Live chat with The Australian about Gov 2.0

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 @ 7:26PM

Today I participated in a “live blog” about Gov 2.0. The topic was Gov 2.0, and I had over 170 questions posted. With the hour given, I was only able to respond to about 65 questions, so I’ve put a full transcript, with some additional questions answered below (marked with ADDITIONAL RESPONSE). I have included all questions/comments received up to a few minutes past the close time.

I’ve referred people who asked questions about the mandatory filter to my latest blog on the topic, as this was a Gov 2.0 discussion.

Many thanks to Fran Foo from The Australian for organising it. It was a first for The Australian, and I’d just like to thank everyone for participating so enthusiastically.

Guest Name Comment Posted
[Fran Foo – The Australian] Senator Kate Lundy, welcome. Thanks for taking part in The Australian IT’s first live blog session. Gov 2.0 is an exciting area for all involved. Yes
Our readers are eager for more details on exactly how government agencies are using web 2.0 tools to improve service delivery and citizen engagement. Yes
Over to you Senator. Yes
Kate Lundy Thanks Fran, it’s a pleasure to be here. The Washington Expo on Gov2.0 was inspiring and  am keen to talk about it! Yes
Bruno Hi Senator, No
Bruno Senator – haveyou identified any specific agency or department that will be implmementing GOV 2.0 guidelines first? Yes
Kate Lundy The Department of Finance has been identified as the lead agency for Gov 2.0 as a result of the Govts accepting recommendations from the Gov2.0 taskforce, but there are a number of agencies that have already done Gov2.0 intitatives. Yes
Peter Buckland I do work for the Federal Government and I have never seen projects so mismanaged as under the current administration. I cannot see any way the current administration can be trusted to implement anything Yes
Kate Lundy Peter, Gov2.0 is pretty new and innovative and one of the challenges for the public sector is to approach it with a less risk averse culture. Some thngs will work Yes
Adam has this discussion started? Yes
Kate Lundy Yes! Yes
Ben Welcome Kate. Yes
trib Several agencies already are, Bruno. Yes
david senator gov 2.0 is great and all but when on earth will the ATO get their e-tax 100% working on linux? Yes
Kate Lundy I can’t answer that one of the top David, but will get something back to you… Yes
Dave Senator – what do you think is the biggest technical challenge the Fed government needs to overcome in its move to Gov 2.0? Yes
Kate Lundy Dave, its a combination of culture and attitude within the public sector and some practical technical policies… Yes
Kate Lundy The Gov2.0 Taskforce nailed it pretty well with their emphasis on culture and attitude towards engaging and serving using new social media. Yes
Kate Lundy I’m going to publish one question at a time to try to keep the discussion easy to follow if that is ok with everyone :) Yes
John Morrissey More importantly have you allocated additional funding to assist departments in implementing gov 2.0 Yes
Kate Lundy No, however there is a source of ICT innovation funds available through the Business as Usual Savings derived from the Gershon Review recommendations. Just recently some of this was allocated to new projects. Yes
Kate Lundy Equally there are plenty of examples of in-house Gov2.0 initiatives that have not drawn on new funding to be successful. Yes
Denis re: your recent blog entry.Opt-In ISP based filters currently exist No
not my real name any doing these projects well? Yes
Kate Lundy Yeah, there are heaps of examples and I helped launch a showcase website that hosts case studies of Gov.2.0 in Australia, I’ll just find the link for you… Yes
Kate Lundy Yes
Adam Can you please define what you mean by “Gov 2.0″ so we all have a common understanding of what you mean when you use the term ? Yes
Kate Lundy I refer you to this, Yes
Kate Lundy I see it as democratising data, citizen centric servies and participatory democracy… read on. Yes
Peter Cumper Hi Kate.  Please tell us more about the Washington Expo on Gov 2.0 Yes
Kate Lundy The Washington Expo was fantastic. I met Tim O’Reilly, Tim Berners Lee and heaps of people from the US, Canada and the UK, all working in Gov2.0 Yes
Kate Lundy Yes
Ben It is good that the Government is interested in promoting web 2.0. The problem is that this goal is completely incompatible with the Government’s Internet censorship proposal. There will be many web 2.0 sites which don’t have an issue with RC material, which is mostly legal content is many countries around the world, but will nevertheless be targeted by the Government’s proposal. If these websites are very popular, it will be infeasible to blacklist them. The Government needs to scrap the censorship proposal, as practically the entire ISP says it is doomed to fail and will become a complete mess from the start. Yes
Kate Lundy Ben, I have been blooging about this so I refer you to my most recent post. Yes
Kate Lundy Yes
Jack Senator, your speech is one of the few I’ve heard in Australian politics that seem to go beyond the technology aspect of Gov 2.0 and touch upon its benefits in terms of service delivery, advancing the interests of the nation and, more generally, leveraging that in a strategic, business-centric manner beyond what has been envisioned by the current stages of e-gov as defined by UPAN. Is Gov 2.0 the right label fo this approach, or are we limiting the debate by sounding too nerdy? Yes
Kate Lundy Hmm thoughtful comment. Yes
Kate Lundy I do find myself explaining what Gov2.o means to non-tech people so I think there is a need to describe the things it achieves as well. I think it will grow out of the Gov2.0 label and just beome what we know as ‘government’ in the future. Yes
Denis re: you recent blog entry: Opt in filters currently exist and the market for them doesn’t seem to be booming. What purpose would modifying the current policy of a mandatory filter for an opt-in filter serve if not as merely an incremental step toward implementing a mandatory filter in the not-so-distant future? Yes
trib (Stephen Collins) Kate – when we were in Washington, we saw several case studies, largely public facing. It seems that here, in the US, the UK and other countries, one of the biggest blockers to agencies undertaking Government 2.0 projects is a culture of openness and permission allowing public servants to collaborate with each other. How does the government propose to overcome that culture given current APS management? Yes
Kate Lundy Hey Trib – I was great you were there. I think the strongest sign for change is the emphasis on attitude and culture change in the Ahead of the Game Blueprint for the reform of the Australian Government Administration chaired by Terry Moran, Sec of PM&C. Yes
Kate Lundy Yes
Isogoras Senator Lundy, how can anyone take your government seriously on technical issues with Senator Conroy as a minister? It’s massively evident he doesn’t understand a single thing about the Internet and has turned most of the “alpha geeks” against him. I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s a farcical policy everyone knows won’t work. No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Whilst many people strongly disagree on the mandatory Internet filter policy, and it is obviously a growing concern amongst the broader community, it is a pity that some people, particularly in the tech community see this as a zero sum gain. Yes the filter policy needs to be addressed, but to ignore or write off other policies, particularly really amazing ones around better broadband, improving ICT skills in schools, open data, more transparency and more collaborative government is somewhat disappointing. Let’s have the filter debate without the broad dismissal and personal attacks. And “two wrongs make a right” is not an acceptable excuse for bad behaviour :)
kim did you have to twist john sheridan’s arm to get a twitter account or was that all voluntary? Yes
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE It was great to see John create a Twitter account (in fact he responded personally later in this chat), and I hope many more public servants, particularly senior ones start to engage more publicly and transparently with the community.
