Gov 2.0 Primer

The Government 2.0 Primer for Australian Government agencies describes scenarios and tools which apply to agency Government 2.0 activities, including engaging with the public and releasing government data online. Although there is no universally accepted definition, Government 2.0 is essentially about using technology to realise a more open, transparent and consultative form of government. The term derives from Web 2.0, which refers to technologies that encourage online discussion, sharing and collaboration.

This document is not intended as a comprehensive guide.

Why should I?

In July 2010 the Australian Government published the Declaration of Open Government. The Declaration states that:

“The Australian Government now declares that, in order to promote greater participation in Australia’s democracy, it is committed to open government based on a culture of engagement, built on better access to and use of government held information, and sustained by the innovative use of technology.”

The purpose of the primer is to help agencies achieve the aims stated in the Declaration.

What should I do?

In addition to forming internal social media policies, it is important for agencies to plan their Government 2.0 initiatives by forming a clear, well-articulated strategy and project plan (if applicable).

From an operational point of view, Government 2.0 involves:

  • Consulting and engaging with stakeholders online, and
  • Releasing data online under licences and in formats which enable reuse, subject to privacy, security and other relevant considerations.

For a more detailed discussion of Government 2.0 and Web 2.0 in an Australian Government context, refer to Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0, the report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce (the Taskforce).

The Government’s response to the Taskforce’s recommendations and its Declaration of Open Government also contain important information about future government plans in this area. The Government has also accepted the recommendation in Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for Reform of Australian Government Administration for an open government reform which is similar, in many respects, to the Taskforce’s recommendations.

How do I?

The Primer is divided into three sections:

The Primer can also be downloaded as a single document:

What has Finance done in this area?

In 2009, Finance provided the secretariat of the Taskforce, gaining experience in managing social media tools and an understanding of the drivers and issues involved in implementing Government 2.0 across the Australian Public Service (APS). In May 2010, the Government response to the Taskforce gave Finance responsibility for leading the Government 2.0 work program. Following that response, Finance established a Government 2.0 Strategy and Services team within AGIMO to carry this work program forward, including tasks such as:

  • Developing Government 2.0 guidance for Australian Government agencies about engaging online.
  • Establishing a Government 2.0 Steering Group composed of senior public servants from a range of Australian Government agencies to inform the Government 2.0 work plan and provide leadership in this area.
  • Developing the data.gov.au website to serve as a central access and discovery tool for government data.
  • Providing the govspace service, a WordPress-based blogging platform that allows agencies from any level of government to establish a blog without having to invest in software and infrastructure.
  • Operating the AGIMO Blog as a way to engage with stakeholders and share information about AGIMO’s work, particularly in the area of Government 2.0.
  • Launching a Government 2.0 online community (via Finance’s govdex service) for public servants from all levels of government to discuss Government 2.0 issues and initiatives and become used to engaging online. Requests for membership can be sent to gov2@finance.gov.au
  • Working with several other Government agencies to create policy in areas such as Web 2.0 record-keeping and security, and data publication best practices.

Please forward any questions about this document or any of AGIMO’s Government 2.0 services to gov2@finance.gov.au. Agencies can also use this email address for any requests for assistance or information when implementing Government 2.0 initiatives or approaches. To keep up to date with AGIMO’s Government 2.0 work, including future versions of this Primer, you should follow the AGIMO Blog.

Last Reviewed: 2012-1-4