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 agimo.govspace.gov.au.

Accessibility Contest Announcement

2009 December 18
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by Lisa Harvey

One of the projects the taskforce ran was a competition to assess the accessibility of government websites. The project was conducted by Media Access Australia and was run in two stages. The first was a brainstorming site to find those sites that could best do with a makeover. Then MAA listed the top sites on their AWARe.org.au site to tap into the expertise of an established community of people who assess site performance against criteria to provide a comparable score for the level of accessibility of each site.

The brainstorming process highlighted 3 sites:

MAA also added the Government 2.0 Taskforce Blog and the Social Inclusion site to the list.

From MAA’s results, the National Library site fares the best. But this is a strange competition where those with the worst score win.  MAA concluded:

“The Government 2.0 Taskforce competition and the AWARe project have been successful in identifying key access issues with five government websites.  The National Library website appears to be generally accessible and the Prime Ministers Media Gallery needs some significant improvements.

The three other sites, the Parliament of Australia Live Broadcasting site, the Government 2.0 Taskforce website and the Social Inclusion website, are inaccessible to the point where a new website should be considered rather than addressing the access issues. Given the significance of the Social Inclusion website to people with disabilities, the government should consider creating a replacement for this website immediately. ”

It is now up to the agencies to take on the advice of MAA and improve the accessibility of their sites as set out in the attached report.

And the Mashie Goes To…[drum roll]

2009 December 14

Mashie

It gives us great pleasure to announce that the winners of the MashupAustralia contest have now been announced.

In case you have missed it, here is some background about the contest – from launch and initial response to a final wrap-up.

We’ve also tried to follow the conversation that you have been having elsewhere about the contest. Most recently, we came across this interesting four part discussion on the All Things Spatial blog about some of the contest entries (see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

All that remains is to know who will go home with the coveted Mashie (see image (yes, the trophy is a potato masher)) and, of course, the prize money. Our esteemed judging panel have deliberated and considered all of the entries against the rules. As we indicated might happen, more than one prize per category has been awarded because there were so many high quality entries.

For Excellence in Mashing, the Mashies go to: read more…

Blegging the power of the bleg

2009 December 13
by Nicholas Gruen

I was just reading the bleg – relatively successful it seems – of Michael Neilsen seeking information on the fascinating phenomenon of some of Intel’s chips which were designed without any single person knowing the whole story about how they were designed.  Sounds a bit like government.  Anyway, it struck me that if people out there have any examples of particularly successful blegs which have turned up needles in haystacks which have turned out to be very helpful to whomever has blegged – preferably in a government context but neither bleggers nor beggers can be choosers – can they please come forward with examples in comments documented with links.

Also we’re trying to come up with a nice diagram to encapsulate our message which is summed up in the para below.  Haven’t read it?  No – that’s because since we’ve stepped back and had a look at our Draft Report we’ve seen that this seems to be our core message – from the current draft of the final (no promises it will appear in precisely this form). (And we’ve taken note that a blood feud will ensue if we remove the Google Group’s excellent definition of Govt 2.0 and it seems to be staying in – so far anyway). So here is the quote and the diagram. Please sing out if you can improve the diagram.

Government 2.0 involves a public policy shift to create a culture of openness and transparency, where government is willing to engage with and listen to its citizens; and to make available the vast national resource of non-sensitive public sector information. Government 2.0 empowers citizens and public servants alike to directly collaborate in their own governance by harnessing the opportunities presented by technology.
The three pillars of Government 2.0 are:

  • The application of Web 2.0 collaborative tools and practices to the processes of government
  • Open access to public sector information (PSI)
  • Leadership, policy and governance to achieve the necessary shifts in public sector culture and practice

Government 2.0 will subtly change the relationship between government and its citizens.

Engagement Three Pillars

The column of the draft report

2009 December 9
by Nicholas Gruen

Here’s yesterday’s column in the Financial Review coinciding with the release of our Draft Report. The Fin’s headline was “Web and open government a way to a better world” I couldn’t have put it better myself.

The expression Web 2.0 connotes the internet as a platform for collaboration of all kinds. It also connotes openness. Open standards permit interoperability allowing people to build on each others’ work. This makes the net the world’s first truly serendipitous network. It regularly bombards us with wonderful surprises – like blogs, Wikpedia, Flikr and Facebook. The potential of Web 2.0 to transform the ‘open government’ agenda – now itself identified by the term ‘Government 2.0’ – has been evident for some time. Obama made open government a centrepiece of his administration.

Australian government agencies have produced some wonderful Government 2.0 initiatives. But in the draft report we’ve just released, the Government 2.0 Taskforce found that Australia had yet to give the Government 2.0 co-ordinated, whole of government attention as the US, UK and New Zealand governments have done. And public agencies continue to act like owners rather than custodians of public data and information. Thus, although the Australian Government went to great lengths to get the word out about its last Budget, its inside asserts that “no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission”. read more…

Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0: Draft report for comment

2009 December 7
by Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat]

Here is the draft Government 2.0 Taskforce report Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0. The Taskforce is seeking your comments and input before finalising the report to go to Government.