Peter Buckland I appreciate that you are trying to implement new software but I for one have found that the Government has trouble even implementing simple databases, which I work with the Federal Government and use No
Bob The new AGIMO Gov 2.0 procurement blog is a good initiative, but seems to be only one way communication at the moment (outside – in)– how can Finance be encouraged to communicate more (inside-out)? Yes
Kate Lundy make sure you give them feedback as to how it is operating as the adjustment to resourcing these forms of engagement is often an iterative process. Yes
Jarrod How is Senator Conroy’s negotiations going with high traffic websites, that will crash the bottleneck he’s introducing into the Internet structure? No
Newton I believe to engage the community to use Gov2.0 resources by providing easy to use, integrated solutions is a big challenge Yes
John Morrissey Putting masses of government online does not necessarily make it accessible to the general public – is there going to be additional funding to allow departments to make their data-sets more user friendly? Yes
Kate Lundy No, it should become part of how they manage their data generally. Yes
Mike L Atkin Kate, how does the government define Gov2.0 Yes
Kate Lundy Check my blog post on Gov2.0 also the Gov2.0 Taskforce report defines it, but all will be clarified the foreshadowed Declaration of Open Govenment is made. Yes
Bob Also, Defence is one of the least communicative government agencies — how would you go about getting them to open up about what they do and spend in areas like IT? Yes
Kate Lundy Good question. I was fascinated by the strong participation by a range of defence agencies in the Gov2.0 Expo in the US. They had fantastic case studies of defence and security agencies engagement using Gov2.0. One key message they had was the military leadership gave them permission to innovate and encouraged new approaches. Yes
trib (Stephen Collins) @john morrissey – there is a fund (Senator will have more detail) that has money allocated for innovation and Gov 2.0 projects. Yes
Adam Web 2.0 is a set of technologies.  prior to web 2.0 there were and still are plenty of reliable web technologies that government processes have not been implemented via on via the web.  Instead of talking about technologies, the discussion should be about which government services should be put online, not whether to use web 2.0 / Gov 2.0.  corporates have had many services online for years – take eBanking as an example. Yes
Kate Lundy This is a good point and comes back to what we are actually trying to do online. The point was made elarlier that it’s easy to slip into talking about the tech when we are really talking about a compelling new way to deliver services and engage with citizens. Yes
Allan I don’t have a job now, will this help unemployment in IT? Yes
Kate Lundy As a government we recognise the value of ICT for economic and nation development, and so Gov 2.0 along with a series of other good initiatives such as the NBN will hopefully create important opportunities for industry development, so we can grow our exports, and compete globally in the ICT sector. So hopefully, yes, this will be good for you. Yes
CLO-Cheryl Langdon-Orr Are these initiatives also attending to ‘accessibility issues’  Kate? It seems like it is an excellent opportunity to do so, as  I note that  use of captioning, video information and AUSLAN as a language option => in some cases even W3C compliance is still needing LOTS of attention from Gov sites… Yes
Kate Lundy Yes definitely and the accessibility issue was addressed specifically in the Gov2.0 taskforce report Recommendation 9 Yes
Kate Lundy I also hosted an ACCAN roundtable on accessibility for Gov2.0 … Yes
Kate Lundy Yes
Fred How are we able to trust the government to implement Gov2.0 when the communications minister censors his own website to remove references to his efforts to censor the new information system.  I mean if the communications minister is going to restrict communications then is Gov2.0 another term for more closed government, rather than open government. No
Adam What are the governments plans for  providing Government to Business services via the web?   The online account/credential is the cornerstone of any online service.what plans does it have for a universal account for Australian Businesses to do business with all Australian governments, even for businesses that do not have an ABN ? Yes
Kate Lundy Well, where an agency provides service or interacts with business, they ought to be trying new things. Business is an important group with specific needs and strong skills set to access the service online so I think its an area where we will see strong innovation. Yes
Newton Senator, retention of IT staff has always been an issue in the public service sector – I am being made redundant and can not find redeployment. Have you consider the skill shortage as a risk in the Gov2.0 implementation? Yes
Kate Lundy The skills shortage is always a concern and yes it can inhibit developments that’s why addressing future workforce needs, such as was foreshadowed in the Ahead of the game Report is so important. This issue also attracted attention in the Gershon review of Govt ICT. Yes
Bruno Senator – any initial leasons learned or valuable observations from the US/UK or other delegates at the conference? Yes
Kate Lundy Yes, the need for strong political leadership in the pusuit of openess in government, a procurement system that facilitates rather than inhibits ICT innovation and the value of letting a thousand flowers bloom. ie: encouraging people to implement their new ideas and then supporting the scaling up of what works. Yes
allisonhornery Interesting issue about new funding – this is also linked to the culture change of embedding Gov 2.0 principles + practices into BAU Yes
trib (Stephen Collins) @Adam – look at the definition in the Taskforce Report. It’s a good one. Yes
Dee How will the proposed mandatory internet filter for Australia be seen in regards to the democracy side of Gov 2.0 – as the majority of Australians polled so far are against it being implemented ? No
Mark Why is the government choosing to persist with mandatory ISP filtering.  As a long time ALP supporter of 30 yrs, you’ve lost my vote over it.  Is it worth alienating such loyal constituents over such bad policy No
not my real name Senator, do you think the label Gov 2.0 detracts from the fact that you are doing the same thing (engaging with citizens) just using an expanded tool kit.  Or, do non-geek citizens know or care? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE It is not supposed to be about just doing the same thing, but rather taking the opportunity to look at how we can do things better. For instance, how can we get citizens involved in the process of implementing policy, or how can we connect people into the political processes using technology? Gov 2.0 as a term is certainly a bit geeky, which is fine in the short term, but the outcomes will affect all citizens and perhaps the broader goal of Open Government is the better language to use in the mainstream. I see Gov 2.0 as the application of technologies and online community methods to government, but it is all about taking us to an even better level of openness, transparency and participation in government.
