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Monday, November 02, 2009

Mash-up could show lobbyists in new light

Techo types had a great time in Canberra over the weekend at GovHack an opportunity to mash-up information made available through Data.Gov. Bella Counihan in The Age gives a rundown, including on the winner and a couple of other new twists to government information:
"Lobby Clue turns the lobbyist register and the public tenders register into a visualisation or word cloud to link what clients were given government contracts. As it very coolly describes itself "it correlates data about Government contracts, business details and politician responsibilities to show the relationships between these items." But this could easily have large implications as it provides an easy to use data base for the general public as well as the media, to see where money is being spent, creating greater transparency about the underbelly of lobbying in Canberra...
Other ideas that came out included Know Where you Live, an application which allowed users to enter in their postcode to get all the information about their area, potentially also useful for understanding marginal electorates. It's Buggered Mate set up an easy way to report broken local amenities rather than waiting on a government hotline or filling out a million complaint forms. Rate My Loo helps people to not only find their nearest bathroom but for all the germophobes out there it provides peer reviewed information about their cleanliness. The last two applications have the added benefit of being able to collect data to be relayed back to government."
On a related topic, there is an interesting discussion underway on the Gov 2.0 Taskforce blog about how to free up the public service to participate in public discussion about what they do-all highly relevant to other jurisdictions faced with the culture change challenge.

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