Government 2.0 Taskforce » Best Practice http://gov2.net.au Design by Ben Crothers of Catch Media Tue, 04 May 2010 23:55:29 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.6 en hourly 1 The Three Laws of Open Data http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/10/20/the-three-laws-of-open-data/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/10/20/the-three-laws-of-open-data/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2009 05:40:40 +0000 David Eaves http://gov2.net.au/?p=1190 David Eaves is a member of the Taskforce’s International Reference Group.

Over the past few years I have become increasingly involved in the movement for open government – and more specifically advocating for Open Data, the sharing of information government collects and generates freely towards citizens such that they can analyze it, repurpose and use it themselves. My interest in this space comes out of writing and work I’ve down around how technology, open systems and generational change will transform government. Earlier this year I began advising the Mayor and Council of the City of Vancouver helping them pass the Open Motion (referred to by staff as Open3) and create Vancouver’s Open Data Portal, the first municipal open data portal in Canada. More recently, Australia’s Government 2.0 Taskforce has asked me to sit on its International Reference Group.

Obviously the open government movement is quite broad, but my recent work has pushed me to try to distill out the essence of the Open Data piece of this movement. What, ultimately, do we need and are we asking for.  Consequently, while presenting for a panel discussion on Conference for Parliamentarians: Transparency in the Digital Era for Right to Know Week organized by the Canadian Government’s Office of the Information Commissioner I shared my best effort to date of this distillation: Three laws for Open Government Data.

The Three Laws of Open Government Data:

  1. If it can’t be spidered or indexed, it doesn’t exist
  2. If it isn’t available in open and machine readable format, it can’t engage
  3. If a legal framework doesn’t allow it to be repurposed, it doesn’t empower

To explain, (1) basically means: Can I find it? If Google (and/or other search engines) can’t find it, it essentially doesn’t exist for most citizens. So you’d better ensure that you are optimized to be crawled by all sorts of search engine spiders.

After I’ve found it, (2) notes that, to be useful, I need to be able to use (or play with) the data. Consequently, I need to be able to pull or download it in a useful format (e.g. an API, subscription feed, or a documented file). Citizens need data in a form that lets them mash it up with Google Maps or other data sets, or analyze in Excel. This is essentially the difference between VanMaps (look, but don’t play) and the Vancouver Data Portal, (look, take and play!). Citizens who can’t play with information are citizens who are disengaged/marginalized from the discussion.

Finally, even if I can find it and use it, (3) highlights that I need a legal framework that allows me to share what I’ve created, to mobilize other citizens, provide a new service or just point out an interesting fact. This is the difference between Canada’s House of Parliament’s information (which, due to crown copyright, you can take, play with, but don’t you dare share or re-publish) and say, Whitehouse.gov which “pursuant to federal law, government-produced materials appearing on this site are not copyright protected.”

Find, Use and Share. That’s want we want.

Of course, a brief scan of the internet has revealed that others have also been thinking about this as well. There is this excellent 8 Principle of Open Government Data that are more detailed, and admittedly better, especially for a CIO level and lower conversation.  But for talking to politicians (or Deputy Ministers or CEOs), like those in attendance at that panel discussion or, later that afternoon, the Speaker of the House, I found the simplicity of three resonated more strongly; it is a simpler list they can remember and demand.

]]>
http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/10/20/the-three-laws-of-open-data/feed/ 5
Nominate a Government 2.0 Innovator http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/09/07/nominate-a-government-2-0-innovator/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/09/07/nominate-a-government-2-0-innovator/#comments Mon, 07 Sep 2009 05:37:52 +0000 Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat] http://gov2.net.au/?p=797 We have had a great response to our first category of structured brainstorming.

Today, a new category on our IdeaScale page has opened up: Government 2.0 Innovators.

Despite existing constraints, various government agencies are trying and succeeding at innovative uses of technology, including Web 2.0, and promoting greater openness.

We are seeking examples of excellence in Gov 2.0 that have been implemented over the past 18 months or are being implemented now. We want to recognise  agencies and public servants at all levels of government in Australia who are Gov 2.0 champions.

Your nomination may be:

  • An agency or department;
  • A specific project; or
  • An individual

You will need to give us your reason(s) for your nomination and specifically tell us why it is a great example of Gov 2.0 innovation. Where possible, we’d encourage you to provide a URL to an example of your nominee’s work.

We will also be writing out to agencies to ensure that they have maximum opportunity to get involved.

Category Prize

The Taskforce will select the best examples of Gov 2.0 in agencies and the best Gov 2.0 champions and recognise them with certificates signed by Minister Tanner and Minister Ludwig and presentation and formal recognition at an awards ceremony.

But that is not all we will also select the very best of both categories and invite them to attend the eGovernment Forum next year and eGovernment awards dinner (on us of course). We will even hope to get them to present on their Gov 2.0 innovation.

Entries for the competition are due by 5pm September 20, although after that we’ll leave the IdeaScale page open and running for continued discussion and participation.

Note that all submissions will be subject to the IdeaScale Competition Terms and Conditions.

You should also know that we’re making one slight change to the way we’re running our IdeaScale page. Originally we wanted to allow people to participate without having to create an IdeaScale account. What this meant is that ideas and comments appeared without any sign of who wrote them. But now that we’ve seen the page in action, and seen some of the conversation and collaboration going on, we think it would work better if you could see whose ideas you’re looking at and who you’re actually talking to.

So we’re changing the page’s settings so that it displays usernames. But what this means is that from now on you’ll need to make an IdeaScale account to enter the competition. The terms and conditions have instructions on how to do this. If you’ve already submitted an idea or comment and aren’t happy about your IdeaScale username being displayed online, let us know and we’ll delete it from the page. Or if you’re worried about sharing the first part of your email address online (everything before the “@”) thorugh an IdeaScale account, we’d recommend that you set up a new pseudonymous email account. We won’t hold it against you when it comes time to give out the prizes!

Visit Government 2.0 Taskforce Ideas – Government 2.0 Innovator

]]>
http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/09/07/nominate-a-government-2-0-innovator/feed/ 3