Australian government moves a step closer to e-government

The federal government has moved a step closer to its aim of using web technology to promote transparent administration, but the Coalition has labelled the effort as just “blah, bureaucracy and boffin-speak”.Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig yesterday announced that the government had accepted most of the findings of its Government 2.0 taskforce. see:
Response to the Government 2.0 Report by Lindsay Tanner
Today I am pleased to announce the next step in the Rudd Government’s agenda to utilise Web 2.0 technologies to deliver better services to, and facilitate greater engagement with, Australians by releasing our response to the Government 2.0 Taskforce report.The Taskforce’s report recommended changes to a range of areas, including co-ordinated leadership, guidance, support and recognition for agencies and public servants engaging online, and the important considerations of accessibility and security.In forming their report, the Taskforce undertook extensive work in consulting online and in person; considering submissions from individuals and organisations; and eventually delivering a thorough and informative report. For this, I would once again like to thank the Taskforce’s Chair Dr Nicholas Gruen, the Taskforce members and all those who contributed for their efforts.The Government’s response to this report, which Senator Ludwig and I released today, shows twelve of the report’s 13 recommendations were generally agreed to. We have deferred our response to one recommendation about tax deductibility for information philanthropy until it can be considered in the context of the review of Australia’s Future Tax System and the research report on the Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector.The Taskforce’s central recommendation was that the Australian Government make a declaration of open government. The Rudd Government has accepted this recommendation and we expect to make such a declaration in the coming months.Whilst today is the completion of one phase, it is also very much the beginning of a new one. The task now is to implement these changes, beginning with assisting agencies to make the most of the opportunities offered by Web 2.0.This blog is one of the first examples of what is possible, providing a forum for issues surrounding Government use of ICT. There is no doubt that the Australian Government will increasingly be looking for ICT solutions to 21st century challenges. There is also no doubt that not all of those solutions are going to come from inside government. That is what Gov 2.0 is all about, sharing information and engaging with citizens to determine better ways of doing things.I will be closely monitoring the progress of our Gov 2.0 agenda across the rest of the Government and expect my department and its people to drive these reforms and hope that you will continue making contributions to this process via this blog.The internet and collaborative technologies offer significant scope for the Government to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery, public administration and community engagement. I look forward to realising those improvements through our Gov 2.0 agenda.

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