Edude What exactly is the point of participatory democracy in a gov 2.0 sense? Will the ALP listen to people through this and shape policy accordingly? Or use examples put forward to the ALP to re enforce their decisions? Yes
Kate Lundy In the context of participatory democracy in Gov2.0 I make the distinction between Government administration engagement with citizens they serve and politicians engagement with constituents. This is an important distinction in my view and I think that political parties have come a long way in engaging online. Gov2.0 is about how the public sector engages… Yes
trib (Stephen Collins) With respect to funding for these projects, often funding can be gained from shifting BAU – do things differently rather than doing more. I think this is what AllisonHornery refers to. Yes
Michael I applaud you on your engagement of the public through blogs and other online media.  Will GOV 2.0 entail that other elected representatives engage their constituents through blogs and other online channels which can be used to take comments, much in the same way that you do already? Yes
Kate Lundy They are. There are plenty of politicians exploring the use of social media. And I know my colleagues are really interested in how services can be delivered more effectively online. Yes
Kate Lundy I think political leadership is critical. It’s pretty hard to say, well we tried something and it din’t work the way we thought it would, but it helps the culture if the Minister is prepared to say that we want to innovate and we accept that there will be some things that don’t work.. Yes
trib (Stephen Collins) I’d a gree with Kate on the quality of the Expo. It was very good. I will be blogging about it before the end of the week. Yes
Dom I like your attitude that some things will work and some won’t. Not supported by your actions. I have worked in several Federal agencies in spatial information areas. There is a level of dysfunction from a crippling risk-averse attitude. Senior management are terrified that when some things don’t work they get belted by the pollies. How will you fix that culture ? Yes
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE As mentioned, I think the Ahead of the Game report, which looks at reform in the public sector has many useful recommendations to help fix the culture. There was a fantastic example that put in place some similar recommendations in Canada where the CIO of Edmonton, a wonderful guy named Chris Moore decided to restructure the 200-odd people in his department. That is, project based where people are allocated on a skills/availability basis. So the person who is your boss today may work for you tomorrow. He did this along with some serious consultation with his staff about how to make things better and he has seen enormous improvements! More details at
S Does the Gov 2.0 concept include transparency over secret back door dealings? eg DFAT taking part in the industry based ACTA talks Yes
Kate Lundy Please see my blog post about ACTA. There will always be some cases in government where at least some secrecy is needed (security, for privacy reasons), but I believe we can go a lot further with transparency. It is about finding a reasonable balance. Yes
Edude Does the participatory democracy only apply to exchanges between voters and the ALP? Yes
Kate Lundy No not at all. For example, the Human Rights Commission used a wiki to gather input as part of their consultaiton on Human Rights. Yes
Kate Lundy Yes
Kate Lundy I think education iand experience is a part of it. Also, good technical guidance on standards would help. This is of course available, starting with the support AGIMO can provide to agencies and departments. Yes
Peter Buckland Sadly just one more example of this Government’s incompetence in delivering programs. No
Ben With someone of your experience, contacts and technical knowledge in the IT field why havent you been put in a position where you could actually do some good say Communications Minister so maybe for once Australia could have someone with knowledge about their portfolio No
Ben 2.0 senator what about other cabinet colleagues? do they share your views on the filter? No
Ashberg Aside from using fresh web tools to collaborate with industry stakeholders to better develop policy using the same tools to collaborate with the public – when will we see the federal government adopt these tools inside the departments to increase transparency and whole-of-government collaboration? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE We are already starting to see this. Please keep an eye on the Showcase for specific examples. They are starting to come in from all levels of government. Http://
canberra if rudd wins the election will u replace conroy? No
Edude Do you find yourself explaining the choice of gov 2.0 label to tech people? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Heh, all the time. As a term is it certainly not ideal, but I do like how it links in an obvious tech link (because I think there is so much inspiration and direction to be taken from the tech community) but also the subtle message of a next generation approach to government.
