can remove the game playing that happens around policy development so that we get close to the best possible outcome for all players, or are we doomed to fight amongst ourselves to get things done? Can Enquiry and Policy2.0 bring enough transparency around the process that all parties have ownership of the final product and we can get on with running the country?

    • 2009 September 2
      Nicholas Gruen permalink

      Thx for your comment Ben.

      It certainly dismays me (as I think it dismays you) the extent to which politicians ‘play politics’ (not very surprising though is it?). On the other hand one can identify areas in which they play politics and areas where they don’t – because they don’t really dare. They might take a swipe at their opposition, and occasionally try to ‘wedge’ them, but they end up getting themselves into trouble if they deviate from well articulated, and well understood community views, perspectives and interests. In fact I think that if you forget the hoopla and the conflict – faux and otherwise – reported in the media, if you look at the evidence dispassionately the vast bulk of areas of policy are dominated by community views which politicians defy at great risk to themselves – so they don’t do it and so keep their ‘playing politics’ to casual swipes. They’ve got an eye to it, but their main eye is on not stuffing up the policy and getting the community angry with them.

      And Web 2.0/Govt 2.0 can certainly help in helping the process of developing, articulating community views and perspectives and making them more fine grained and further reaching.

      I was going to write that I don’t think Govt 2.0 can have a huge effect on moderating the political game playing on highly contentious matters like the invasion of Iraq or cutting or raising taxes. Then again I wrote a column at the end of last year in which I argued that Web 2.0 really did have a powerful role in ‘crowdsourcing’ the analysis of what to do about the financial crisis and indeed in building pressure on politicians who were playing politics as usual, to do what the community was, through the medium of Web 2.0, coming to argue was the right thing. So perhaps it can even have a quite strongly benign effect even where there’s a fair bit of political heat. Sensible, light shedding discussion rarely does any harm, and perhaps we underrate the amount of good it can do – even amidst the heat of political battle.

      • 2009 September 3
        asa letourneau permalink

        Nicholas, I definitely share Ben’s concern regarding the average pollie’s talent for game-playing. In addition to this I am also concerned that gov2.0 doesn’t end up meaning ‘tools for community engagement designed by the government.’ To make ideas of transparency and collaboration meaningful we need to use systems and tools that give the public the opportunity to co-design public policy, which for many years has been written in isolation. Web2.0 and 3.0, if fully thought out, may provide the ’space’ for this to happen.

  9. 2009 September 2

    You write:

    As has been pointed out to me, my suggestion raises a further issue of consent. People weren’t told that this would happen to their submissions. I agree with the point which suggests ethical and possibly legal concerns (for instance with copyright). So I’ve suggested that we contact people who have sent us submissions offering them an opportunity to opt out.

    I’m afraid I don’t see any ethical concerns (I am not a lawyer, so I’ll leave legal to others). These are submissions before a public government taskforce. I can see how it might be ethically and legally problematic for the taskforce to accept or consider non-public submissions except in a few very limited circumstances, but I don’t see how inviting public comment on a public submission raises any concerns at all?

    Care to elaborate?

    Or—to illustrate the absurdity of worrying about seeking permission to repurpose data submitted to a Web2.0 taskforce—should I simply take the Web2.0 approach and start a comment thread on my personal blog for each submission?

    • 2009 September 2
      Nicholas Gruen permalink

      Andrae,

      I don’t know about other members of the Taskforce, but speaking personally I’m pretty much in sympathy with what you have said. But there is a strong sense within government that one must act within the consents given by people. IMHO this instinct is oftentimes taken a bit too literally. You are arguing that there is implied or constructive consent – and I would agree with that. But the instinct of officials to maximise the extent to which we work within consents given is a good one, and deviations from it can also be punished with great vigour when the media drop in looking for some entertainment, so I’m keen to work in harmony with the instinct at least until and unless it seems excessive or burdensome.

      • 2009 September 2

        My experience inside organisations has shown me that people, unless guided otherwise, have a tendency to keep information locked away. However, you simply can’t open up everything either. Published for public access and open to comment should become the default approach, but there are degrees of openness that can be adopted and an opt out process should be available (especially for the times when there is a genuine need to do so). I’d rather people freely choose not to opt out, than be forced to opt in. This approach certainly works more effectively inside organisations and gives people a chance to learn the benefits of a more open and accessible approach for themselves.

    • 2009 September 2

      Fair go. You invite Nicholas to elaborate, then without waiting for him to do so dismiss as absurd a concern which was not raised by him but which, as I read it, he as convenor of the task force, is seeking to resolve in a practical way, by asking the people concerned. If, as you suggest, the concern is absurd, then presumably none of the sensible, intelligent people making submissions will want to opt out.

