Government 2.0 Taskforce » Projects Design by Ben Crothers of Catch Media Tue, 04 May 2010 23:55:29 +0000 en hourly 1 Structured Brainstorming Competition: Congratulations to all our winners! Thu, 19 Nov 2009 02:01:25 +0000 Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat] The Structured Brainstorming competition we ran through our IdeaScale page was a great experiment in reaching out to the crowd and seeing what ideas they (you!) had to contribute to the work of the Taskforce.  There were some intriguing ideas put forward, including suggestions for new Government projects and services that have provided us with some food for thought. Today I’m happy to announce the winners of the first two prize categories on offer (with the Not for Profit PSI and Web 2.0 Accessibility Makeover category winners on track to be announced in early December).

To refresh your memory, the first round of the contest had two categories with prizes attached. The Brainstorming category was aimed at project ideas that the Taskforce could fund in line with its terms of reference. Meanwhile, in the Gov 2.0 Innovators category we were looking for nominations for agencies, projects or individuals who have done valuable work and have been champions for the Gov 2.0 cause. When judging both of these categories the Taskforce took into account both your voting and the quality of the ideas themselves.

And the winners are…

Brainstorming Category

There were two winning ideas in this category, both nominated by Brad Peterson.  They were:

The Taskforce would like to congratulate Brad for these ideas. They are great examples of practical initiatives which could help the Australian Government improve its online presence and help Australia in the move towards open government.

And Brad, if you’re reading this, we’ve tried to get in touch with you but haven’t been able to…please send us an email from the account you used to submit the ideas so we can get you your prizes!

Gov 2.0 Innovators

This was an interesting one. After giving it some consideration, the Taskforce couldn’t narrow it down to just one winner. So instead we have three, spread across different categories:

In the view of the Taskforce, ABC Pool is a great example of a publicly-funded agency using Web 2.0 tools to revolutionise the way it does business. Mosman Municipal Council deserves recognition for its impressive Community Engagement Strategy, which involves using a range of online tools and techniques to reach out to the local community and involve them in the business of government. In the individual category, Craig Thomler is notable for his tireless and enthusiastic commentary and involvement in the Gov 2 space in Australia, through his blog eGov AU and other channels.

Thanks to j2.coates for submitting the ABC Pool and Mosman City Council nominations, and Nathanael Boehm for nominating Craig Thomler. We’ll be getting in touch with the winners soon to talk about awarding their prizes, as discussed in the original Gov 2 Innovators blog post.

As well as congratulating our winners in both categories, the Taskforce would like to thank everyone who submitted an idea, or commented or voted on ideas. Government 2.0 is all about the interaction between people and their government, and from our point of view the engagement and enthusiasm of the online community has been an inspiration to the Taskforce as it goes about its work.

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Video Killed the …. ? Wed, 18 Nov 2009 00:49:54 +0000 Jimi Bostock and Silvia Pfeiffer Jimi Bostock and Silvia Pfeiffer have been commissioned by the Taskforce to undertake a scoping study into the feasibility of a whole-of-government online video service.

So, yes, please shout out with any thoughts, let’s get this right. What have you seen has worked for your agency or similar organisations – what hasn’t worked? Any expectations that you have toward a site?

While not belittling what governments have achieved, the steps into the video world have been tentative. We must remind ourselves that many of the steps we take today that we think are big steps will be seen in the future as almost trivial. Such is life in the digital revolution.

Most agencies have an enormous amount of existing or potential video material – educational content, marketing content, news content, recordings of events etc. Most of this content barely makes it to the Web. Even agencies that would seem a natural fit for mass online video effort seem to have not rushed headlong into it. As example (and not singling them out), the National Archives in the USA are somewhat restrained in their use of YouTube and their official site does not seem to feature video at all. We can only imagine how much video they would hold and how much public interest there would be in it.

So, what is the hold up? Kids are making and uploading videos at a startling rate. None of us live long enough to watch even a day’s effort. Video is, by far, the fastest growing media being consumed online. So, why are we not seeing from government anywhere near the volume that general trends would suggest we should be seeing?

Agreeing that government needs to publish more video, the next step is a decision on how to publish all this content.

Most agencies have decided to use video sparingly on their site – only where it is absolutely called for to make it a modern presence. For example with the introduction of a new service as an addition to a press release. One such example of an Australian federal agency’s video effort is the recently launched Social Inclusion Website, which features videos of conferences and launches around Social Inclusion.

Other agencies have decided to step away from having to solve the technical challenges associated with hosting video and make use of the free YouTube service, even though YouTube has been blocked for many government departments. The Department of Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy for example runs such a YouTube channel.

