A Canadian discussion on how to use, improve, and share within the larger GovLoop Community (but open to everyone!).
A great place to start when looking to connect with other Canadian Civil Servants.
Great Blog on the state of open government in Canada!
May 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm #101012
Just wanted to share this great blog and perhaps start some discussion. What do you think about the situation here?
Thanks to Mac Slocum.
May 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm #101022
We have a long way to go in Canada
May 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm #101020
The USA and UK are definitely moving strongly towards realizing open gov”t — in the sense of making data and info available and accessible for the public to use as they see fit. Obama passed open gov legislation as his first act in office, and Gordon Brown pronounced that all UK gov data would be accessible by next year (hopefully the new UK gov’t will see fit to carry on with those plans). The UK has Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the world wide web) leading their open gov strategy, and he has also consulted with the US gov.
Canada is definitely falling behind on this front — actually becoming a bit of an internet backwater. The sad state of our federal political affairs for the past few years, along with the recession that is just passing, has taken a lot of focus away from how we can better participate in a knowledge-based economy in the future. Plus the fact that we are more of a wait-and-see culture — we shouldn’t expect that we’ll be a leader in this area.
May 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm #101018
I think the value David Eaves has to offer is that he is outside of gov’t and free to say what he likes — and so he can point out that there is a big gap here, or this initiative could return big dividents there. He can bring attention to certain issues in a way that public servants cannot easily do.
However, he doesn’t understand the issues in enough detail to be able to offer any concrete advice on moving forward (but then, that’s not the value he brings to the issues). If he was on the inside, he might realize that just because an organization makes collaboration tools available, it doesn’t mean they are useful for collaboration. Facebook and Wikipedia are very useful for what they do, but that does’t translate to the workplace, to me actually getting my work done.
The matter of open gov data is different than wikis and social networking sites. All gov’ts should be focusing on making data and info available and accessible for everyone to use. And bringing policy discussion into the public domain, for example, is much more complicated than having Wikipedia available for anyone to add to or edit.
And it’s not “ironic” that open gov initiatives are happening behind the firewall — the powers-that-be want to get a sense of how these initiatives work in a closed environment, before going public with them.
June 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm #101016
I liked the para on the fear of giving up control. Whenever new technology arises this same issue comes up.
June 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm #101014
First I have to say I’m very grateful for David Eaves, he does such a spectacular job at articulating the state of affairs, the underlying issues and defining the barriers. He is definitely helping set us up to succeed “when” (look at me being incredibly optimistic) our leaders and politicians decide to move forward.
That said, on a daily basis I must say it’s hard not to feel deflated and even looked upon as the ‘wayward’ soul in my own Federal Agency. And ya, we’re an Agency not a Department which could afford us some measure of latitude in engaging these strategies on a meaningful level.
Continuing to repeat the message, respectfully and demonstrating ‘proof of concept’ as often as possible, to my colleagues and leaders, is what I do to keep the forward motion happening…as glacially slow as it feels sometimes.
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