Glyn Moody reports on his blog Open:
The Australian government is emerging as one of the leaders in the sphere of open government. It has now published a draft report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce, entitled “Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0” (hmm, not quite sure about that phraseology). Here’s the central recommendation:
A Declaration of Open Government by the Australian Government
Accompanying the Government’s announcement of its policy response to this report, the Australian Government should make a Declaration on Open Government, stating that:
* Public sector information is a national resource and that releasing as much of it on as permissive terms as possible will maximise its economic, social value to Australians and reinforce its contribution to a healthy democracy;
* Using technology to increase collaboration in making policy and providing service will help achieve a more consultative, participatory and transparent government;
* Online engagement by public servants involving robust professional discussion, as part of their duties and/or as private citizens, benefits their agencies, their professional development, those with whom they are engaged and the Australian public. This engagement should be enabled and encouraged;
* The fulfilment of the above at all levels of government is integral to the Government’s objectives including public sector reform, innovation and utilising the national investment in broadband to achieve an informed, connected and democratic community.
What’s interesting is that in addition to this strong central declaration in favour of openness, the draft report is peppered throughout with references to “open source”; indeed, the whole thing is permeated by its spirit – which is probably why it is such an inspiring document. Let’s hope that other governments are indeed inspired by it, and come out with something similar themselves.