David Cunliffe outlined his government’s ICT agenda in a speech to public service CIOs last week. As minister of all things to do with ICT as well as economic development, he is in a unique position to influence outcomes. Achieving better productivity and enhanced connectivity has never been more important to our economic well being. SoÂ it bodes well that we have a Minister who is fronting up andÂ paying attentionÂ to the very industry that can enable those things.
At the same event, visiting experts implored the government to get on board with Web 2.0 and start using web technologies to engage with its constituency. The State Services Commission have (finally) heard this message and are now involved in developing a state services framework for online participation.
To their creditÂ the commissionÂ have invited a small community of interest to contribute to the policy formation process. Encouragingly, the consultation process makes use of the very technologies being proposed as part of a new toolsetÂ to bringÂ government agencies closer to the people.
The only variable missing from the equation is that the government heads of departments have not yet been widely consulted on the policy proposal. Government agencies are brimming over with staff and there is an election looming on the horizon. Implementing an e-participation plan that actually empowers the public, increases transparencyÂ and contributes to productivity may yet prove unpalatable withinÂ certain quarters.Â A fewÂ government agencies are already well advanced in their use of Web 2.0 technologies and having a cross government standard, sooner rather than later,Â would beÂ a good thing for service providers and the public who will be the end users.