This site was developed to support the Government 2.0 Taskforce, which operated from June to December 2009. The Government responded to the Government 2.0 Taskforce's report on 3 May 2010. As such, comments are now closed but you are encouraged to continue the conversation at

From draft to final report

2009 December 20
by Nicholas Gruen

Well we put the finishing touches to the final report on Friday and it’s been working its way through the proofing and designing stage.

We will be ready to provide the finished report to Ministers Tanner and Ludwig on Tuesday, 22 December 2009.

We have tightened the structure as described below. This makes the argument flow better and reduces repetition. We’ve got quite a bit more content in using about the same number of pages. We propose three pillars – a trinity if you’re feeling at all theological at this time of year which are the foundations of getting to Government 2.0:

1. Leadership,

2. Engagement and

3. Open access to public sector information.

Here’s the final report structure:

Executive Summary

The co-existence of an executive summary and a prologue was always a bit odd and so there’s a new executive summary.  It includes some material from the prologue (other prologue material has mainly disappeared. It’s a short and snappy seven pages. I vacillate between thinking it needs to spell out our argument more and making it short and assertive. They like the latter more in public service land, so that’s how it is.


The old executive summary was the recommendations summarised reported against the terms of the terms of reference. The new structure allows us the more usual course which is to provide a complete list of recommendations after the executive summary.  There’s a concordance of terms of the terms of reference and recommendations in the appendices.

There are a few small changes of drafting to improve expression, strengthen meaning, or respond to points from comments and submissions on the draft report.

1 What is Government 2.0?

This chapter is a little more focussed than it was in the draft report.

2 How Does Australia Compare Internationally?

More comprehensive chapter than draft report version and includes the chapter in the draft report “The Australian policy context”.

3 The Foundations of Government 2.0

This is a new chapter which summarises those arguments about the challenges of introducing Government 2.0 which were scattered mainly in chapters 6 and 7 in the old draft – though there are a few that were also in the corresponding earlier chapters 3 and 4.

4 Promoting Online Engagement

Bringing together and condensing the factual material in chapters 3 and 7 in the draft.

5 Managing Public Sector Information (PSI) as a National Resource

Bringing together and condensing the factual material in chapters 4 and 8 in the draft.

6 Open Government Enablers

Previous chapter 9: accessibility, security, privacy and confidentiality; information / records management; info-philanthropy; and.

7 Innovation and the Taskforce Experience

This new chapter explores our own attempts to model Government 2.0, and tries to offer a candid assessment of our successes and failures.

5 Responses
  1. 2009 December 21

    LEO will stick in everyone’s mind. Chapter 7 – Successes and failures. Are the learnings that comes from these going to be outlined?

  2. 2009 December 21
    Nicholas Gruen permalink

    LEO, Hadn’t noticed it!

    Failures always come with learnings – shouldn’t have made them. Others should avoid them.

    Successes are not so different. Should have made them – so should others.

    But seriously, the report itself and what we recommend is our attempt to demonstrate what we’ve learned, the successes and failures are, when candidly set out, pretty much self-diagnostic (new word – what do you think?). Sorry for my levity, but we’re presenting our final report to ministers.

    I get my life back :D

    • 2009 December 22

      Could not agree more on the self-diagnostic slants. That is very much how things should be as it empowers the readers.

      The levity is more than welcome. In fact, I just had a look to see if I could find some Gov 2.0 humour. Seems to be a bit of a void. Same with Web 2.0. The only thing that came up there was a good song. Cant see the humour, but the sentiment of the song is quite nice.

      Congrats on getting your life back!

  3. 2010 April 10
    Madeleine Kingston permalink

    Hi Nicholas (that is Nicholas Gruen, Chair Gov2 Taskforce)

    The effects of “consultation exhaustion syndrome” have left me less than focused and easily distracted.

    I blame my distraction mostly on discovering the Gov2 website, y chance.

    I have made numerous postings since I discovered the SBR and Gov2 websites 10 days ago. Why? I support the goal and philosophies of Gov2, despite admitting that I have had insufficient change to catch up with the reading required, since I am a latecomer to the Gov2 online dialogue.

    As you are aware I am a novice blogger with limited technical skills but high motivation levels and a genuine desire to engage with government as a citizen stakeholder with no organizational affiliations. I am verbose, annoying and persistent.

    During the past four years I have been unsuccessful in engaging with Government through more traditional.

    My commitment to seeking constitutional, attitudinal and practical changes not only to citizen engagement with government, a central goal of Gov2’s mission, but to real-life changes to the way that elected governments and approaches by other bodies with a public role operate remains unabated.

    However, I am exhausted through futile attempts to engage with Government bodies, incorporated bodies fulfilling a public role; and even with funded community agencies and organizations purporting to represent consumer interests, but hampered by numerous impediments including inadequate resourcing and funding, skilling shortcomings; possibly political influence and lack or appropriate governance and direction.

    I have written tirelessly within the constraints of my personality skills and time availability to multiple agencies, organizations, howsoever incorporated in terms of legal identity; to Ministers State and Federal without at least adequate responses to genuine and ongoing concerns.

