Not quite getting on with Government 2.0

Government still considering Gov 2.0 Taskforce recommendations three months on

Those seeking to advance Government 2.0 in Australia will have to keep on waiting as the Government continues to consider the recommendations of the Government 2.0 Taskforce.

According to the director of the Agency Services Division at the Australian Government Information Management Office, Helen Thomsett, the government is still reviewing the 13 recommendations of the Government 2.0 Taskforce as outlined in its 22 December report, Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0.

“As the Government is now considering its response to the report we are unable to give more information,” Thomsett told Computerworld. “As soon as further information is available we will post it to our website.”

The report, commissioned by Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner, and Cabinet Secretary Senator, Joseph Ludwig, in June 2009, recommends that the Government commit to open government at the highest level and use technology to increase citizen engagement and collaboration in making policy and providing service will help achieve a more consultative, participatory and transparent government.

It also recommended that public sector information be classified as a national resource and that as much public sector information as possible should be released to maximise its economic and social value to Australians and reinforce its contribution to a healthy democracy.

In December the Taskforce released a draft version of the report for comment, which noted Federal Government agencies "must do better" to achieve the Government 2.0 goals and said agencies have not pursued "Government 2.0 in a co-ordinated way that reflects a whole of government position".

"The Taskforce recommends some important policy improvements that need to be made," the draft read. "However the greatest barrier to Government 2.0 is cultural. Leadership on the issue of more open disclosure and engagement is the key driver of cultural change."

The Government 2.0 Taskforce disbanded on December 22 2009 after delivering its report to the Australian Government, consistent with the terms of reference, Thomsett said.

In February Google said an immobile culture in government departments was preventing bureaucrats from accessing crucial Web 2.0 and cutting-edge disruptive technologies.

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