The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research has become the second Federal Government agency to take Government 2.0 to the masses with its Public Sector Innovation blog.
The red-and-pink-bedecked blog uses the same, WordPress-based Govspace hosting service as the AGIMO blog, which is authored by members of the Department of Finance and Deregulation's Australian Government Information Office (AGIMO).
At time of launch, the blog had six posts, largely linking to public sector collaboration exercises and tools, and basic introductory comments. The blog is yet to incite discussion from the public but, as with the AGIMO blog, has already piqued interest from members of other government agencies and public service employees.
According to an introductory post by the Department's deputy secretary, Patricia Kelly, the blog was created as a form of public transparency, as well as a showcase of public sector innovation and a discussion forum for ideas and thoughts around existing and possible innovation measures.
The Innovation blog is part of the Australian Government's wider measures to be more transparent as the result of a final report form the Government 2.0 Taskforce, as well as the Empowering Change: Fostering Innovation in the Australia Public Service, which included the use of Web 2.0 "tools and approaches" as one of twelve possible measures to foster innovation within the public service.
AGIMO's agency services division manager, John Sheridan, called the first Federal Government public consultation blog a success, particularly in its use to release a public tender for the department's Telecommunications Operational Management Services (TOMS) panel.
“What we wanted to do was get discussion, or crowd-sourcing points around the things that were in the draft RFT and how we could improve it,” Sheridan told Computerworld Australia. "There is an element of exploring how we do this and see how it goes, but what we have learnt is that if we focus on the Statement of Requirements we think we will get more comments directly around the matters we are most interested in."