The final report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce led by Nicholas Gruen. The use of the internet as a platform for collaboration is already transforming our economy and our lives.
Whole industries and sectors are being refashioned by this phenomenon of Web 2.0. Citizens are being empowered to express themselves, organise and collaborate in myriad new ways.
The tools of Web 2.0 include blogs, wikis and social networking platforms. These tools enable communities of interest to develop rapidly to find people with local knowledge or technical expertise to build understanding of issues and solve problems as they emerge. They enable communities to filter the torrent of information on the internet and identify the most useful parts of it. They enable us to find the most useful contributors in any given subject area, be they a world expert or someone possessing important local or ephemeral knowledge.
Web 2.0 also encompasses the way in which the internet has become a platform for the distribution of vast quantities of data and the way in which it has empowered people and organisations to transform data by ‘mashing it up’, combining it with other data so that it can become useful in new ways.
These new tools and the culture of open collaboration which distinguishes the culture of Web 2.0 present important new challenges and possibilities for government. This offers new opportunities to refresh and deepen the enduring principles and values of modern democratic government and improve the quality and responsiveness of government policy making and service delivery.
The taskforce’s Government 2.0 agenda
The taskforce came to define its agenda for Government 2.0 in terms of three pillars:
- Leadership, policy and governance to achieve necessary shifts in public sector culture and practice.
- The application of Web 2.0 collaborative tools and practices to the business of government.
- Open access to public sector information (PSI).
Government 2.0 presents challenges to some long held government practices and has the potential to change the relationship between government and its citizens.