Government 2.0 Taskforce » Report 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 Response to the Government 2.0 Report http://gov2.net.au/blog/2010/05/03/response-to-the-government-2-0-report/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2010/05/03/response-to-the-government-2-0-report/#comments Mon, 03 May 2010 03:38:16 +0000 Lindsay Tanner http://gov2.net.au/?p=1767 In June last year, this site was launched with a video from Dr Nicholas Gruen and myself announcing the creation of the Government 2.0 Taskforce. Today I am pleased to be able to close this first phase of the Australian Government’s foray into the area of Web 2.0 by releasing the Rudd Government’s response to the Taskforce’s report.

The Taskforce – of which Dr Gruen was chair – was appointed by Senator Joe Ludwig and I to advise the Government on how we could use Web 2.0 technologies to deliver better services to, and facilitate greater engagement with, Australians.

Those of you who have followed and contributed to this blog closely will be well aware of the work the Taskforce undertook: consulting online and in person; considering submissions from individuals and organisations; and eventually delivering a thorough and informative report. For this, I would once again like to thank Dr Gruen, the Taskforce members and all those who contributed for their efforts.

The Taskforce’s report recommended changes to a range of areas, including co-ordinated leadership, guidance, support and recognition for agencies and public servants engaging online, and the important considerations of accessibility and security.

The Government’s response to this report, which Senator Ludwig and I released today, shows twelve of the report’s 13 recommendations were generally agreed to. We have deferred our response to one recommendation about tax deductibility for information philanthropy until it can be considered in the context of the review of Australia’s Future Tax System and the research report on the Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector.

The Taskforce’s central recommendation was that the Australian Government make a declaration of open government. The Rudd Government has accepted that recommendation and we expect to make such a declaration in the coming months.

Whilst today is the completion of one phase, it is also very much the beginning of a new one. The task now is to implement these changes, beginning with assisting agencies to make the most of the opportunities offered by Web 2.0.

My department, the Department of Finance and Deregulation has begun doing this via its new blog which has been launched today.  The team within the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) within my department will use this blog to continue the online conversation with you, our citizens and our stakeholders.

This new blog represents another step towards more participatory and open government. I will be closely monitoring the progress of this agenda across the Government and expect my department and its people to be engaged drivers of this agenda. I hope you will continue making contributions via this blog. We look forward to hearing more of your ideas and views.

There is no doubt the internet and collaborative technologies offer significant scope for the Government to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery, public administration and community engagement. I look forward to realising those improvements through our Gov 2.0 agenda.

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Final Taskforce Report released http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/22/final-taskforce-report-released/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/22/final-taskforce-report-released/#comments Tue, 22 Dec 2009 02:24:37 +0000 Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat] http://gov2.net.au/?p=1681 The Taskforce’s final report, Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0, was handed to Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig today. The Ministers have decided to release the report to the public immediately. You can find a copy at:

http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/gov20taskforcereport/index.html

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Blegging the power of the bleg http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/13/blegging-the-power-of-the-bleg/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/13/blegging-the-power-of-the-bleg/#comments Sun, 13 Dec 2009 12:59:27 +0000 Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/?p=1497 I was just reading the bleg – relatively successful it seems – of Michael Neilsen seeking information on the fascinating phenomenon of some of Intel’s chips which were designed without any single person knowing the whole story about how they were designed.  Sounds a bit like government.  Anyway, it struck me that if people out there have any examples of particularly successful blegs which have turned up needles in haystacks which have turned out to be very helpful to whomever has blegged – preferably in a government context but neither bleggers nor beggers can be choosers – can they please come forward with examples in comments documented with links.

Also we’re trying to come up with a nice diagram to encapsulate our message which is summed up in the para below.  Haven’t read it?  No – that’s because since we’ve stepped back and had a look at our Draft Report we’ve seen that this seems to be our core message – from the current draft of the final (no promises it will appear in precisely this form). (And we’ve taken note that a blood feud will ensue if we remove the Google Group’s excellent definition of Govt 2.0 and it seems to be staying in – so far anyway). So here is the quote and the diagram. Please sing out if you can improve the diagram.

Government 2.0 involves a public policy shift to create a culture of openness and transparency, where government is willing to engage with and listen to its citizens; and to make available the vast national resource of non-sensitive public sector information. Government 2.0 empowers citizens and public servants alike to directly collaborate in their own governance by harnessing the opportunities presented by technology.
The three pillars of Government 2.0 are:

  • The application of Web 2.0 collaborative tools and practices to the processes of government
  • Open access to public sector information (PSI)
  • Leadership, policy and governance to achieve the necessary shifts in public sector culture and practice

Government 2.0 will subtly change the relationship between government and its citizens.

Engagement Three Pillars

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The column of the draft report http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/09/the-column-of-the-draft-report/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/09/the-column-of-the-draft-report/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2009 05:35:51 +0000 Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/?p=1472 Here’s yesterday’s column in the Financial Review coinciding with the release of our Draft Report. The Fin’s headline was “Web and open government a way to a better world” I couldn’t have put it better myself.