      • 2009 September 4

        Yes I do consider the concern absurd. We are talking about public submissions to a public debate surrounding the formulation of a public review of public policy. Where in this is there any reasonable expectation that your submission will be the final word, not subject to ongoing debate and analysis?

        Of course there may be parties who might see tactical advantage in erecting barriers to public discussion, who may therefore refuse permission if it was sought. My point is not that there is some ‘implicit’ or ‘constructive’ permission, rather that the very idea that permission of any kind is required does violence to the essential premise of a public process: that it be public.

        Our trend towards a permission culture is pernicious. It adds transaction costs that makes it impossible to scale common-sense to Web 2.0, and unless overcome will derail any attempt at Gov 2.0 — hence my concern at this otherwise inconsequential issue.

      • 2009 September 4

        I’m glad you like common sense and I’m all for it. So I’m for a solution that, as I understood Nicholas was looking at, meant a quick sort and resolve of historic submissions and a couple of rules of engagement for the future. I can see this is an important issue for you but I would personally prefer to see us focus on what I regard as more substantial issues.

  10. 2009 September 2
    Jacques Chester permalink

    Nicholas;

    You may recall that I’ve discussed similar ideas with you in the past. My recommendation then, as now, is that you should model the final software on issue-management (bug tracking!) systems rather than blogs or wikis.

    This approach provides a structured database of proposals, responses to proposals, allows proposals to be related to each other, marked as duplicates, etc etc.

    Properly designed, such a system could provide a universal workflow for all inquiries in all agencies or departments. A central aggregating portal, as pointed out by Dave Bath, would help the problem of discoverability.

    Of course it doesn’t have to stop at inquiries. Personally I think that issue-management / “customer relations” frameworks fit a huge portion of the day-to-day running of government departments. Everything from applications to centrelink, letters of protest to ministers, environmental approvals, personal representations to MPs, can be handled by this genre of software.

  11. 2009 September 2

    I think that mandating that all submisions to government enquiries be open to additional public comment is an especially valid thing to do. Of course, we need to make it clear that any and all submissions will be made available.

    The point is not that they can then be cut down by opposing views (though if they are weak, that may happen) but that by opening both the submission process and the artefacts produced as a result of that process, we grant the opportunity to others to add value to our own submissions, to apply their own critical eye to them and to voice opposition to them. Is one of the goals of the Taskforce not to provide advice back on the power of open government?

    Personally, I say, “go ahead. Please.” You have my explicit permission to open anything I provide to the Taskforce to the critical eye of the community. Maybe I’ll learn something from their views. Maybe they’ll learn from me.

    • 2009 September 5

      Hi Steve,

      The two risks I see with mandating that all submissions will be available for comments from others are; this could sometimes politicise the discussion, and; it may reduce the number of submissions received where people are uncomfortable with the notion of having their submission critiqued, due to risk of embarrassment.

      In the interests of not reducing the level of submissions, I’d suggest that an opt-in or opt-out process would produce the best overall outcome – but there’s pros and cons to all approaches.

      • 2009 September 5

        Definitely speaking mostly for my own submissions.

        There should be an opt-out choice. Although that’s likely to draw questions about why things aren’t open… We can’t win all these arguments though – compromise is what gets us through.

        I think openness has the potential to result in more consideration in submissions. Again, time will tell.

        • 2009 September 5

          The ‘free speech’ meme can be a bit overdone on blogs – both here and elsewhere. I’m not really taking sides on this debate, because it’s too hard to be cut and dried about it – I think Andrea’s comment lamenting the ‘permission’ culture we’ve got ourselves into makes a lot of sense.

          But the fact is that the internet is a very open place. After some early worrying about free speech in moderation debates (I’m talking about the private blog I contribute to – ClubTroppo) I’ve never bothered about the free speech argument very much in the private blogosphere – because people can have their say anywhere. With ‘official’ things the issue needs to be taken more seriously and would be here. But even so, it’s nice to know that if somone opts out of having comments activated on their submission on a government blog site, anyone, anywhere can set up a comments thread and comment away.

          Btw, Stephen, I noticed you commenting on the lack of nested responses on this blog a while back. Ran into the same problem and investigated. The blog was set to three levels, and is now set to seven . It can go to ten if necessary. Then, as your comments slowly march off the right hand side of your screen you run out of nesting capability – unless you want to write your own WordPress plugin.

  12. 2009 September 2
    simonfj permalink

    Gee Nic,

    You’re as longwinded as i am (just joking). A few notes;

    I guess, if you want to move things along, then we should look at the committee in aph who would be responsible for incorporating web technologies and culture into ye ancient inquiry process.

    To put the gov2 stuff in an .au context, we should be asking these guys to run an inquiry. E.g.
    http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/proc/reports/pciwc/index.htm
    http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/proc/studyprogram/report.htm
    experimenting using some modern web tools of course; and while doing so, plugging the web output into one of those digital TV channels which are sitting there, ready to transmit.

    qanda has already shown us how the dynamics of politics changes when focussed on a small group of pollies (as opposed to the old national embarrasment of aph’s question time). All we can do is encourage the new culture using combinations of media tools. Ever know a pollie to knock back free publicity?