Incidentally, YouTube is very good at making sure the videos get a wider exposure, since YouTube is the default video search engine on the Internet, but may be a precarious situation for a government agency to be potentially seen to endorse a third party service.

In any case, it is actually a big challenge to even find videos that have been published on government sites – and they can help make government so much more accessible, which is our main motivation in analysing the possibilities of a For an agency, the motivation may be different and part of it may be to take away the need to solve the technical issues related to publishing videos.

So, let’s assume that the call is made by the powers to be that a site be developed. How would people in the Gov 2.0 community go about this? Should we go with a mega-YouTube presence and does it have the tools to make for a flexible and well-structured Or should we be thinking one of the more ‘commercial’ service offerings? Could we build it from scratch? Would this be commercial or open-source? Could we find an off-the-shelf offering that could get us underway instantly? Should it be a centralised hosting site, like a “YouTube for government” or should it be an aggregation site that pulls in feeds from all the agencies and makes content available in a standardised and searchable format?

Or should it be a hybrid of all of these with a Twitter on top?

We would love input on these questions!

So, wish us luck and please do let us know your thoughts on the stuff we have raised here or any other areas you think we should be looking at, remembering the scope of our brief. Please feel free to post here or email us directly.

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Emergency 2.0 Australia Tue, 10 Nov 2009 22:18:33 +0000 Maurits van der Vlugt Maurits van der Vlugt works for NGIS Australia, who have been commissioned by the Taskforce to undertake a project regarding the use of social media for emergency management.

Emergency 2.0 Australia is a project examining how Social Media can assist in Emergency Management. It is about how Web 2.0 tools and technologies, emerging all around us, can help improving location enabled information sharing between Emergency Management Agencies and the affected community.

For example, how do Twitter, Facebook and Mash-ups help getting flood-warnings, information on evacuation routes etc. out to the community better and quicker? Conversely how do agencies further improve their Common Operating Picture with timely community input on roadblocks, damage reports, or stranded cattle? This story contains a more extensive example.

The project website is here to inform about the progress and outcomes of the project. But, more importantly, it is here for your input. In true Web 2 fashion, we will (and quite frankly: have to!) rely on the community to show us what is needed, what is happening, and what can be done in this area.

We therefore ask for your help. Whether you’re working in the emergency services, are a volunteer or an interested citizen, we are looking for your ideas, comments, or pointers to any leading or emerging practice examples. Throughout this site there will be opportunities to leave your thoughts online. Of course, you can always contact the team directly.

The project is supported by the Government 2.0 Taskforce, and will deliver a report on leading and emerging practices in Australia and abroad, recommendations for follow-up activities, and (with your help), a vibrant community of interest.

On behalf of the project team, I am looking forward to working with you all, and help Australian Emergency Services do an even better job for the community.

Maurits van der Vlugt, Project Lead

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Our input wanted: Key challenges in government content discoverability and e-service accessibility Fri, 23 Oct 2009 14:32:09 +0000 Nicholas Gruen As announced in my recent post, ‘Inquiries 2.0: Part 3.0’ here is the first of what we expect will be a series of bleg posts from people who are working with us on one of the several research projects on the go right now. The ‘point’ is of course that, just like that cliché about its people being an organisation’s greatest asset, the community that we’ve built together here is a great asset. It’s not one we plan to keep to ourselves, but rather in the spirit of the new freedom of information legislation, we intend to manage it for public purposes, and [as] a national resource. (pdf)

So beneath the fold is the first such guest post on this blog from Mark Neely at Hyro.

Making use of government services online presents a number of challenges.

If you know the name of the relevant department, and the service you are looking for, you can try Googling. But with over 800 web sites for the Federal government alone, it can be frustrating trying to work out the best starting point.

The more complex the need, the more effort (time and mental) required to reach your goal.

These are precisely the issues that Hyro has been tasked by the Gov 2.0 Taskforce to investigate.

We’ve been asked to prepare a report identifying the challenges involved in trying to locate and use government services (or information about a service) online, and to suggest possible solutions.

As the Project Lead within Hyro, I’d like to hear your views and opinions about the key challenges that exist today in accessing (or delivering) government services online.

In particular:

1. What lessons can be learnt from the private sector (for example, how would eBay or Amazon or Google solve this problem)?

2. What innovative service or technologies should be considered?

3. What should be the priority areas? High volume services (like payments), high interaction services (like medical and disability services), or high impact services (like community services), or some other starting point entirely?

4. What would a successful solution look like?

I am also very interested in hearing about international case studies (government or private sector) addressing these issues.