Bob Any thoughts on Defence and Gov2.0? Contradiction in terms? No
Kate Lundy Good question. I was fascinated by the strong participation by a range of defence agencies in the Gov2.0 Expo in the US. They had fantastic case studies of defence and security agencies engagement using Gov2.0. One key message they had was the military leadership gave them permission to innovate and encouraged new approaches. Yes
Peter Cumper Jack, You could view it as the second version of government as we know it?  A read, write government.  This is non technical. Yes
Kate Lundy Jack. Good thought. It is the next incarnation of government: online and interactive Yes
Mark An opt in filter ALREADY exists.  People are welcome to choose webshield if they wish.  Your opt out proposal is just an attempt to make it palatable so it gets over the line.  Do you think that the opt out won’t be dropped in 1/70th the blink of an eye as soon as the first moral panic crops up No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Mark, thanks for the comment. I’ve dealt with this question in a comment on my most recent blog post
Edude Weak No
Tim The above link states, “Because Gov 2.0 represents an opportunity for governments to push the evolution of democracy well beyond the ballot box and in to life experience through online engagement..”   Kev hasn’t listened to anybody who knows anything up until now (policy through consultation, yeah right) insulation industry ignored, ISP’s ignored, miners ignored .. how is doing it online going to make him listen/take notice any better No
trib (Stephen Collins) While I’m inclined to agree with the views of folk here re filtering, this discussion is specifically about Government 2.0 and open government. I would encourage us to stay on topic. Yes
Michael Senator – Do you see any danger that Gov 2.0 initiatives will distract government from delivering changes that make a real difference to people?  Take MySchools for example – additional technology and information is all well and good, but does this add – in a meaningful, substantial way – to the Government’s goals of an “Education Revolution”? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Michael, although there has certainly been some controversey around MySchool, there has also been a lot of support from parents. This is an example I believe where more transparency was something of interest, but we obviously can do more work to make it more contextualised and useful to people. I think as mentioned above that we need to be willing to take risks like this to improve transparency and better empower people to make informed choices for themselves. I was pleased to see the decision for a expert working group to follow up the outstanding concerns of the MySchool website.
Edude I don’t see a conversation at your blog post Kate. It’s hardly participatory democracy. No
John It always worries me when a government has on one hand a policy of open government and then goes and shots itself in the foot by advocating a internet filter for all – it didn’t work in China what makes you think that it will work here. Do you think that government is conscious of the mixed messages its sending here? No
Edude When will the conversation be at your blog post Kate? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Edude, as we were simply unable to respond to every one of the comments (over a thousand by now) I ended up doing a Q&A where I tried to address most of the issues. I have also replied to the comments already made on the blog post I did last night.
Mark Whats the point in discussing ‘gov 2.0′ initiatives when it is plain that the government attempt to repress internet freedoms is in compltete contradiction to those initiatives No
Kate Lundy With regards to the many questions about filtering I’m receiving, I am engaging in the filter conversation on my blog (with 5 blog posts on the topic and responses from both my staff and myself), and I accept that it is an issue we need to deal with in order for these other incredible initiatives to be more accepted, particularly by the tech community. That’s all I’d like to say about it here. Yes
trib (Stephen Collins) Agreed. I hope that Moran’s report can have a measurable effect on APS culture. This will be a deciding factor in the whole game. Yes
John Sheridan No arm twisting involved. Finance approved Twitter and Facebook earlier this year. Yes
James Purser Kate, a lot of the focus has been on Gov2.0 at a federal level, the Taskforce itself was (somewhat naturally) specifically tasked with exploring Federal Gov2.0 possibilities. However Local Government is going to be where the Gov2.0 rubber hits the road, at least in the publics eyes. Can you see a role for a more formal lead org for Local Government in same vein as the Fed Lead Organisation? Yes
Kate Lundy Yes, definitely. There have been some brilliant examples of Local Govt leading the way with online service and engagement innovation. There were some really good case studies in Washington from local govt – see Manor, Texas. Yes
Guest Surely Gov 2.0 is much more about institutional adaptation in an increasingly inter-connected and participatory society – how is this at all compatible with secretive policy laundering processes like ACTA? Surely Gov 2.0 should mean an increasingly more consultative and open process for things like ACTA, something that will effect millions of consumers. No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Guest, thanks for that comment. I agree with you that we need to really assess how such agreements are made, and I blogged about ACTA at
CW Kate surely the government’s plan for Internet Censorship is relevant. Why not discuss it here? No
deanna The Parliament House website has just announced an open licence for their content, but a very restrictive one that doesn’t allow changes/excerpts. Do you know what the logic here is? Won’t it be a problem for users eg Open Australia, teachers etc? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Deanna, I think the logic is that people can take it and reuse it (I believe teachers and Open Australia would be fine generally) but not commercialise or change the actual text. Republishing such as what Open Australia do or what a student would do for an assignment is likely to be fine. I’d like to see us make the content even more open, but it is a great start! We are the first country in the world to put all our official Parliamentary proceedings under a permissive licence, so counting the wins is good, whilst still aiming higher :)
Jon Kate, you DO think Conroy is a twat, right? No
Amy Thanks to issues like Senator Conroy’s determination to push through a massively unpopular (and unworkable) internet filter, the government has lost a great deal of credibility – and trust – with the Australian internet using population.  Many feel that that politicians in general and the current Cabinet in particular simply do not get the internet, and that the community’s attempts to engage with the government online on the issue have been written off as products of ‘misinformation’ or, worse, completely ignored.  How can Gov 2.0 initiatives hope to succeed when the people they’re targeted at are feeling extremely hostile? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Amy, thanks for your concerns. Putting aside the Internet filter policy, the government has made remarkable progress with really important ICT-related policies including the National Broadband Network, computers in schools, reinvesting in ICT research, and of course the Gov 2.0 agenda. I am very proud of these positive changes being made by this government.
