Yesterday, a special edition of GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER took place with experts discussing the current status of Gov 2.0. Questions were asked of the panel experts about the current challenges to Gov 2.0 from the local level all the way up to the federal government.
Dan Mintz, the former CIO at the Department of Transportation, shared three challenges that he sees causing complications.
- The government has a policy role that by law is regulated or a responsibility and cannot be delegated to someone else. Finding the dividing line between what the government must do and what it may delegate to Gov 2.0 technology is not easy.
- Budgeting – There is a focus in government that there is an obligation to being fair among all participants as opposed to be efficient. A big value of transparency is efficiency but the government is obligated to be also fair. This works a little against allowing complete freedom of information to flow back and forth.
- Everything with Gov 2.0 ultimately deals with improving the delivery of the mission. There is a lot of activity right now at OMB to improve the government’s ability to measure performance but that is a very slow slog to go through. Ultimately all the stuff to allowing the transparency and coproduction is the goal to deliver government services better and that requires the ability to measure how you’re doing. We’re nowhere near this point yet.
Kevin Curry, a civic hacker and the director of the CfA Brigade, Code for America’s community engagement program, touches on challenges that impact municipalities and local governments. He says that “down at the local level and municipal governments are a lot further behind than those of us who have been working in the space and the federal level for a while where we are. We talk about moving on past the term “Gov 2.0″ but there are plenty of governments who don’t really even use web forms effectively.” The biggest challenge for these local governments is understanding and seeing the value of Gov 2.0. When people with civic minded technologies can be matched up with their municipal governments and community organizations they can work together in ways that haven’t been done before.
Alex Howard, the Washington Correspondent for O’Reilly Media, says most of the problem with local governments is that they are lacking the budget. He says, “the capacity for local governments to be online is a challenge, often it’s one person who does the website.” Creating a conversation about open data and social media can also create new expectations that local governments will need to deal with.
Lastly, Lena Trudeau, the Associate Commissioner for the Office of Strategic Innovation at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, speaks to need for new skill sets and technology thinking in government. “We need data analytics folks who understand the state of data today and what you can do with it and how you can move it around. We’re missing critical skill sets and there are some big gaps.” The speed at which our government can effectively bring change with Gov 2.0 depends upon how fast we can bring new thinking into the mix and try really creative ideas. Trudeau states, “Inherent in [trying creative ideas] is the risk of failure and the American people also expect us not to fail.” Managing expectations along with innovative thinking is critical to moving government ahead in the current state of Gov 2.0.
You can hear the entire interview and report here: What’s the Status of Gov 2.0? DorobekINSIDER’s Expert Panel Weighs In
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