Project 2 and 3: Identify key barriers within agencies to Government 2.0 and survey of Australian Government Web 2.0 practices
E8 Consulting conducted a survey and interviews with a range of public servants about their experiences and perceptions of implementing web 2.0 in government. The report concluded that there are significant inconsistencies in the levels of access that public servants have to Web 2.0 tools and a growing gap between their use at home and work. A variety of legal, technical and cultural reasons were cited for the restrictions on work based access to Web 2.0 tools, but the report concluded that most of these could be addressed within existing policy frameworks through better education of public servants (particularly senior management) about the benefits, risks and practical uses of Web 2.0 in government.
If ever a project deliverable could have used the connectivity and speed of web 2.0, we’d found it. Investigating the use of web 2.0 in Government, and taking a temperature check of sentiment towards it, required us to put in the legwork. Through research of the international arena, and conducting surveys, emails, phone interviews and face to face meetings, we took a snapshot of who is doing what, who would like to do what, and who remains very, very cautious.
The enthusiasm of some of the earliest adopters was striking, and the range of paths they had followed to implementation diverse. There are quite a number of web 2.0 initiatives in play, where departments and individuals are carefully creating new levels of engagement and building their knowledge and understanding at the same time. Our discussions with others of barriers to adoption and implementation yielded genuine issues that need to be addressed, but also many solutions already waiting in the wings.
Whether you are investigating or implementing web 2.0, it all comes down to people, and that remains the most enjoyable experience of the project. We connected with people across many areas of Government, and their views were valuable – given willingly and with great candor. For that we thank them. Conversations about web 2.0 are an essential part of evaluating the context for it and opening up cultural issues. We hope those conversations now go deeper and broader within departments, and with a strong sense of purpose behind them.