The Government 2.0 Taskforce invited me to a round table meeting at 1pm today. The meeting did not start well. First of all this was a closed meeting, when the brief of the task force is to provide open government. Second of all it was a face to face meeting not using the Internet, when the brief of the task force is to provide online government. Third: the meeting started 38 minutes late, due to delays in a task force member arriving by aircraft, which could have been avoided if the Internet had been used (or at least used to tell all the participants there was a delay).
There were 17 people from federal and ACT Government agencies present. I appeared to be the only non-government person. On a positive note, the government people were in the same room. At the last consultation, the government people watched via video from another room.
One of the issues is that government staff will need to be trained how to do Gov 2.0, if it is to work. Also the technologists who support them will need to be trained to build and support web applications.
My initial advice to the task force was that one of the major lessons of the we and Internet to government is that you have to actually do it to make it work. That is the task force should use the web to undertake consultations and do its work. If the task force is unable to get the web to work, then there is little point in telling the rest of government to do so.
Also the task force needs to look to the academics and the private sector to see how it can be done. The success of the use of the Internet in the Australian Government rests largely with the advice and experience from Australian universities.
The third is to makes use of the policy and rhetoricc from the USA, UK and other government but not necessarily their implementation. An example of this was the Australian Government Locator Service (AGLS) metadata standard. This was designed to provide a similar role and was named after the U.S. Government Information Locator Service (GILS). However, the Australian implementation did not use the same technological implementation as the US system, just the general approach and a similar name.
The task force issued a paper "Towards Government 2.0: An Issues Paper", 23 July 2009. I was handed a paper copy, but there is no web address or other document identifier, so I do not know if this is the same as in the web, nor is not clear who issued this paper document. At about 2:50pm I had to leave the meeting as my parking had run out (I tried to come by ACTON bus, but it broke down).
ps: It was not clear how invitees were selected. It may have been my speaking at Senator Lundy's Public Sphere, or teaching the technologies and techniques the task force is briefed to investigate. Previously I helped introduce Web to government (for which the ACS made me a Fellow). Currently I have 17 students, including several from government studying at the masters level online and 80 face to face students doing an assignment on government 2.0.