AGIMO releases Government 2.0 Primer

Offers advice to gov agencies on using blogs, social networking

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has unveiled a Government 2.0 primer document aimed at getting federal and state agencies up to speed on collaboration and Web 2.0 tools.

Assistant secretary of the online services branch, Peter Alexander, said in a statement that the primer -- first flagged in November -- also describes common scenarios when agencies can use Government 2.0 approaches and an overview of interactive online tools such as blogs and wikis.

“[the primer] is about putting the policy ideas and principles into action and providing examples of where and how agencies can engage with the public,” Alexander said, detailing for a Gov 2.0 primer within government agencies.

According to the primer, Web 2.0 tools had opened up the potential for low cost and wide scale online consultation.

"Web 2.0 as a channel for government to consult on policy development presents a new opportunity where consultations can be supplemented ,although not replaced, by online engagement and participation,” the primer reads.

The primer also outlines why agencies should consider engaging online, which audience they are targeting and what they want to achieve.

“The answers to these questions should then inform which online tools and approaches are chosen to engage internally within an organisation or externally with the public," the document reads.

The primer advocates the use of social networking sites such as Twitter to build an audience, publishing blogs and using RSS feeds as means achieve greater transparency.

“While not strictly a Government 2.0 activity, monitoring subjects related to the work of an agency is an important part of engaging online," the primer reads. "In many cases, social media monitoring is an extension of traditional media monitoring, which many agencies already do.”

The primer is expected to help address issues of cultural change which have to date affected the speed at which Gov 2.0 has been adopted within the wider public sector.

In November, Gartner argued that the Australian government had missed the Gov 2.0 boat and should permit employee use of social media sites to increase its Web 2.0 reach.

Also in November AGIMO conceded that cultural change remained the biggest barrier to its widespread adoption of Gov 2.0.

The primer document can be downloaded from the AGIMOblog.

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