As I have stated before there is a lot of value that Gov 2.0 can bring to both government and the public (as well as business) however WA has a long way to go. That said there are some small steps in some places including a government blog about the more practical parts of Gov 2.0 for people in the public sector – Government 2.0 in Western Australia.
This is a good start but there is more that needs to be considered in adopting Gov 2.0 – because it is a complete change of the service delivery approach that is currently a staple today. On this topic, a recent Government News article delves more into this area…
“Government 2.0 is not just about new technologies; rather it’s a way of looking at the relationship with the public based upon collaboration, sharing information and ultimately interacting with the public online. Government 2.0 is now, so it is vital that departments really need to get on board and embrace this paradigm, enabling them to develop new and exciting ways of managing information for and building relationships with the public.”
Changing the way the public sector (which is essentially a service delivery organisation) interacts with the public is not an insurmountable problem – it is progress in the US and UK (as well as elsewhere), but it does need to have leaders within government see the important role that ICT plays in enabling the ‘New Business of Government’.
Qld’s Smarter State Initiative
To expand on this further we need to look at the transformation of Queensland (and more in particular Brisbane) over the past decade. There has been much more focused efforts by local and state governments to reposition and sell the state for more than a resources base and at the core of it was their Smarter State initiative. Some people to the south of Qld may have thought that they were trying to improve the image as a more rural or backward state (and they may have been right) – but it worked – look at the money, businesses, and people that are flocking to a much more vibrant and growing ‘super city’ that is the Brisbane of today. A recent opinion piece in The Australia by Peter Beattie sums up their transformation very well.
“One of the country’s long-term economic objectives should be to future-proof the economy with knowledge, creativity and innovation. Such a vision will necessitate the support of government, the private sector and our research universities in planning and investment.”
I can see the vision of where we could be – now how do we translate this into something that the state’s leaders can understand and commit to?