Search This Blog

Monday, June 22, 2009

Government 2.0: from words to some action.

The joint ministerial announcement today by Ministers Tanner and Ludwig was the establishment of a Government 2.0 Taskforce (with instant website) to provide advice and assistance to the Government as it moves further into the brave new information world. This sounds a good step that should ensure a broader perspective replaces the Administrative Law framework that has dominated thinking on access to information issues in the Federal Government for too long.
"(The Taskforce) work falls into two streams. The first relates to increasing the openness of government through making public sector information more widely available to promote transparency, innovation and value adding to government information.The second stream is concerned with encouraging online engagement with the aim of drawing in the information, knowledge, perspectives, resources and even, where possible, the active collaboration of anyone wishing to contribute to public life. Importantly, the Taskforce will not just provide advice. It will be able to fund initiatives and incentives( to $2.45 million) which may achieve or demonstrate how to accomplish government 2.0 objectives."
The Taskforce of 15 policy and technical experts and entrepreneurs from government, business, academia, and cultural institutions will be chaired by Nicholas Gruen (I'm a fan of his writings for example this in May last year) and includes Google and Microsoft execs and the respected Queensland Freedom of Information review chair, David Solomon.

There are other tie-ins with FOI Reform, particularly with the proposed pro-active publication commitment, which to my mind is too non-specific at this stage: the Taskforce is to also identify policies and frameworks to assist the Information Commissioner and other agencies in:
  • developing and managing a whole of government information publication scheme to encourage greater disclosure of public sector information;
  • extending opportunities for the reuse of government information, and considering the terms of that use, to maximise the beneficial flow of that information and facilitate productive applications of government information to the greatest possible extent;
  • encouraging effective online innovation, consultation and engagement by government, including by drawing on the lessons of the Government’s online consultation trials and any initiatives undertaken by the Taskforce.
It's going to be busy- a final report and the group disbands by the end of 2009. The Information Commissioner is supposed to start operations in January 2010 so the report should be in the intray-if and when that reform bill that creates the position gets into and through the Parliament.

No comments:

Post a Comment