James Dellow @chieftech A lot of the Gov 2.0 conversation in Australia has focused on changing government institutions, but not fundamentally changing government services or the way we provide or manage community infrastructure. Did you see anything in Washington that offered ideas or success stories for doing thing differently, rather than just online? Yes
Kate Lundy Another strong point, thanks james. It is about using online tools to do thing differently and more effectively and sometimes it’s the combination of the old and new that makes it compelling. Think having online forums to complement a traditional way of engaging, rather than the primary vehicle,this can also help introduce new online methodologies for people unfamilar with the web. Yes
Edude Will the information in senator conroy’s secret forum be made public under open government? No
jacob Hi Kate, your point on culture is very important. i’m with a state gov. Do you have any tips or a check list before i try and convince my manager that online customer service is a good thing? the links are all great but a list of 10 would be nice. thanks Yes
Kate Lundy Let me find a link that may be useful to you. In my CeBIT speech earlier this year I did list some of the technical principles that are important to get htings started in the right direction… Yes
Kate Lundy Yes
Peter Buckland Obviously my comments are being edited out, but you are welcome to discuss the performance of the Government in the IT area at any time No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Peter, nothing was edited out, I just couldn’t quite keep up with all the comments.
Don Will this Gov 2.0 increase employment No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Please see my previous comment about industry growth, but ultimately, the ICT industry will continue to grow as our use of technology grows and diversifies across all industries. Also, the open data agenda in particular will create wonderful new opportunities for community and industry innovation which I believe will be good for employment.
Jon Is the Big Red Button part of 2.0? No
Ashberg Following on from @john morrissey’s question – will the APS release their public data and invite innovation from the open-source community, as the UK government have done? (See Yes
Kate Lundy Yes and Yes. This is what the government has agreed to by accepting the recommendations of the Gov2.0 Taskforce Report. Yes
Michael Kate, in the blog post you refer to you are totally ignoring that your opt-in filter still has the same basic flaw, that the censorship mechanism will be in place in every ISP. Opt-in should be truly that, if you want it, you can go to an ISP that offers it, there are several in Australia that offer this service already. Your argument is just the good cop to Conroy’s bad cop. In the end we are still stuck with an infrastructure in place that a) we don’t want (nor want to pay for), and b) can be abused in the future. No
Ben The Government controlling the web and  the governments initiative on improved openness and it’s Gov2.0 scheme means the proposed filter is entirely relevant.  You have directed a few questions to your blog already, when can we expect you to address the comments on your thoughts on the filter and especially Mark Newtons comment. No
Dee Can you please explain why various govt agencies are closing and deleting various websites that contain valuable public resources? In particular, I am concerned about the recent disappearance of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission website, formerly No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Dee, I’d be surprised if such content were not available somewhere, but it is certainly an important question and I’ll try to chase this one up.
trib (Stephen Collins) For those of you with questions re innovation and APS reform, you might find the latest report from DIISR to MAC useful – Empowering Change: Fostering Innovation in the Australian Public Service Yes
david when will the Declaration of Open Govenment be made? which date? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi David, I’m not sure as to the exact date, but it should be hopefully soon.
Mike L Atkin I’ve looked at the example sites and most of them are just static content. Is there anything in the pipeline that will capture the public’s imagination/ No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Mike, I think there are some great projects that can capture the imagination of the public, and the showcase is meant to start collating them but it is fairly new. I think examples like the Powerhouse Museum Layar augmented reality application, that overlays old photos from archives on whatever street or building you are looking at is a great example. I also love Mapping our Anzacs, which makes available service records and invites the public to share their photos, stories and memories of the individual soldiers. Also projects like the (portal for all public government data) and (portal to interact with government in one place) which are under development could be quite significant for citizens.
trib (Stephen Collins) The ADF and Defence public service would do well to look to their US counterparts in this regard. There are an increasing number of useful, relevant case studies. No
Mark Plainly you have no interest in addressing the real issue.  How is the openness and transparency implied by buzzphrases like ‘democratization of data’ consistent with censorship and secret blacklists No
Tongoloid How is it possible that everyone has exactly the same goal? A shared goal is different, because it is a compromise, possibly influenced by group think amongst other factors. If it is a shared goal than it’s not everybody’s goal therefore legislating for this ‘shared goal’ doesn’t really give many voters what they want. No
Stefan Senator Lundy, as shown in some of the questions here, it seems to me that the proposed internet filter is overshadowing the Gov 2.0 project with the people that have the most interest in it. Would it not be a good idea to use the internet filter as a demonstration of how useful the Gov 2.0 concept can be for drafting coherent policy? No
Denis on the govt’s culture towards gov 2.0. gov 2.0 is a great idea to get the public involved and this will be a gradual evolution, but at present the two major parties seem more pre-occupied with representing party opinion than public opinion. How is the openness and discussion with members of the public affected by those in government resistive to change that wish to stifle public opinion and steam role ahead with bad policy regardless of overwhelming feedback opposing said policy. (ie the Hon Senator Conroy)? No
Ashberg Do you think there is an internal resistance in the APS to move to a more transparent communication model (Gov 2.0+ using web 2.0+ tools in-house and on public/industry facing sites) because middle and upper management do not understand the power of web 2.0 technologies or because they fear that the increased transparency might showcase the APS’ low productivity and innovation – in comparison to the private sector? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE I think the benefits will become obvious and managers will review the evidence and adapt.
