Monday, June 22, 2009

Australian government announces government 2.0 taskforce headed by Dr Nicholas Gruen

At the Government 2.0 Public Sphere Camp, Ministers Tanner and Ludwig have announced the creation of a Government 2.0 Taskforce.

Chaired by Dr Nicholas Gruen, the Taskforce is made up of fifteen policy and technical experts and entrepreneurs from government, business, academia, and cultural institutions.

The taskforce has two main streams,
  • to increase the openness of government through making public sector information more widely available to promote transparency, innovation and value adding to government information.
  • encouraging online engagement with the aim of drawing in the information, knowledge, perspectives, resources and even, where possible, the active collaboration of anyone wishing to contribute to public life.
It will both provide advice and be able to fund initiatives, and has already launched a competition to design a logo and banner for the Taskforce.

More information is at the Taskforce's website,

During the announcement, Minister Tanner said that while today people are still largely passive consumers of online information this is changing. Web 2.0 has changed the internet from a platform for communication to be a platform for collaboration.

Through online tools like blogs and wikis government can keep citizens appraised and be involved with what government is doing.

The Taskforce will advise the government on how to develop a pro-disclosure and innovative culture.

Minister Ludwig spoke about changing the Freedom of Information approach in Australia from being request-based to being pro-disclosure.

He also commented that making vast amounts of data available is not the endpoint, data must be appropriately formatted to allow it to be effectively used.

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