Gov 2.0 – power to the people

Around the world, the first phase of Government use of the internet is coming to an end with public services and information largely online. We are now at the start of a new era, where Government starts to learn how to support citizens’ own ways of making, finding and re-using information online.

So says Tom Steinberg, founder and Director of mySociety on the publication of The Power of Information (pdf), a report by him and Ed Mayo, Chief Executive of the National Consumer Council, commissioned by Cabinet Office Minister Hilary Armstrong to ensure Government acted as a leader in understanding changes in communication and information technology.

The report argues that government could now grasp the opportunities that are emerging in terms of the creation, consumption and re-use of information. Current policy and action is not yet adequate to grasp these opportunities. To this end, the report recommends a strategy in which government:

  • welcomes and engages with users and operators of user-generated sites in pursuit of common social and economic objectives;
  • supplies innovators that are re-using government-held information with the information they need, when they need it, in a way that maximises the long-term benefits for all citizens; and
  • protects the public interest by preparing citizens for a world of plentiful (and sometimes unreliable) information, and helps excluded groups take advantage.

[Update: An alternative html version of the report is on Comment on This.]

2 thoughts on “Gov 2.0 – power to the people

  1. This is wonderful news.

    The critical element from my perspective is the recognition that government must be facilitative of the bottom-up development of its services, rather than regulating their features from the top-down.

    Let us hope that this holds during implementation – and that we citizens grasp a golden opportunity!

Comments are closed.