A contribution to accountability and transparency in Government, the Gov 2.0 project examines the potential of online access and social media on government accessibility.
‘Engage’ distills in one word the key theme of Government 2.0:
- Public agencies and public servants should engage more using the tools and capabilities of ‘collaborative web’ or Web 2.0. Forming or joining existing online communities of interest around issues of relevance to government policy, service delivery and regulation will help public agencies and their officers become more informed, responsive, innovative and citizen-centric.
- Once public sector information is liberated as a key national asset, possibilities — foreseeable and otherwise — are unlocked through the invention, creativity and hard work of citizens, business and community organisations. Open public sector information is thus an invitation to the public to engage, innovate and create new public value.
- To seize the opportunities of Government 2.0, the existing public service culture of hierarchical control and direction must change sufficiently to encourage and reward engagement. Yet it must at the same time, stay true to enduring public service values of impartiality, propriety and professionalism.
Central recommendation: A declaration of open government by the Australian Government
Accompanying the Government’s announcement of its policy response to this report, a declaration of open government should be made at the highest level, stating that:
- using technology to increase citizen engagement and collaboration in making policy and providing service will help achieve a more consultative, participatory and transparent government
- public sector information is a national resource and that releasing as much of it on as permissive terms as possible will maximise its economic and social value to Australians and reinforce its contribution to a healthy democracy
- online engagement by public servants, involving robust professional discussion as part of their duties or as private citizens, benefits their agencies, their professional development, those with whom they are engaged and the Australian public. This engagement should be enabled and encouraged.
The fulfilment of the above at all levels of government is integral to the Government’s objectives including public sector reform, innovation and using the national investment in broadband to achieve an informed, connected and democratic community.