Lundy reinforces culture change for Gov 2.0

Strong political leadership required to change departmental culture in move for open communication, according to Labor Senator, Kate Lundy

Labor Senator, Kate Lundy, has reinforced the need for a cultural transformation within Federal Government departments as a requisite step in the move to Gov 2.0.

In answering questions in a live blog hosted by The Australian, Lundy asserted the need for strong political leadership to drive change at the individual department level as a way of "encouraging people to implement their new ideas and then supporting the scaling up of what works".

"It's pretty hard to say, well we tried something and it didn't work the way we thought it would," she said, "but it helps the culture if the Minister is prepared to say that we want to innovate and we accept that there will be some things that don't work."

Lundy said that focus should rely on the political and cultural, rather than technological, aspects of Gov 2.0 in order to convince wider government agencies and the public of its benefits.

"It's easy to slip into talking about the tech when we are really talking about a compelling new way to deliver services and engage with citizens," she said, adding that she thought it "will grow out of the Gov2.0 label and just become what we know as 'government' in the future".

Lundy said the use of a Creative Commons by attribution license on Government data such as the 2010-2011 Budget and Parliament House data was a "great first step", but hoped to see something along the lines of the UK Treasury's Combined Online Information System (COINS) as a way of making the data more open and accessible to the public.

In the discussion, Lundy revealed that, while departments were not being handed direct funding to initiate Gov 2.0 projects, some funding was available as part of the Business as Usual (BAU) reinvestment fund recommended in the Gershon report. It is believed that, while the money is indeed channelled through the BAU, it has not been allocated through any individual projects but rather as part of wider projects initiated by the Department of Finance and Deregulation and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Computerworld Australia has contacted the relevant departments for comment.

Lundy has traditionally been a major proponent of Gov 2.0, recently attending an international forum on the topic in Washington D.C., US, where she outlined Australian e-government policy and revealed that Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner, would soon make a declaration of open government.

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