Please understand that this is a draft and there will be some proofing issues which we are still working on.  Your comments are welcome on those, but we are working on them as you read this – of most value are your comments on the substance of the draft report.

We are providing it to you in a range of formats below.  The prime document which we’ve been working from is the Word document. We have also converted it into HTML (both here on the blog and on CommentPress) and PDF. You may notice formatting differences between the different versions. You can leave a comment on the HTML version below; on our Consultation page using CommentPress; or you can send us an email.

Your comments will help inform and improve the final report. We cannot promise to consider comments received after 5PM Wednesday 16th December 2009.

Draft Report – out on Monday

2009 December 5
by Nicholas Gruen

Hi all,

The draft report will be released this Monday and we will be welcoming comments until at least Wed 17th December.

Online Engagement Review

2009 November 30
by Darren Sharp

Darren Sharp works for Collabforge, who have been commissioned to undertake a review of the Government 2.0 Taskforce’s online engagement activities.

The Taskforce has attracted significant public participation during its operation and will attract equal interest in terms of the legacy it leaves behind, both in terms of its engagement methods and approach to community management. The Online Engagement Review will provide an independent assessment of the Taskforce’s activities and the input of the community to date. This review will also propose and explore various options that build on the unique knowledge, networks and resources generated by the community via the Taskforce’s online engagement spaces. read more…

Structured Brainstorming Competition: Congratulations to all our winners!

2009 November 19
by Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat]

The Structured Brainstorming competition we ran through our IdeaScale page was a great experiment in reaching out to the crowd and seeing what ideas they (you!) had to contribute to the work of the Taskforce.  There were some intriguing ideas put forward, including suggestions for new Government projects and services that have provided us with some food for thought. Today I’m happy to announce the winners of the first two prize categories on offer (with the Not for Profit PSI and Web 2.0 Accessibility Makeover category winners on track to be announced in early December).

To refresh your memory, the first round of the contest had two categories with prizes attached. The Brainstorming category was aimed at project ideas that the Taskforce could fund in line with its terms of reference. Meanwhile, in the Gov 2.0 Innovators category we were looking for nominations for agencies, projects or individuals who have done valuable work and have been champions for the Gov 2.0 cause. When judging both of these categories the Taskforce took into account both your voting and the quality of the ideas themselves. read more…

Australia, You Have Been Mashed

2009 November 18
OpenAustralia Hackfest, Halans CC BY-NC-SA

OpenAustralia Hackfest, Halans CC BY-NC-SA

Last Friday November 13, 2009 saw the close of the entry period for our Mashup Australia contest. While our esteemed judging panel is now hard at work assessing the entries, it’s timely to pause and consider how it has gone so far….in word: wow!! The response has been fantastic.

As you may recall, the contest was designed to provide a practical demonstration of the benefits that open access to public sector information can provide. We asked you – the community – to help us with this. We released some datasets on terms and in formats that enable reuse and asked you to help us show the benefit that can result. And show us you did.

We have had 81 entries — a huge result that positions this contest on par with similar contests held in other jurisdictions (or possibly even with greater impact if you pro rata entries per head of the population ☺). The entries are diverse in their focus – from Australia’s world heritage listed areas, to a Darwin bus map, to “Know Where You Live” (a visualization of Australian Government data based on your geographic location with accompanying images relevant photo).

Without doubt, considerable momentum for the contest was generated by the hackfests that were organized to get people together, sharing skills and ideas and building things. One of these – GovHack (see this report back) – was supported by the Taskforce but four others – the GoogleHackNights #1 and #2, the Melhack and the OpenAustralia Google Hackfest (see this report back) – were self-organised. All of them were huge successes.

All in all, I think its fair to say that you have definitely helped us demonstrate the innovative potential that can be unlocked when government information itself is unlocked, both via the hackfests but also via the blog posts explaining how you created your mashups (see e.g. “Building mashups for the society (Mashup Australia”) and “In Their Honour – Mapping Anzac Graves”). You have also helped us better understand how government data can be improved with your feedback about your experiences in trying to use the data (thanks, for example, to pamelafox and Jo Decker).

A big thank you to all of those involved in organizing the hackfests, to those who participated in the events and everyone who submitted entries or provided comments and feedback.

Don’t forget, we are keeping public voting open until 4pm this Friday November 20th and don’t worry geo2gov, we’re on those attempts at vote rigging.

Stay tuned to find out who the Mashies go to…..

Video Killed the …. ?

2009 November 18
by Jimi Bostock and Silvia Pfeiffer

Jimi Bostock and Silvia Pfeiffer have been commissioned by the Taskforce to undertake a scoping study into the feasibility of a whole-of-government online video service.

So, yes, please shout out with any thoughts, let’s get this right. What have you seen has worked for your agency or similar organisations – what hasn’t worked? Any expectations that you have toward a video.gov.au site?

While not belittling what governments have achieved, the steps into the video world have been tentative. We must remind ourselves that many of the steps we take today that we think are big steps will be seen in the future as almost trivial. Such is life in the digital revolution. read more…