CW Kate it seems clear a number of people want to discuss the Internet censorship issue yet you refuse to engage. It is pretty hard to take Gov2.0 when the government enforces the rules of engagement. It is not an open and frank discussion when one party controls the discussion. That is why the DBCDE “blog” was such a total failure. The issue seems to be a “live” engagement breaks through the spin, which incidentally is why I suspect you are fobbing off Internet censorship questions. No
Firzen If your opt-in/out filter proposal is rejected, will you vote against Labor’s filter in Parliament? No
trib (Stephen Collins) @Adam I would argue (and have for many years) that all things “2.0” are actually more about a set of cultural behaviors focussed on openness and sharing rather than the tools (which are unnecessary for the culture to exist but that do help it propagate). No
Ben on the govt’s culture towards gov 2.0. gov 2.0 is a great idea to get the public involved and this will be a gradual evolution, but at present the two major parties seem more pre-occupied with representing party opinion than public opinion. How is the openness and discussion with members of the public affected by those in government resistive to change that wish to stifle public opinion and steam role ahead with bad policy regardless of overwhelming feedback opposing said policy. (ie the Hon Senator Conroy)? No
Bob Good to see that you’re offering an alternate ISP filter model but the question remains: why insist on one when the industry and most australians says they don’t want it and it won’t work? No
Arthru Fortune @Adam searcht he web for Standard Business Reporting, this will give you an idea of the kind of work the government is doing in relation to business services that can be delivered electronically No
James The Federal Government is in the process of ramping up the use of a Creative Commons By Attribution license. Are there any key projects or data sets you seek to add to this list in the near future, or any particularly high priorities for this? Yes
Kate Lundy The Budget was released under Creative Commons, as is about to be the Hansard data (although as another question posed, the licences are no-derivatives). I think this makes the content usable, and although could be more open is a great first step. Yes
Kate Lundy I’d love to see something like the UK COINS project Yes
Kate Lundy Yes
David Tangye At the recent Mashup day, government agencies submitted datasets. The quantity and quality was, frankly spare and poor. (I looked through a lot of it.) I think you underestimate the severe reluctance of top public servants to “open up” . They must feel threatened. Its a human issue. How will you address this? Yes
Jack thanks Kate – I am currently working with a few other people on a framework for defining and engaging that next stage of Gov 2.0; the biggest challange in my interaction with gov so far is that the technology groups are interested mostly in the platforms, while the business groups tend to dismiss it as unnecessary… Yes
Johno Kate, I think you should be in Conroy’s job. There would be less hair loss Australia wide. No
Jack If interested, I’m happy to share some of this work with you. Yes
Mike L Atkin One last question from me: When is the biggest obstacle to open communication in Australia going to be removed? I refer, of course, to Senator Conroy. No
trib (Stephen Collins) @bruno from my observations at the conference and elsewhere, Australia is largely doing as well or better than our counterparts in many areas. In others, we lag. It’s very balanced overall. Yes
Oliver Senator, do you see any specific legal obstacles to the implementation of the gov20 strategy? i.e. are agencies legally empowered to work together, integrate processes, share data etc. today? Yes
Kate Lundy Legislation determines formal datasharing when there are privacy implications, so there is protection there, but there are not these concerns the silo thing is a barrier. This really boils down to developing cross-agency platforms for collaboration. leaderhip and sense of purpose is key. Yes
Kate Lundy That was means to tbe, …but where there are not thesese concerns….. Yes
Mark the need for strong political leadership in the pusuit of openess in government No
Justin What exactly is the point of Gov 2.0 when minister’s, mps, senators, and the prime minister refuse to be open and engage with the public? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Everyone will get engaged in Web 2.0 at their own pace, including the community. Just encourage it wherever you see it :)
Tongoloid How can you talk democracy on the internet while preparing to implement censorship and secret blacklists? No
Diana You must initiate changes at “grass root” levels with Local Government. Too many councils are archaic – no idea of 2.0 and not willing to make changes No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Thanks Diana, I’ve seen councils at both ends of the spectrum. Some of the best innovations online and some who have no resources to do very much. For a lot of councils it’s about the people. Enthusiastic people make things happen.
Ash Senator, how do you expect Gov 2.0 to be adopted if the majority of management in federal departments do not understand the intrinsic value and worth that web 2.0 technologies? Will middle-to-upper management be provided training in this regard? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Ash, please go through the Gov 2.0 Taskforce report and the Ahead of the Game report mentioned, and the government responses to both as I think they address that issue.
Daniel Hi senator, somewhat off topic – what are your thoughts on subcutaneous microchipping? (err, and could microchips facilitate gov 2.0?) No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Daniel, I want one!
Edude Because the the ALP is not currently listening to it’s people and this gov 2.0 sounds like another waste of money. No
Adam Minister, I will ask my question again as you chose to not answer it in your earlier response.    but I will be more direct this time.             What plans do you have Minister, to provide a universal account for business to do business with government in Australia given the Auskey only covers businesses with an ABN?  and if you have no plan currently, is it on the horizon to develop a plan for such a critical piece of the puzzle? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Adam, I will follow this question up, what you’re saying makes sense.