    The interesting thing throughout all of this is the convergence between what’s happening in the .edu and .gov domains. Education as we (have) know(n) it is moving from ‘by delivery’ to ‘by inquiry’, and as a you say “inquiries always generate their ‘own’ communties”, most of whom try to get different silos (orgs) to collaborate. The trouble is, as Jenny says. “work has been done (in the edu space) around trust federations with organisations acting as identity providers. Each edu institution (as I call them, agency in the gov.au institutional space) will issue you an ID after you’ve paid your pennies to complete their required course, and afterwards, may enable one to access ‘the bowels’ – the permissions – of a group of federated silos.

    Whereas what we ALL need is some form of basic ID which allows one entry into a National “community” (p2p in web speak) Web 2.0 federation. It might enable some bright people like Pia (over in the public sphere) to get their hands on these kinds of goodies rather than having to strap together a bunch of US tools, using brilliant wits and 2cent budgets as they must do today. Of course maybe we should just ask everyone to sign up over at me.edu.au seeing they have OpenID implemented (last week), and we have to start somewhere.

    “Once this system of avatars and permissions is established…”

    Let’s just start, and see where it takes us. The first step is the hardest and this is perpetual beta, no? Publicsphere seem to have the right approach; each event tries to add something.

    The cultural stuff, like getting submission writers used to the idea that each submission will be spken about publically, will (likely) take a very short time to get expectations changed. But yes, we should be polite, and next time tell people what to expect up front. The new principle is “every doc” should have a link to its feedback thread (otherwise all we’ll have are blog threads which points to it, and are unlikely to be kind). Get em used to it.

    Lastly, do try to ‘ave a go before it’s perfect. Offline doesn’t count. Besides, a couple of good stuff ups would make us all feel so much more at home.

  13. 2009 September 2

    Jacques Chester 2009-09-02 talks about service level management software, and he has a point. It is just as easy to “raise a ticket” for a senior management decision, or a broken toilet, as it is to raise a ticket for something broken with a computer.

    The problem with implementing such software is the schema used for setting up the different queues: too coarse and you cannot analyze and report on what is going on, too fine and it is difficult to get people to put the right things in the right pigeonholes.

    Whether or not ISO20000-capable software is used or not, it is certainly worthwhile looking at them as a model that can produce useful reports on problems, suggested improvements (a.k.a. enhancement requests), scheduling and priorities, as well as managing workflow. Then the parts of “ManagingThePolity2.0″ that these things are good for can be identified, and the input model can form the basis of an RFI.

    And by the way, I’m a fan of the open source otrs.org, which has the honesty to say up front in the references “just because the tool is capable of handling the standard doesn’t mean that using the tool takes you to that standard…. it’ll take at least a year of using it to wrap your heads around the problem space.”

  14. 2009 September 3
    Felix Barbalet permalink

    Looks like Gov 2.0 is going to require many parts with diverse objectives – is there a Gov 2.0 framework out there that conceptually identifies what is required to implement “Gov 2.0″?

  15. 2009 October 8

    Well well well.

    I just got this email from the Henry Review – I’m a subscriber to their email service.

    The following information has been released by Australia’s Future Tax System Review Panel:

    Search function:
    Australia’s Future Tax System Review website has a new search function. This function allows you to search all submissions, publications, speeches and papers on the website.

    So plaudits to the review and its team. It would be nice to think we had something to do with this, but if not, perhaps even more plaudits are in order.

  16. 2009 November 8

    It’s the older post, but I think the relevant conversation is here, so I’ll add my 2c here..

    The inquiry is a great place to prototype ways technology can help make gov more civilized. It’s also a good place to prototype the practices this kind of technology stack implies, and the mental models it eventually demands.

    Some things that spring to mind in response to the conversation here include:

    Social Objects – in one sense the suggestion here is to framework inquiry submissions as social objects, so here’s some things I’ve found helpful wrt that:

    Social Net­works are built around Social Objects, not vice versa. The lat­ter act as “nodes”. The nodes appear before the net­work does.

    - Hugh Macleod

    How well does the potential object yield itself to breaking it down to structured data?

    How much social gravitational pull does the object have? Complex social objects offer a lot of handles for discussion.

    - Jyri Engeström

    so – like we were discussing yesterday, maybe you can find a way to get an inquiry to prototype this kind of citizen interaction.. I know I’d certainly be interested to see what kind of behaviours, practices and beliefs were uncovered, challenged and created :)

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. BTalk Australia Interview | Government 2.0 Taskforce
  2. Club Troppo » National information policy redux

Comments are closed.