Brumby treating us like mushrooms again
Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-04-03
Let’s hope (I’m dubious) that citizen interaction plans in Victoria don’t follow the normal Brumby approach of letting people have freedom to speak, but never listen to them.
A recent tender is showing a very different approach to the (Federal, and shock! horror! initiated under the Howard government) AGIMO approach to developing citizen services and citizen-centric government.
Rather than actually consult the public, and the expertise they have, and alert the public through decent mechanisms (like a consolidated RSS feed), they’ll just get a contractor who will probably consider all the wrong things.
The Citizen Access and Transformation Division of the Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development is seeking to engage a suitably qualified and experienced Contractor capable of developing and delivering a comprehensive, fully costed business case for an initiative to enhance the way Victorians engage with government through improved service models, enabled by integrated service channels and technology.
Yeah! That’ll probably do a lot of good, unless the winning tender proposes proper consultation with e-Government and e-Democracy experts, most of whom are independents rather than beholden to the cabal of consultants and industry who don’t want citizens to know what is going in and certainly don’t want them to influence decisions by upsetting their lobbying capabilities.
Personally, I think that looking after information, and making it discoverable by citizens is more important. Victorian agencies (and their contractors) were recently damned by the auditor on this very issue.
Without managing the information they have, how the hell can they provide it to citizens?
- "Networking Democracy" from OurKingdom.OpenDemocracy (2008-03-24) – ironically sent to me today in the Victorian EGovernment Newsletter
- "Government 2.0:
Wikinomics and the Challenge to Government" in NetworkedGovernment (a Canadian site)
Already, millions of people have joined forces in self-organized collaborations that have produced dynamic innovations in goods and services rivaling the world’s largest and best-financed enterprise networks. If masses of ordinary people can peer-produce an operating system (Linux), an encyclopedia (Wikipedia), the media (YouTube/Current TV), a mutual fund, and even a physical thing such as a motorcycle, one should carefully consider what might come next… Could societies “open source” government much the way thousands of dispersed Linux programmers converged on the internet to develop one of the world’s leading computer operating systems? …(more questions follow – ed)
Research conducted at the Toronto-based think tank New Paradigm suggests that the answer is “yes” to all of the above (see sidebar). Indeed, a confluence of technological, demographic, social and economic forces holds the promise and the inevitability of new models for delivering the functions of government – call it Government 2.0.
It’s time for governments to stop paving the cow paths – that is, focusing on automating existing processes and moving existing government services online.
The emerging “age of participation” presents an historic occasion to fundamentally redesign how government operates, how and what the public sector provides, and ultimately, how governments interact and engage with their citizens.
- UK Fifth Parliamentary Audit of Political Engagement (2008-03-27)
Audit 5 includes a special section on constitutional issues to discover how much the public know about how our constitutional arrangements operate, which areas they are satisfied with and which they think are ripe for reform.