December 8, 2009Doug Hadden
A taskforce from the Government of Australia has published a comprehensive draft report about Government 2.0. The report recommends that “a lead agency take responsibility for Government 2.0 policy and provide leadership, guidance and support to agencies and public servants.”
Committees and task forces can often over analyze or complicate technology. Risk aversion can become the dominant theme. Bold action can be discouraged. Not so in Australia. The task force recommends a “declaration of open government by the Australian government.”
- Higher levels of information disclosure – “freedom of information” on steroids
- Active participation by public servants – encouraging participation
- Making more data available – free, open, understandable, machine-readable (mashupable)
- Assisting in the cultural change – leverage the “wisdom of crowds”
- Developing strategies to ensure privacy and security – eliminating perceived threats
What does this mean for Government 2.0 adoption?
- Government 2.0 is not a self-contained technology trend somehow independent from societal and economic changes. As we have pointed out before, Government 2.0 is part of the long-term trends from vertical to virtual integration and the flattening of organizational structures from the command and control model. This report shows how Government 2.0 is part of trends for freedom of information, transparency and citizen services
- Government 2.0 rewards outweigh risks. The economic value add of collaboration and participation exceed the “worst that could happen”, as discussed in a recent ICGFM forum. Machine-readable information enables insight and improved decision-making.
- Government 2.0 risks are well understood. Governments can mitigate privacy, security and copyright risks.
- Government 2.0 is not changing the culture in government – the culture is changing anyway. The pressure on governments to perform better in a global environment with increased transparency exists regardless of technology. Government 2.0 facilitates this culture change.
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