The United States Air Force and Labor senator, Kate Lundy, have become inspirations for the South Australian Government’s burgeoning Gov 2.0 initiatives, according to government CIO, Andrew Mills.
Though the state hasn’t been as proactive in its public consultation efforts, Mills told Computerworld Australia the government was learning as much as possible from other attempts both locally and internationally in order to ensure long-term success.
“I’ve watched what’s going on around the place and I think the disappointment is they’ve kind of had the competition but nothing’s going on afterwards; they seem to be a ‘one-shot’,” he said of the Gov 2.0 mash-up competitions run by NSW and Victorian state governments, as well as the Federal Government. “A lot of prototypes were made but very few of them got into the production space.
“What we’re trying to think through - and it’s probably 2011 issue for us - how we achieve the outcome that’s a bit more sustainable than we’ve seen from the current generation."
Mills, who dislikes using “hackfest” and “mash-up” as descriptions of development of government statistics in third-party applications, pointed to social media use as part of public consultation for the state government’s strategic forward plans and said the Office of the Chief Information Officer continued work with government communications to determine the best course for any Gov 2.0 initiative.
The government has also launched an internal, whole-of-government wiki to encourage collaboration across agencies, which Mills said was beginning to see some engagement from public servants within the government’s network.
The government’s Gov 2.0 approach is likely to focus on three prongs of engagement with the community, industry partners and internal staff, coordinated by both his office and the State Department of Premier and Cabinet. However, it is yet to make a formal and public commitment to the philosophy of public consultation and Mills conceded that current efforts were a matter of “dipper our toe in the water”.
“We keep learning: I consider plagiarism the highest form of compliment,” he said.
“In a sense, that’s a continuous process for us. You look at what works and what doesn’t work. The interesting thing about it is there’s so much to do in this space, that none of us doing all of it. Everybody is tending to take a slightly different path so while you might be leading on one thing, there are certainly other people leading on others and you can learn from them.”
Key inspirations for the department have included the Victorian Department of Justice’s use of iPhone applications and Senator Lundy’s Public Sphere, a 14-week public consultation model split into three portions for completion of key Gov 2.0 projects.
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