The expression Web 2.0 connotes the internet as a platform for collaboration of all kinds. It also connotes openness. Open standards permit interoperability allowing people to build on each others’ work. This makes the net the world’s first truly serendipitous network. It regularly bombards us with wonderful surprises – like blogs, Wikpedia, Flikr and Facebook. The potential of Web 2.0 to transform the ‘open government’ agenda – now itself identified by the term ‘Government 2.0’ – has been evident for some time. Obama made open government a centrepiece of his administration.

Australian government agencies have produced some wonderful Government 2.0 initiatives. But in the draft report we’ve just released, the Government 2.0 Taskforce found that Australia had yet to give the Government 2.0 co-ordinated, whole of government attention as the US, UK and New Zealand governments have done. And public agencies continue to act like owners rather than custodians of public data and information. Thus, although the Australian Government went to great lengths to get the word out about its last Budget, its inside asserts that “no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission”.

On Web 2.0 or collaborative web, search engines ensure people collaborate – even if they don’t’ know it – by harvesting the knowledge embedded in internet links and the preferences embodied in users’ choices about what they link to from search results to build ever more relevant search results. And collaborative web is serendipitous web, connecting people in improbable ways, enabling highly specific, local and ephemeral knowledge to be discovered and tapped.

US Federal Reserve research recently quoted ‘Tanta’ on the sub-prime mortgage market. Who was Tanta? She was a literature lecturer who’d recently worked in the mortgage market, meticulously – and hilariously – anatomising the practices of her industry on the blog Calculated Risk. And the Fed knew of her because she’d quickly become a must read for economist bloggers – Nobel Prize winning and otherwise – trying to nut out what was happening.

Web 2.0 platforms like Google Calendar, Microsoft Earth and Swivel also provide incredible new tools for ‘mashups’ in which data from multiple sources is combined on some ‘platform’ for doing so – like a map. Mashups add value to data. They can make practical tasks more convenient – for instance when I mash my own online calendar up with my wife’s. Sometimes mashups seem frivolous – as the collaborative map of magpie swoop hotspots was to me – until a cyclist friend pointed out its contribution to bicycle road safety. And important policy insights are emerging from mashups mapping the co-location of social pathologies like crime and poverty.

Government 2.0 embraces all these possibilities within government. In digitising its collection of historic newspapers back to 1802 our National Library ‘crowdsources’ the correction of errors that computer digitization has made. Since its launch in 2007 the site has corrected over seven million lines of text and has worked round the clock – literally never been idle. Nearly a quarter of volunteers log on from offshore. Between them they’ve corrected over seven million lines of text. Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum released historic photos on Flikr (a world first) eliciting a wealth of contextual information and complementary photos from those familiar with the relevant subject of the photos. The National Archives does likewise on its site commemorating World War One diggers.

Out Taskforce ran competitions bringing volunteers together to build mashups of data that we’d persuaded government agencies to open up. Why did the volunteers come? To build a better world; to give themselves a chance of winning (modest) prizes; to meet others and to have fun. (The members of the winning team at our GovHack weekend got on so well that each discovered just before the presentations that the other members of their team weren’t already good friends!). Mashup Australia teams built

  • My Representatives which lists all your local, state and federal government representatives upon your entering your address;
  • It’s buggered mate which enables citizens to notify maintenance problems with government infrastructure and track governments’ progress in fixing it (The UK has had functioning equivalents of both the above sites for several years); and
  • LobbyLens which mashes up data from the lobbyist register with data on winning government tenders.

Oh – and seventy nine other mashups! (What data does your workplace hold? Is it useful to others? Release it and find out!)

Our draft report is a roadmap for getting to Government 2.0 – and in doing so making our government more open, participatory, informed and citizen centric. Government 2.0 will help improve the quality of all those things where governments are major players as service deliverers, information providers or regulators. It can improve our schools, our hospitals, our workplaces and indeed our lives.

For that reason it holds the key to several existing government agendas, from building an innovative public service that is the world’s best to making the most of our huge national investment in broadband.

Government 2.0 is about more than Web 2.0 technology or even policy. It’s about governments letting the community into its workings, letting them see and contribute to their own governance. And so it requires culture change. That won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight.

But it’s the kind of thing we do well once we get organised. We need only the courage, the perseverance and the imagination to grasp the opportunity.

Please visit us on www.gov2.net.au (OK, so you’re already here!) and tell us how we can improve our draft report.

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Draft Report – out on Monday http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/05/draft-report-out-on-monday/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/05/draft-report-out-on-monday/#comments Sat, 05 Dec 2009 13:28:42 +0000 Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/?p=1425 Hi all,

The draft report will be released this Monday and we will be welcoming comments until at least Wed 17th December.

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