Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Support my ePetition for a better Australian ePetition site

Openness in government is supported by low barriers to engagement between citizens, agencies and politicians.

For example, making the House of Members' Register of Interests available publicly is great - but not THAT great if it is only available for viewing in hardcopy in one location in Canberra between the hours of 9-5pm (which used to be the case).

Recently the Australian Government launched its ePetitions site, designed to make it easier for citizens to petition government on specific issues or goals.

You probably didn't see any media headlines about it, or even government announcements - nor is the site easy to find via search or within the Parliament House's website.

If you do find it - the approach is uninspired and basic. I reviewed it compared to three other ePetitions sites internationally, and it just didn't stack up on usability, accessibility, attractiveness or tone. Read my comparison here.

There's ePetition platforms available that are far more developed and inviting, and there's lessons from international ePetition sites that clearly weren't learnt.

The cost to us, to Australia, is that people won't engage with Parliament and the Government in the ways they could, reducing the openness and effectiveness of the process.

So... I created an ePetition to Parliament. It ask them to mandate the Department to work with the broader community to implement a true Web 2.0 ePetitions platform.

This platform should be equivalent to the best of breed internationally and embed best practice design principles (such as from the Digital Transformation Office).

Slightly to my surprise, they've published my ePetition, though without actually telling me - another issue with the Aussie process.

Therefore I'd appreciate if you could sign my ePetition at:

And then please share this ePetition with your networks.

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