Newton The Gershon report points to the centralisation of ICT in Canberra, and I have not seen much changing in this respect. I am based in Sydney and although I am prepared to move to Canberra it is very hard to get into the public sector in Canberra as there is a music chair game with more experienced IT public service professional changing seats No
Ash Will public data be made available to encourage innovation – such as the UK’s mashup initiative? (See No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Ash, we’ve already started down the road on this, and in fact last year had our first series of Mashup Australia ( events (including the wonderfully named GovHack) where loads of data was publicly released and developed on. There are also great initiatives happening in NSW ( and Victoria ( will be the portal for all open government data, and is currently in development with a few basic data sets already available. There are also many tens of thousands geospatial data sets available on the OSDM website ( Also see SIBA for some more initiatives
Fred About openness of government.  This government said it would be a more open government and it seems that we were misled, in that FOI is harder to get, Senator Conroy censors his own department, and the government is hell bent on implementing a very unpopular policy to censor the very communications system that will deliver the gov2.0 initiatives.  Can you see why many are not confident that Gov2.0 will actually benefit ordinary australians but just give the government a cheaper way to control us. No
rog Hi Kate, what are some examples of how your constituents communication with you have improved through web2.0? and specific examples? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Rog, well my website is the first thing that comes to mind. I currently have almost 4000 comments across over 1700 posts, and I continually engage in discussion there as well as encourage community discussions. I also developed the Public Sphere consultations which use traditional and new methods to try to take public engagement on public policy to the next level where peer review and transparency are key factors. More information about this is at
deanna resend (ignore this if my first comes through) – The Australian Parliament House website has just announced an open licence for its content (good), but one that doesn’t allow changes or excerpts (bad). Do you know the logic behind this? Isn’t this a problem for reuse by eg Open Australia, educators? No
Nicholas Personally, I see Gov 2.0 as an ongoing conversation between the government of the day and the public, which leads to good policy outcomes. I would really like to see greater consultation taking place between elected representatives and the public through these channels. It seems, despite the outcomes of the Gov 2.0 taskforce and the Gershon report that not much has been done to implement their recomendations. I’d hate to see feldgling Gov 2.0 initiatives being mothballed due to a lack of interest. No
CW If Gov 2.0 is to be taken seriously doesn’t the government need to not control the terms of community engagement? For instance, doesn’t  refusing to engage on potentially controversial policies undermine the credibility and questions the sincerity of other engagements? No
Edude Gov2.0 is about how the public sector engages… what? No
Guest The OECD’s latest report on Innovation Strategy (May 2010) makes the point that, in addition to hardware and software, ICT infrastructure includes information that is publicly generated or funded.” And goes on to pay that “provision of this information at no or low cost can stimulate innovation and improve the transparency and efficiency of government.” Obstacles that

impede the commercial and non-commercial re-use of public-sector information should

be addressed including restrictive or unclear rules governing access and conditions of reuse;

unclear and inconsistent pricing of information when re-use is chargeable; and

complex and lengthy licensing procedures. In general, public information should remain

open so as to eliminate exclusive arrangements and allow innovative commercial and

non-commercial re-use.

dave kate, yr point on the US military leadership was a fantastic one. do you see the same level of support from john faulkner, angus houston etc etc? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Dave, Senator Faulkner is one of the government’s strongest advocates for transparency and accountability. He was behind much of the FOI reforms before moving to defence and has continued to commit to improving transparency in that portfolio.
Justin The difficulty is, if there is a culture within cabinet of not engaging and not being open, how do you expect the public service to be open?  I suspect most would be scared of the walloping they’d receive from their relevant minister if they were too open. No
Edude How much money will this cost? I don’t see what it has to do with democracy. The policy is being implemented regardless and merely playing expensive lip service to populist voters. No
Mike L Atkin Does online engagement with the voters mean that government will seriously act on the response? A recent online poll showed that 99% were against Senator Conroy’s censorship proposal so can we expect an announcement cancelling this project? No
Edude So what about not allowing citizens of democratic Australia to view footage of incidents in Iran? No
Firzen trib, open government has everything to do with filtering. No
Mike L Atkin @ trib – you can’t have openness and censorship, the two are mutually exclusive No
Guest You say secrecy – in the case of ACTA, I am intrigued – what is the need for secrecy there? The US has stated ACTA – a copyright treaty – was an issue of national security? No
Mark @Stephen Collins – Filtering and open government ARE the same topic No
Van Kate I really like your Public Sphere series – are you planning another one?  How do you get senior public servants to participate in it? Yes
Kate Lundy PS on public spheres, thanks for the feedback Pia and I are thinking about it :-) Yes
Harry Agreed, trib. Senator, what in your view are the highest priorities for the Federal Government in relicensing to Creative Commons by attribution? Are there any plans to see the MySchools data sets made available for public use? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE These are the sorts of things that I would expect the expert working group on MySchool will be discussing.
Tongoloid Internet filtering is relevant to the whole of the online world including gov 2.0 or 3.0 or 4.0 etc No
c How are you going to gauge the benefits of gov and Web2.0, are people honeslty going to want to ready blogs of service orientated departments? No
Ben Does online engagement with the voters mean that government will seriously act on the response? A recent online poll showed that 99% were against Senator Conroy’s censorship proposal so can we expect an announcement cancelling this project? No
Jack Peter, Senator Yes, something along those lines, but also taking into account the audience, the new generation of digitla natives, while catering for the divide between generations No
Ben When is the biggest obstacle to open communication in Australia going to be removed? I refer, of course, to Senator Conroy. No
Ben you can’t have openness and censorship, the two are mutually exclusive Yes
Arved How will the government resist the temptation to build up profiles on citizens who participate?  Paper letters would of course be stored, but it is relatively difficult to use.  Computers and the Internet make it far easier to gather all correspondence a citizen has had with government departments and elected representatives.  How will privacy be protected? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Arved, privacy is protected by legislation and is expressed in the information privacy principles so all government initiatives must sit this tough test.
Tim While I understand you don’t speak for the Libs, to what extent do these plans and ideas have bipartisan support?  Can you guarantee that Gov 2.0 is coming regardless of the party in charge of the lower and upper houses?  Or is this a Labor policy..? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Tim, the government has already responded to and is implementing several policies around this. The FOI bills were passed by Parliament, and the Gov 2.0 work is largely just part of business as usual. I couldn’t say whether an alternate party would continue our work in this space or just dump it, but while we are in government we will try to do our best to improve things.
