Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

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?

See Also:

  • "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.


5 Responses to “Brumby treating us like mushrooms again”

  1. Nigel said

    Brumby’s days are numbered, he is looking very much like a lone mushroom in a cowpad with regard police corruption in this state and i reckon he is running out of friends fast…my prediction for 2008 is that some stark revelations of judicial corruption will squeeze out like festy pimples from the OPI and pressure from the Police Association (although corrupt) are quite right about the villification of police at the expense of a Royal Commission….would’nt be too worried about Brumby…every mushroom has its day…and brumby aint no magic mushroom neither!

  2. Dave Bath said

    Yes, but look at the damage that will occur before the election, and the model of arrogance he sets for future governments!

  3. Nigel said

    Agreed he has and will do more damage but as Democracy at state and federal levels has reached the bottom of the poo pit, the damage that is occuring is just the price we pay when we stop marching, stop protesting, and show more concern for our investment plans than for future generations…i would’nt be too concerned, im sure it got tres messy in the last days of the Roman Empire, us plebs dont have much to lose…a swag, a donkey, we can ride off into the sunset while Melbourne burns…as for his arrogance is it not just a reflection of where the average Victorian is that 10s of 000s are not storming Spring Street to give him a piece of their mind…fear not…in a few years the name Brumby will be in the Macquarie dictionary as “Low form of life, corrupted, self serving, arrogant, ignorant,….typical use: He seemed like a nice person but he turned out to be such a brumby…origins/ALP premier of Victoria 2007/08…da da..”

  4. Balneus said

    […] 2020 Gabfest submission, topic 9: Australian Governance refers to […]

  5. […] "Brumby treating us like mushrooms again" (2008-04-03) covers similar initiatives in Victoria, going straight to tender without review, almost immediately after I highlighted the incapacity to do it right in "Victorian government recordkeeping slammed by auditor" (2008-03-21).  […]

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