The ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, has finally laid out the ACT Government's vision for open government.
It's about time. The ACT has been a tailender at the State and Territory level for quite some time in the open government space, with occasional sparks of excitement quickly fading back into embers.
However rather than an auspicious start focusing on the benefits of openness to citizens and the Territory, Gallagher's media release focuses on political benefit.
"The plans outlined in a Ministerial Statement to the Assembly today, are set to make the ACT Cabinet the most open in the nation"The most open cabinet in the nation... Not the most open government, or even the most effectively and sustainably open government.
I commend the step the ACT government is taking to establish an "open government website" - although a three month timeframe, if the website is starting now, leaves little room to build something meaningful or matching citizen expectations. I hope that the developers can pull off a miracle and develop something of substance, however I feel for them and the timeline they've been given.
I get worried at the announcement of a "commitment to hold a Virtual Community Cabinet on Twitter next month".
Twitter is not an effective mechanism for this type of endeavour. I would prefer to see a liveblog, supported by moderation, through a tool with strong archival and management mechanisms and on a more broadly used medium - such as CoverItLive.
And the step to "release a weekly report on key issues discussed and decisions taken by the Cabinet, starting in the first week in July" is a classic Gov 1.0 tactic transferred online.
The government could have been doing this type of informing at any time using other mediums - newsprint, radio or even television. Placing a transcript or list of topics and decisions online doesn't add much and certainly isn't in the spirit of Gov 2.0.
ACT has the highest concentration of Government 2.0 talent in Australia - with many Commonwealth agencies now launching and successfully managing these initiatives.
We should be the most advanced open government jurisdiction in Australia.
However this announcement by the Chief Minister doesn't support this view.