Whither a federal Open Government policy

Fellow open government advocate, Craig Thomler, has asked a very important question in his latest post:

I wonder, should Australian political parties have explicit policies for Open Government and Government 2.0 with commitments to the use of online media and support for online engagement by public servants?

It’s a question I have also asked.

In the light of NZ Labour’s recent policy declaration, which is fairly comprehensive, touching on technical and cultural matters, it’s high time major Australian parties did the same.

In my view, Labor in this country has largely dropped the ball from a policy perspective since Lindsay Tanner was given the task of announcing the open government declaration.

Sure, many agencies at several levels of government have been able to proceed and make real progress on their open government efforts, but there’s little or no overarching platform from the party perspective. The Liberal party is utterly MIA on this matter. The Greens seem to be the only party with a current, declared position on the matter.

I’d very much welcome the federal parties making a policy declaration that represented an up-to-date position including participation, culture and technology perspectives. The ACT Government’s moves in this direction since Katy Gallagher became Chief Minister are a good start, but need improvement and more visible action.

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