Please forward your thoughts, recommendations, or pointers to published articles, papers etc. to me at:

mark DOT neely AT hyro DOT comXXX (and remove those ’X’s!)

or via the comment section of this blog.

Alternatively, if you have printed materials that you wish to share, please forward to:

c/- Lv 7, 10-14 Waterloo St,

Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Mark Neely, Head of Strategy, hyro. +61 2 9215 4350

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Draft Project Fund Contract Wed, 30 Sep 2009 02:00:39 +0000 Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat] For your information I am posting the contract with which successful Gov 2.0 Taskforce project proposals will be commissioned. 

This contract will be between Microsoft and the successful Gov 2.0 Taskforce project proposer.  This is necessary as the Project Fund  has been established in partnership with Microsoft from a fund established by Microsoft as a consequence of previous government sales. The contracts are supported by a Deed that between the Department of Finance and Deregulation and Microsoft that ensures the aims of the Taskforce are supported by the Fund.

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Allocating the project fund: we want your ideas Tue, 22 Sep 2009 06:56:17 +0000 Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat] The Taskforce is still looking for new ways to allocate the Project Fund to fund worthy projects. We’ve already received a number of proposals by email, and we’re considering each on its own merits.

But we want to hear more of your ideas, so in this blog post we’re putting out the call to any interested parties: if you have a proposal for a project that the Taskforce can fund, send us an email and let us know. You need to send it to us in the form of a project proposal of a couple of pages length, so include details like:

  • details of the individual/company providing the quote
  • names and qualifications of key people who will work on the project
  • a brief description of your capabilities/credentials to undertake the work, including past experience doing projects of a similar kind or in a similar area and contact details for two referees who can verify your claims
  • a brief description of you proposed approach to the project, including key project milestones and methodologies you intend to use
  • a budget and a breakdown of key areas of expenditure for the project
  • what contribution (financial or services) you are willing to make to the project
  • the name and phone number of the authorised person for further enquiries
  • any potential conflict of interest that you wish to declare

Our focus here is going to be on funding projects which directly further the Taskforce’s aims – for more information see our Terms of Reference. We’ll try to give full consideration to other project proposals but can’t necessarily promise anything. But in any case we look forward to hearing your ideas on how the Taskforce can use the Project Fund to further the Gov 2 cause in Australia.

The closing date for proposals to be promised consideration is 16 October 2009. After that we may be able to look at them but can’t promise anything.

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Submit a quote for our round two projects Thu, 17 Sep 2009 01:02:54 +0000 Nicholas Gruen The Taskforce is currently considering the various quotes we received for our first round of projects and will get the ball rolling on those as soon as possible. But today we’re releasing briefs and asking for quotes on our second round of projects.

This set of projects is about two things: giving the Taskforce inputs that we can use in our final report, and building up agency capabilities in the Web 2.0 space.

Individuals and firms with relevant capabilities are invited to submit quotes to undertake these projects on behalf of the Taskforce.  The usual Fine Print is here, with some changes from the round one tendering process.  Ignore it at your own risk.

We’ve decided to change the process we used for the round one projects. This time, instead of specifying a price for each project, for some we’re giving you an estimated range of what we think the project should cost, for others we’re not providing an estimated budget at all because we don’t want to shape your ideas of the scope.  You may want to give us a quote with a few separate pricing options that we can choose from and to ‘think aloud’ for our benefit. Either way, we’re open to your ideas and want to take a flexible approach to how we deal with quotes. We’re perfectly willing to go back to you and discuss your quote if we think you have a good proposal which just needs some tweaking.

Details of the requirements for each of the round two projects are contained in the project proposal briefs below, which you can download in PDF or RTF format. Note, we are considering the round one projects as projects one through six, and these as projects seven through 13.

If you submit by 4pm AEST on Tuesday 22nd September 2009 we undertake to give your proposal full and fair consideration.  Submit after that time by all means. If your submission is a stand out and there’s still time, we may consider it, but we can’t promise anything.

