July 23, 2010Doug Hadden
Doug Hadden, VP Products
The Government Accountability Office in the United States has published a statement of the use of Web 2.0 by Federal Agencies. The statement by Gregory C. Wilshusen, Director Information Security Issues, focuses on – well – information security issues. There has been an undercurrent of risk avoidance and general fear of Web 2.0 technologies in government. This statement is fair and balanced (really fair and balanced, not the tag line) with a good assessment of the privacy, access to information and records management limitations of the Government 2.0 state-of-the-art. And, Mr. Wilshusen describes some of the work taken to overcome these concerns.
The audit function in government has transformed in the past few years from compliance – making sure that rules are followed – to performance. Analyzing programs for effectiveness in meeting mandate and achieving value for money. That’s what we need here. Government decision-makers need to understand the benefits – not just the risks. Otherwise, government transformation opportunities slow.
The difficulty with most analysis of Government 2.0 is that there is little distinction made between purely internal collaboration efforts and external public-facing. There’s no question that both types of activities share some elements of benefit and risk. But, as I’ve pointed out in the past, internal Government 2.0 represents a significant opportunity for mission achievement. And, lessons from internal efforts can be used to reduce the risks associated with external Government 2.0 initiatives.