Sam @David, I see that as a problem in our own department, Data and Datasets are not being given out as departments think of it as their data, not the Australian people’s data. Once this changes we will be able to move ahead, happy to talk to you more about i Yes
trib (Stephen Collins) @JamesDellow several Expo case studies were about agency outreach to those they wished to engage or influence, with the aim of changing service delivery (also relevant to JamesP). Surprisingly, the military examples were the leaders here. Yes
Denis you mention examples of local govt leading the way with online services, any examples of federal govt? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Please browse through some of the examples on Http:// and on the speech I gave to the global Gov 2.0 Expo
trib (Stephen Collins) @jacob – can I suggest you join the Gov2.0 Australia Google Group? We have public servants (from fed, state, local) and outsiders all working there and discussing these issues. You can find it at Yes
leslie to the point made by james, maybe gov should be looking beyond online and at COMMON stuff people have with them like mobile phones. jetstar has a mobi check-in system that doesnt need a fancy 3G phone. gov should GO to the people not WAIT for people to approach them. Yes
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE That is a great point Leslie. I think we need to be sure to a) go to where people actually are (online and offline) to engage with them, and b) we should ensure all citizens are able to contribute. Thanks for the contribution!
Steve You seem too intelligent to be a member of the Labor Party. Will you consider defecting? No
Fred @trib How can one implement Gov2.0 when the government is implementing a censorship system to control the very communication medium they want to use for “open” communications – see Senator Conroy’s web site, it censors out important information. No
Tongoloid Has the current ALP taken note of the failed NuLabor policies in the UK? Such as Myschool. No
Anne Fitzgerald The OECD’s latest Innovation Strategy report (May 2010) says that “in addition to hardware and software, ICT infrastructure includes information that is publicly generated or funded.” It goes on to say that “provision of this information at no or low cost can stimulate innovation and improve the transparency and efficiency of government.” These important points were also central to the Gov 2.0 Taskforce’s work and recommendations.  The Taskforce’s recommendations on removing legal and licensing obstacles so that public information can be reused for innovative commercial and non-commercial uses are right in line with leading economic thinking. Yes
Kate Lundy This is a good point. ACIL Tasman did some excellent work for the Spaitial Information Business Council that quantified the economic return to Australian if datasets were released and the private sector able to innovate, add value and export. I will find the link to this presentation… (link is Yes
sar How can the government get it right when the tools used are not even named correctly – I believe this is a live chat not a blog – can the correct terminology be used..? No
Tongoloid Sorry Kate I don’t see any comments by you on your blog about censorship, apart from the original blog. Is this the type of participatory democracy gov 2.0 we can expect? No
Ben How can you honestly claim to be for designing a better democracy whilst being a member of a party and support it’s position on censoring the internet?  I am all for more openness and the things you have been presenting.  However how can we expect to take any of it seriously whilst the current government has been largely ignoring the public? Yes
Jack To Anee – I believe the gov is considering the use of Creative Commons licensing on many of the public info; along with new FOI provisions, we should expect to see more in the public domain Yes
Sam I think that departments etc (my own included) would release data if it were “low risk” to see how it would be used and then they would be more open to releasing “medium – high risk” data and I def think the public should be involved to mashup the data once some other stuff is released Yes
Tom Senator – Did you see the potential use within Australian Government of spatial (geographic) based information via Gov 2.0 – referring to your ACIL Tamsan comment.  I believe there is some great work being done over in the US in this space. No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Tom, absolutely! I am passionate about geospatial data and metadata for that matter in helping make data come alive. We have a lot happening here in the geospatial space, and many of the really intriguing projects resulting from the Mashup Australia projects used geospatial data to visualise information and help make it more useful.
Sethe My main issue is the expertise and understanding of the technologies that will be adopted.  There is a time poor culture that prevents the right technologies being adopted or investigated by the right team (web and IT) in order to get an achievable result.  Too often teams are told we want to set us this blog (when like this) it is really a chat.  When in reality a different platform would be more productive.  I worry that a lot of times Web 2.0 technologies are adopted with no clear goals and deliverables in mind so success of such a platform is not measured No
James Dellow @chieftech @ jacob – the Gov 2.0 ‘Project 8′ guidelines have a list of use cases for online engagement, including around service delivery. It includes benefits etc. No
John What do you think of some of the European data standards inititaves like Inspire? Surely the adoption of such frameworks by the Australian Government would greatly assist in the sharing of data both between departments and the general public. No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi John, thanks for the link. I’ll have a look at it.
Mike L Atkin Should Federal and States & territory governments be pushing for more use of open source software? Local/regional councils in QLD have just bought a very expensive closed source disaster recovery system instead of an established open source system that has been used in every major natural disaster since the Boxing day tsunami. As a tax payer and voter it seems like a real waste. No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Mike, it is an interesting point. I think we have a lot to learn from the open source community, both from the technologies we can apply and from the way the community works well in many projects. I think there is an increasing uptake of open source in government and I certainly encourage agencies and departments to consider open source.
James Hi Jack, would love to hear more about it. Are you able to send any more info through to No
Pat Gethin Locations Based Services ( LBS) are seen as a critical component of Gov 2.0 services in the US for getting informaiton across to the public, (transperancy), as well as making it easy for public to comment on what concerns them in their local area. Is ‘Spatial’ Gov 2.0 a key consideration that is on the table? No
Kate Lundy: ADDITIONAL RESPONSE Hi Pat, spatial data is absolutely essential to Gov 2.0, both for personalising service delivery, and for contextualising and better understanding data.
Kate Lundy Thanks everyone for participating today, it has been great, and although I haven’t got to all your questions (was only able to get to about a quarter!) I’ll follow up with a blog post later today with further information. Yes
Kate Lundy Please visit my website and post comments there as well if you are interested. Yes
Tongoloid I thought google was the enemy? No
big dog bye! No
Tongoloid No you won’t No
trib (Stephen Collins) Well done Senator and The Oz. An imperfect system, but workable. No
David Tangye HEar hear: Ben and Van No
David Tangye Pia: make sure Kate’s PC is running LInux, OK :-) No
Kate Lundy OK, bye all Yes
Kate Lundy see you on twitter or my blog! Yes
Kate Lundy PSS on twitter, you can search on the #gov2au. Yes
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