Gov 2.0 – what’s happening in the UK?

In the UK a Power of Information Taskforce has been looking at the use of web 2.0 technologies for public service purposes. I am providing part of the secretariat to the Taskforce. Yesterday we published a detailed report, in a form which encourages others to comment, and a set of recommendations.

The report is available here:

The Taskforce is keen to hear from as wide a group of people as possible over the next two weeks – particularly from people in the US – so if you read the report and have something to add, please do comment!!

To give you some flavour, the report says we are still some way from being able to say that public services are making as full a use as possible of the potential offered by evolving internet technologies. We believe that with learning from many sources, there is an opportunity now to take some major steps forward in making this part of the mainstream of public service activity in the UK. The recommendations describe the key actions the Taskforce believes the Government can take in the short to medium term to realise this opportunity and looks forward positively to the debate and responses that they generate.

So, how does this look from a US perspective? Is the UK Government leading the way with this report, or playing catch-up to activity in the states? What about the recommendations? A blue-print for action elsewhere or parochial?
We’d love to hear!

This is also a golden chance to contribute to a wider debate about Government and Web 2.0.

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Will check out and give feedback. Based on my experience, it is the early stage for Gov 2.0 everywhere. Some really great examples exist from NZ to U.S. and new ones are created everyday ( has been interesting). The best examples have found a clear mission need, found the right technology to match, and iterated over time. Some good case studies exist at and

Allison Hornery

John, have had a quick look and it looks like there is some encouraging boundary-pushing being recommended. Also pleased to see Local Gov being specifically pin-pointed, as they are quite often the hub of the information wheel.

Daniel Bevarly

Likewise, I am interested in reviewing this report. From my experience, I have seen much innovation from the UK in terms of practices and technology. From working with and going head to head when I was with Neighborhood America against software providers like Limehouse and First glance shows neither leading the way or playing catch up. It’s all about learning from and replicating Best Practices, and that’s where there can be mutual benefit.

Stephen Buckley

John — I noticed, at the bottom of your website, a section called “Copies provided by third parties” and then a link to a “MediaWiki” of your report.

Although the report says that a wiki was used in developing your report, it does not say that the public was allowed access to that wiki. But now, it appears, a wiki is being used to allow the public to improve on the report, currently in a “beta”/draft version. (BTW, it was missing your Recommendation #22, so I edited it. At least, I think I did.)

And although that wiki is set up by a third-party, it still seems logical that a report that recommends the use of wikis for improving the development of a draft document (e.g., your report) ALSO subject itself to that very type of collaboration before it is finalized.

Your group (the original authors) do not, of course, have to adopt whatever develops on that third-party wiki, but I am curious as to how you view that exercise, especially since you provide a link to it.

As you probably know, the Obama administration is taking the first step in the process of developing an “Open Government Directive” and, because you are ahead of us on much of this, they will probably “borrow” from much of your group’s good work.

So, if the UK is using some type of wiki-collaboration for developing its e-gov policy, then it would be nice for us in the USA to be able to point to it, and then do the same thing here.

But, even if you are not, then it still would be a good experiment, in both the UK and USA, to see what would come of a process that your report recommends. Otherwise, it may come across as “collaborate as I say, not as I do”.

I appreciate your reaching out to us for constructive comments, and please let me know if I am missing something, or not understanding it properly. (And I invite clarification from anyone reading this, too.)