Project Proposal Briefs

7. Whole of Government Information Publication Scheme

8. Online Engagement Guidance and Web 2.0 Toolkit for Australian Government Agencies

9. Preservation of Web 2.0 Content

10. Framework for Stimulating Information Philanthropy in Australia

11. Hypotheticals — Ethical and Cultural Challenges of Digital Engagement by Government

12. Promoting the Government 2.0 Taskforce and Agenda

  • Deliverable: Implementing a public relations strategy plus accompanying reports
  • Deadline: 30/09/09 (report on strategy)
  • Deadline: 30/11/09 (final report)
  • Project 12 Brief RTF (76k)
  • Project 12 Brief PDF (21k)

13. Government 2.0 Governance and Institutions: Embedding the 2.0 Agenda in the Australian Public Service

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Open for business – quotes needed for Round One of the Project Fund Tue, 01 Sep 2009 03:53:14 +0000 Nicholas Gruen Thank you to everyone who commented on the proposed project that we posted for public pontification recently.  Based on your feedback and the input of the Taskforce members we have refined our ideas and decided to proceed with commissioning six of these projects, which will be funded from the Project Fund.  Details of the requirements for each project are contained in the Project Proposal Briefs below, which you can download in PDF or RTF format:

  1. Enhancing the discoverability and accessibility of government information
  2. Identify key barriers within agencies to Government 2.0
  3. Survey of Australian Government Web 2.0 practices
  4. Copyright law and intellectual property
  5. Early leadership in Semantic Web
  6. The value of Public Sector Information for Cultural Institutions

Individuals and firms with relevant capabilities are invited submit quotes to undertake these projects on behalf of the Taskforce.  Before you submit your quote please take the time to read the Fine Print so you understand the terms and conditions that project funding will be based on.  Please also note the deadlines for the project deliverables – we need to move fast on these projects so that they can inform our thinking while we are writing our report.  It is our intention that for many of the projects, much of the work will be interactive with us and may go either to the production of an independent report by you or towards your contributing to outputs that the Taskforce ultimately takes responsibility for.

You will note that we have included estimates of the size of each project in terms of funds. I insisted upon this because, in another life as a consultant, I know how maddening it is not to have any idea of the scope of the project a client is contemplating.  But we are definitely focused on value for money. So please don’t write your brief up to or down from the figure we have quoted.  If you can save us money we’ll be intersted, and if you can add a lot of value by going over our indicative budget, we’ll be interested.  We’ll also consider ourselves welcome to give you a ring and discuss whether parts of your proposed project could be done differently to generate better value. It will also be of value to us if we can develop a trusting relationship in which some flexibility can be built into the contract to enable you to adapt your work at our direction – for instance by payment per hour.

Submitting Quotes

Quotes should be brief (no more than five pages and preferably less) and should contain the following information:

  • details of the individual/company providing the quote
  • names and qualifications of key people who will work on the project
  • a brief description of your capabilities/credentials to undertake the work, including past experience doing projects of a similar kind or in a similar area
  • a brief description of you proposed approach to the project
  • a breakdown of key areas of expenditure for the project
  • what contribution (financial or services) you are willing to make to the project
  • the name and phone number of the authorised person for further enquiries

Quotes can be submitted by email to

by 5pm AEST on Wednesday 9 September 2009.

As stated previously, the Australian Government welcomes contributions by private organisations or individuals to the Project Fund or to the Taskforce’s work generally, so if these are not the projects for you and you want to donate your expertise and/or services please send your proposal to  If you have an idea for how to spend the project fund then you are welcome to submit it on the same email address.  Please clearly identify it as such a project and it will be considered in the next round of projects.

Project Proposal Briefs

1. Enhancing the discoverability and accessibility of government information

2. Identify key barriers within agencies to Government 2.0

3. Survey of Australian Government Web 2.0 practices

4. Copyright law and intellectual property

5. Early leadership in Semantic Web

6. The value of Public Sector Information for cultural institutions

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Posting proposed projects for public pontification Mon, 17 Aug 2009 22:48:34 +0000 Nicholas Gruen One of the roles of the Taskforce is to decide on how to allocate the Project Fund to further the interests of Government 2.0 in Australia.

We’ve been discussing and refining a number of research ideas for potential projects so far. They’re not written up as fully specified projects yet, but we’re after your feedback on them.

Feel free to

1. approve or criticise the projects we’ve set out
2. propose improvements to those ideas
3. propose alternative ideas
4. suggest people or firms/agencies that might do a good job of these projects

Please do any of steps 1 to 3 in the specific comments threads relating to the project, and if you want to suggest additional ideas for projects, please do so in the general comments box.

If you want to propose additional projects as suggested in point 4 above, please do so in the comments box corresponding to the whole page.

We’ve set up a list of projects on our Consultation page and we’re after your feedback. We’re already pretty sure we want to go ahead with quite a few of the projects but we’re still open to your ideas on how to improve them.

We’ll be formally deciding to go ahead with many of the projects at our next meeting – on Friday Aug 21st (when we’re also throwing open part of the meeting to the community for a question and answer session), so your feedback will be most influential if you get us your feedback by 1.00 PM Thursday.

We’re excited to see what comes out of this process, and look forwarding to hearing your ideas.

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