The Australian Government announced a Web 2.0 taskforce today to investigate new approaches in openness and transparency when it comes to the online world
The taskforce of 15 people, chaired by CEO of Lateral Economics Dr Nicholas Gruen, will investigate ways the government can open up their computer databases to allow citizens access to government information more easily.
Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner, said the initative would "help drive government in this country into the leading ranks around the world of governments that are both open and transparent and using new technologies."
The Minister said Governments cannot control the online world.
"We...have to accept that when we open ourselves up to public discussion through blogs, chat rooms (and) online forums we won't always like what we hear," he said. "We have to accept that there are challenges involved in participating in those processes for government."
"Who speaks on behalf of the government? What restraints, if any, are there on what they say? What resources are contributed to those processes? [These] are all questions that we want the taskforce to advise on."
As well as providing advice, the taskforce will fund initiatives that attempt to show that the Government is serious about achieving its objectives.
Tanner added that the Government will attempt to establish a pro-disclosure culture around non-sensitive public sector information and maximise the extent to which government utilises the views, knowledge and resources of the general community.
The introduction of the taskforce comes after Lindsay Tanner's predecessor, John Faulkner, introduced new draft amendments to allow for more openness in Freedom of Information legislation.
The blog can be accesses at http://gov2.net.au/