Australia missing the Gov 2.0 boat: Gartner

The Australian government has missed the Gov 2.0 boat and should permit employee use of social media sites to increase its Web 2.0 reach, according to Gartner.

See Computerworld Australia's Gov 2.0 2010 roundup.

Addressing a media session at the Gartner Symposium in Sydney, analyst Andrea Di Maio said while the Federal Government had implemented 12 out of 13 recommendations from the Gov 2.0 Taskforce, the country was “still waiting” for these recommendations to be turned into "reality".

“I think many governments are missing the boat on what Government 2.0 is,” he said. “[There are] multiple examples [overseas] where government employees are using external applications to solve internal problems.”

Di Maio said the use of social media by employees could be crucial to the future success of Gov 2.0.

“The critical point here is for those things to happen, employees have to use their personal Twitter or Facebook profile,” he said. “Gov 2.0 is about policy making...the real power is the employees using those tools in their workplace environment.”

Instead of turning straight to using sites like Facebook and Twitter, Di Maio said government organisations should establish what Web 2.0 option best suits its employees.

“There are already communities that exist before government...the problem becomes should governments develop new communities or build upon existing,” he said. “Before you do anything, before you create your own Facebook page, figure out if there are already existing communities out there.”

Di Maio pointed to positive examples of where Gov 2.0 has been used in a positive way, citing the UK, Netherlands, France and Germany as having governments that have leveraged web 2.0 tools at one stage.

“It’s outside the comfort zone of many countries,” he said. “The inflexion point is enabling employees to create the context where employees are being rewarded rather than punished for using Facebook sites.”

Just as email and case management tools have been used by employees to better perform on their job, Di Maio said social media sites allow government employees to do their job more effectively.

“Where people in government should focus on is doing their job better,” he said. “Can I use a blog to become a more successful employee?”

Recently, Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)Assistant Secretary of the Online Services Branch, Peter Alexander, said Gov 2.0 was progressing rapidly, but cultural change remains the biggest barrier to its widespread adoption.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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