Submissions » Individual Submission Mon, 03 May 2010 06:11:51 +0000 en hourly 1 Andrae Muys Fri, 11 Sep 2009 02:29:06 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Andrae Muys Submission PDF (97k)
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    Gerhard Wagner Wed, 09 Sep 2009 06:27:52 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Gerhard Wagner Submission PDF (303k)
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    Matthew Landauer (OpenAustralia Foundation) Wed, 09 Sep 2009 02:07:41 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Matthew Landauer (OpenAustralia Foundation) Submission RTF (50k)
  • lobbying.rb (3k)
  • Submission Text:

    Please find attached my submission to the taskforce which is in plaintext format and is a Ruby program for scraping the web pages of the Federal Lobbyists Register available at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and output the data in a much more useful format where it can easily be loaded into any spreadsheet program for analysis.

    The lobbyists register as presented on the PMC website has a single webpage for every lobbyist. It is therefore straightforward to find out who a particular lobbyist has as clients. However, it is very difficult to find out for a given client who the lobbyist is.

    Why is it that this second type of query, which one might argue is the more useful and interesting one for the general public, is the one that is very difficult to do? Is this transparency?

    Originally, I was intending to attach the resulting data to this submission, but that’s not possible for three reasons

    The website crashed, probably as a result of the very small load that this application put on the server. This should not occur.

    1. I informed the website administrator via their contact form that the website is down, but as it’s the weekend there is nobody available to fix it.
    2. The copyright statement on the website does not allow for republishing without permission. So, I am not allowed to send government data to a government taskforce even though everyone can clearly see the original data.

    The attached Ruby program is also publicly available on the web at

    All the best,


    OpenAustralia Foundation

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    Tikka Wilson Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:26:36 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Tikka Wilson Submission PDF (56k)
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    Silvia Pfeiffer Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:19:15 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Silvia Pfeiffer Submission RTF (16k)
  • Submission Text:

    I was rather excited reading the issues paper and having had some discussions with task force members.

    I must admit that I am rather shocked about the list of proposed projects on : all of the 10 proposals are directed internally into government and are basically reporting projects that analyse what has been done in Australia or elsewhere.

    If we restrict the work of the task force to analysis / reporting, that is a really poor way to spend $2.45 million.

    If funding is only spent on reporting, there is no learning for agencies involved, because most learning comes from doing in this space.

    If funding is only spent on reporting, there are no new services created that bring value to citizens or the community.

    If funding is only spent internally with government agencies, then we lose out on all the great ideas that come from the community and that need support from one or more agencies to execute.

    My suggestion is to fund projects that have come from outside government and been elected by agencies to be supported. These projects would most certainly require mentorship by the task force, which needs to be the catalyst to making the projects successful. During executing of such projects, the task force would develop documents and processes that will help such collaborations to happen in future. This would be a successful outcome of a gov 2.0 task force IMHO.

    As for some ideas for projects, I’ll repeat what I posted in some comments:

    1. Video as a communication means

    Every government agency has some video that could go on the Website or even better be published through YouTube (or another social video network) and re-embedded. (BTW: Not all videos should be uploaded to YouTube, but for those that should be spread widely and be available it makes a lot of sense. US government even has special arrangements with such sites:

    The project develops a cross-agency site for government video resources, something like a govtube (similar to This should include YouTube channels, but also if possible other videos and video sites, since YouTube’s limitation to 10 min long videos is rather restrictive. It should also include search.

    To create some examples of good use of videos and to activate and support the agencies, the project would involve maybe 2-3 agencies that are keen to make better use of videos online. We would help them create a good video strategy, e.g. for educating or communicating with the public, we would help execute it, and make it part of the govtube.

    The pilots determine any obstacles with publishing videos and thus pave the path for other agencies. Ultimately, these pilots are examples for other agencies on what is possible and works.

    2. Twitter/ access to government agencies

    If you’ve seen tweetmp, you will understand what I mean with this proposal. I am looking for a site that allows a citizen to easily find out about twitter/ access to any government agency. Such a project would imply the setup of government agencies with twitter accounts. The site could also archive twitter messages and make them searchable, so people can find out answers to their questions that others had already been given. This gives citizens the advantage that rather than having to go to each agency website and labouriously having to find out if they somewhere publish a page with a twitter/ connection, it is a central site to find out all direct citizen access to agencies. It could be extended with statistics and comparisons between agencies and the like over time. Most important is the listing though.

    3. Blog aggregator

    How many government agencies are blogging? Who is blogging? And what are they blogging about? A website that would be a blog aggregator of all agency-provided blogs would be a good way to keep citizens across everything that is happening or not happening in agencies. Incidentally – are there any government agencies with existing blogs – and more interestingly: are agencies even allowed to have a blog?

    4. Transparency of parliamentary recordings

    And last but not least, I would like to suggest to support the OpenAustralia group in their efforts to gain access to the video recordings of parliament and senate. A site similar to Metavid will allow for improved transparency about the work that our elected representatives are doing for us. It will also allow politicians to clarify some of the excerpts in use by the press and taken out of context by providing the ability to point to the full context. Incidentally, Metavid is run by open source software only and using open formats only, making it a relatively inexpensive effort. Metavid is run only with the support of donations. It in fact uses some technology originally developed by the CSIRO, making it even more surprising that the US is running such a site before us.

    To conclude: I would like to see some real value for citizens come out of the gov2.0 TF and its large amount of funding. Actual trial projects will create much more impact than a large amount of reports and will help raise the understanding and impact of gov 2.0.

    Best Regards,
    Silvia Pfeiffer.

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    Ron Lubensky Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:15:23 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Ron Lubensky Submission RTF (9k)
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    Robert Smart Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:13:24 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Robert Smart Submission PDF (23k)
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    Richard Goodwin Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:11:33 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Richard Goodwin Submission RTF (15k)
  • Submission Text:

    The justice system could benefit greatly from government web 2.0. For instance, much public debate is triggered around the penalties imposed by courts. Most of us have little idea what goes on in a criminal trial and few of us can put ourselves in the shoes of a jury member, magistrate or judge by attending court in a given case. Respect for the justice system can be fragile at times. We have seen this in Western Australia over a series of wrongful convictions and controversial sentencing. We have a progressive chief justice in this state, keen to advance transparency. Using webcast technology to open up trials (or at least sentencing remarks and decisions) should be a national priority. After all, it is the natural extension of conducting court proceedings in public (as is mostly the case).

    Richard Goodwin

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    Paul Roberts Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:09:18 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Paul Roberts Submission DOC (46k)
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    Paul Henman Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:08:30 +0000 Taskforce Secretariat
  • Paul Henman Submission DOCX (23k)
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