Tanner declares open government

Outgoing Finance minister, Lindsay Tanner, has followed through on the Government 2.0 Taskforce’s recommendation to make a declaration of open government.

In announcing the Declaration on the [[xref:http://agimo.govspace.gov.au/2010/07/16/declaration-of-open-government/| Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) blog]] said the Australian Government was officially 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”.

“Citizen collaboration in policy and service delivery design will enhance the processes of government and improve the outcomes sought,” the blog reads.

“Collaboration with citizens is to be enabled and encouraged. Agencies are to reduce barriers to online engagement, undertake social networking, crowd sourcing and online collaboration projects and support online engagement by employees, in accordance with the Australian Public Service Commission Guidelines.”

Tanner wrote that open government depended on the innovative use of new Internet-based technologies and would hinge on three key activities: Strengthening citizen’s rights of access to information, collaborating with citizens on policy and service delivery, and making government more consultative and participatory.

“Effective collaboration between citizens and government requires timely sharing of the information held by Government,” the post reads. “The Government’s FOI Reforms create the new statutory Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and establish a comprehensive Information Publication Scheme that requires agencies to publish a wide range of information.”

In May Lundy flagged that new on the Government 2.0 Taskforce's central recommendation in declaring an open government.

Tanner, who announced that he would retire from politics in late June, was one of the key figures behind the implementation of recommendations in the Gershon Report, as well as measures towards Government 2.0.

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