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Monday, November 08, 2010

If you're reading this you're interested in Gov 2.0 but you're not from Customs.

Last week's Cebit Australia Gov 2.0 Conference in Canberra was the subject of these reports of proceedings and related interviews. In addition to lots of positive comments about how things are going, the possibilities for the future, and the constant refrain of the need for culture change, were these tidbits of particular interest (emphasis added):

IT news- amid all the talk about new tools, Customs says even accessing a site that looks like a blog is out:

"Mia Garlick, assistant secretary for digital economy branch DBCDE shared some cautionary tales on the path to open government thus far. Stressing she was not speaking for her Department but in a "personal and professional capacity"........ she discussed the recent case of Customs prohibiting staff from accessing Open because it was classified as a blog and posed a threat to Customs' border and protection network. "Firstly Open Australia is not a blog," Garlick said. "It is actually an amazing example of Gov 2.0 in this country. It takes Hansard - which is very clunky and it repackages it into a searchable and easy to access form and it allows you to sign on for email alerts whenever your issue is mentioned in Hansard records. "That seems to me to be a useful and essential tool to those that work in Government." Garlick also questioned how a blog could be classified as a security risk. "Is anyone here from Customs Service in this room?" she asked. "You probably don't know that there are other blogs out there. Some of those blogs for example are the Whitehouse, another is the Department of Finance, my Department has a blog. There are lots of people are now using blogs."

ARN interview with Minister Gray, reveals he's a busy man, and:

"I mentioned Reinecke’s report (on progress on IT reform) and that was commissioned quite a few months ago. It needs to be made public and the deliberations around it need to be publicly ventilated. My personal view is that that’s a more valuable contribution than me talking to a whole range of people I also have a fundamental view that when the Government produces a substantial piece of work with insights into how we do what we do you can only get value out of making them available to the public. That’s why Ian’s report will be released."

Government News: a reminder from the UK that Gov 2.0 is not just techo territory:

"Andrew Stott director for transparency and digital engagement in the UK Government’s Cabinet Office delivered the international keynote address. The so-called “twittercrat” said it was more important for governments to focus on openness and releasing data sets, rather than Web 2.0 tools. “It’s not an IT project,” Mr Stott said. “This is not a technocrat activity. This is about increasing the transparency of government.” Mr Stott stressed the importance of political backing for Government 2.0. “Leadership is not just something you need from your CIO,” he said. “It’s political leadership and leadership from the top of the organisation. “You’ve got to have consistent policy principles and use those to make tough decisions.”

 Computerworld: just who is doing what and why:

"According to IBRS advisor, Guy Cranswick, while it was positive that governments were opening up and communicating with the public, the motivation was not greater transparency of government. “It is all very well government doing this, but to a large degree they are really satisfying their own internal constituencies and stakeholders — other people and agencies around the world,” Cranswick said. “ “I am not that convinced that the general public is that involved in [Gov 2.0] and that it has been executed that well.”

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