    I do not have the time to identify the extent of my frustrations and disillusionment right now. But I would like Gov2 to keep channels of communication open long enough for me to publish my personal story.

    At the very least, I would like some leeway as I am a novice online blogger but certainly no stranger to involvement in the public policy debate in other contexts, including numerous extensive written submissions and appearances now and then at public hearings, meetings and workshops associated with proposed public policy reform.

    Please give me time to publish my cautionary tale as a personal story of disillusionment which has not so far, thankfully significantly impacted on my motivation as a private citizen to seek at least adequate engagement with Government and other unelected bodies fulfilling a public role, many believing themselves to be unaccountable accept to their own Boards of Management and under Corporations Law.

    Neither generational, technical nor skill gaps have hampered my determination to become involved or heard.

    I would like an opportunity to publish my story through Gov 2, of if the opportunity through this facility disappears before than, wherever else is recommended that will maximize exposure since I may well be reaching the end of the road with more traditional methods of trying to engage with Government, quasi-government and the like.

    For now accept my assurance of commitment and interest in seeing a more acceptable form of democracy that is citizen-focused.

    I feel somewhat guilty about the amount of time I have spent blogging in this way rather than completing pending formal submissions to various government consultations withy overlapping deadlines.

    Perhaps that guilt is misplaced since the likelihood of anything I say, however well structured or informed, however short of long is most unlikely to be taken into account. What an indictment!

    Still I must go through some of the required motions. I am about to take a much deserved break between late April and late May and therefore what I don’t get achieved will just have to wait or not be tackled at all. I am unfunded, unsupported and unconnected with any formal organization and indeed have been entirely unsuccessful in engaging with funded consumer organizations or industry-specific complaints schemes in the capacity as an independent third-party representative.

    My story is possibly something that the Government can learn from so I would like to publish this as soon as my current commitments permit

    My story of unsuccessful citizen engagement will be published on Gov2, but my first concern is to try to get something, however inadequate, to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics by 16 March.

    And time to provide something, however inadequate to the AER’s current revised access proposal by an vertically integrated gas and electricity distributor effectively using water meters as substitute gas or electricity meters in what is mistakenly considered to be “embedded energy provision under energy and generic laws.” These distortions of consumer rights are apparently facilitated by flawed energy policy in conflict with

    I am exhausted by my sustained efforts over 4 years to communicate with government, and with public entities, howsoever structured under Corporation Law (includes regulators (eg ESC Victoria), incorporated policy-makers regulators and rule-makers, e.g. ESC Vic, AEMC )

    • with consumer groups, publicly or privately funded

    • with Ministers (MCE; others; focus energy and generic laws, State and Federal);

    • with funded consumer organizations, howsoever structured as separate legal identities claiming to be “independent” yet set up under statutory enactments and mostly wholly funded by statutory authorities (e.g. CUAC, CALC; others).

    Exhaustion and motivation are not synonymous and after a short break during late April and May my efforts will be renewed.

    Meanwhile please await my personal story of the kinds of blocks I have encountered in endeavouring to achieve at least adequate citizen engagement through traditional consultative processes.

    Mine is a moral story of citizen courage and persistence, discouragement by inertia and inaction; active discouragement; discourtesy including during public workshops; defensiveness; Ministerial disinterest; political agendas; diminution of the role of citizen participation. Gov2 is apparently the only7 hope I have of being heard.

    My published studies and analysis are real and pertinent. I will persist against the odds. I will stand up to be counted. I can provide substantiating evidence.

    Please don’t take away the one hope that citizens have -online, real-time dialogue with elected Governments and their associated incorporated bodies and not-for-profit organizations.

    My priorities are to respond to certain pressing formal consultative deadlines, including the Senate Committee’s examination of the TPA Amendment (ACL) Amendment (No. 2) Bill; the AEMC’s Rule Change

    Consultation Paper National Electricity Amendment (Provision of Metering Data Services and Clarification of Existing Metrology Requirements Rule 2009).
    - for which a Draft Determination by the AEMC will be published on 22 April

    See AER/ACCC Gas Access Arrangements Appendix 12.2 Standalone and avoidable costs.

    Refer to the Revised Access Arrangements proposed by Jemena Gas Networks (NSW) Ltd Initial Response to Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) Draft Decision for the period 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2015, Appendix 3b.9-Metering forecast capital expenditure—19 March 2010 Clause 1.8 and 1.8.1 pages 5 and 6 of 17 pages
    See Climate Change policies, smart meters, smart grids, dilution of consumer rights; compromised consumer policy – the list is endless.

    Conflicts of interests, governance, skilling and resourcing problems and other bottle-neck problems may be hampering a well-functioning economy, a term that includes consumer well-being and confidence.

    Give me time and opportunity and I will deliver.

    Await more details of my story. Give me a change to publish links, bibliography, detail, substance, substantiation, repetition – what can I do? How can I engage? Tell me how; skill me; and I will try to deliver.

    I place no restrictions on the dissemination of these teaser comments. How much more is expected of a concerned citizen? How can I best engage?

    Feel free to tag and highlight as appropriate. Is anyone listening?

    Wait for more.



    Discouraged and Exhausted Individual Stakeholder

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