Senator Kate Lundy emphasizes citizen-centric services and location in open government

If you follow the story of Gov 2.0 in Australia, you’ll have come across Senator Kate Lundy. Today, she published a new post making the case that citizen-centric services are a necessary principle for achieving open government:

Australia is facing some big challenges. We have citizens here and around the world now more connected than ever. Using social networks and open govenment strategies to help government to access the ideas and inputs of citizens, the “wisdom of the crowd” will helo governments make better informed decisions and deliver better targetted programs.

We will only achieve true citizen-centric services if collaboration between agencies and departments is the reality. I am firmly of the view that open data strategies are a necessary pre-requisite to achieving a seamless and simple online interaction for citizens with government.

The post is rich with hyperlinks to examples of the points she’s making and is well worth reviewing. This isn’t the first time that Senator Lundy has described “citizen-centric services, democratising data and participatory government” as the three pillars of open government. She spoke about them at the Gov 2.0 Expo in Washington:

For more, below is an interview from last year on open government in Australia:

“Participation partition” the newest facet of the digital divide, warns Gruen

Disparities in access to the Internet have been persistent since the scratchy sounds of a modem were first heard in offices, basements and schools. In recent years, the digital divide has grown to encompass smartphones usage, differentiation of broadband Internet and open data’s role in empowering the empowered.

Dr. Nicholas Gruen, CEO of Lateral Economics and the former chair of the Government 2.0 Taskforce in Australia, warned the audience at the Smart Government 2010 conference in Melbourne of a new dimension to the digital divide: a “participation partition” that favors citizens who are more active engaging in online discourse.

“The world is leaning towards favouring those who participate,” said Gruen. “They have more fun and more influence. If you participate more in your local school and local democracy, you’re going to have more say and more power. I see these things as very healthy, but there isn’t an equality of outcomes for everyone.”

As Rob O’Brien reported in Government News, Australia’s Gov 2.0 Taskforce pushed government entities to participate more online themselves, including encouraging public sector officials and workers to use with social media tools.

“We’ve now got 20 government blogs, that’s a great start. What we don’t have is people participating on blogs,” Mr Gruen said. “I’m not suggesting they should be making controversial comments, but just be a member of a group of people talking about policy issues.”

Redefining Public/Private Partnerships

Dr. Gruen was a featured speaker at the Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington, where he explored public goods in the context of open government and digital citizenship. His talk is embedded below:

For more on what’s been happening in technology and government in Australia, see my report on Gov 2.0 Down Under: Australia and Open Government.