June 27, 2008
Information from the Public Sector now easier to re-use in all Member States. Easy enough? asks Commission in a new public consultation – Europe’s Information Society Newsroom
The EC is preparing the review of the directive on re-use of PSI. It has opened a consultation to review current implementation. Deadline 31st July 2008
I hope the “web2.0 in public services” people who are reading this blog find the time to respond to this.
Spread the word!Technorati Tags: barcampukgovweb, transparency, EC
June 24, 2008
Coming back to the issue of web2.0 and its impact on efficiency, I must refer to this post which is already a classic, also because of the nice analogy with Marxist thought.
Gin, Television, and Social Surplus – Here Comes Everybody
Shirky argues that there is a large cognitive surplus – basically the time spent in front of the TV which is a repository of energy which can be used for creative behaviour (like blogging or writing on wikipedia).
Now I think this could be easily translated in the professional government context. What is the work (especially in the public sector) equivalent to watching TV?
MEETINGS, WORKSHOPS, CONFERENCES
How much time is lost on that. And how much could be used for more creative action.
Powered by ScribeFire.
June 17, 2008
Following a previous post about efficiency and effectiveness, I found this interesting post by the guru of enterprise2.0, Andrew McAfee
He stresses how web2 can help reducing e-mail and interruptions – then he shows a quite good visualization.
He also points out that
“This only works, though, if everyone on the project agrees to use the 2.0 project management tools; if the boss still wants everything emailed to her and continues to use email for her updates, Enterprise 2.0 becomes above the flow rather than in it, and so likely increases interruptions rather than decreasing them.”
Which of course is the million dollar question when dealing with network technologies. Many good technologies were just not taken up to the critical mass level that made them efficient. And as the same McAfee points out in another post, new solutions have to be 9 times better to be taken up.
Still, I think the key impact is on effectiveness rather than efficiency. This relates to the famous paper of Aral and Brynjolfsson.
Powered by ScribeFire.
June 17, 2008
Just a personal note, in 2 weeks I leave the European Commission.
This blog will continue, and for my new position please check this blog and on linkedin
June 16, 2008
In addition to the previous post about partial transparency: it is quite strange that the same ministry that publishes the full list of consultants of public administration, does not provide any data on the costs of its activities.
For example, checking the projects to fight digital divide, only very general information is given. Look at this example: one hundred words to explain a project to build public Internet points worth 80 Million Euros, with no mention of its cost (I found the information in this report).
I really hope that soon we will find also this kind of information on the Ministry website, as well as the status of implementation, not to mention the take-up.
June 16, 2008
Italy presents now an interesting case on transparency, with its recent government change.
The old government, as mentioned before, just before leaving office published all data on income declaration of Italian citizens in 2006. These data are public by law, although the law of course (of 1973) did not envisage the impact of the Internet on information publicity. Data have then been taken down from the website following a request of the Privacy authority.
The new government, particularly the new Minister for Public Administration, puts large emphasis on transparency. It has therefore published (on the website as indigestible pdf, and an extract on the largest national newspaper) the full list of consultants paid by public administration, together with their salary, at national and local level.
Several friends of mine, temporary workers working full time for the public administration, were “named and shamed” on the largest italian newspaper.
Of course, the newspaper did not mention the length of the contract, so that you could not understand if 50K Euros was for a few days work or for a year’s work. Also, the publication on the newspaper only focused on one body (the national agency for public administration).
So, very partial transparency indeed, and going mainly against many the temporary workers of public administration. Anyway, I think it’s a false step but in the right direction (it would be stage 2 in the methodology I proposed for benchmarking eGovernment 2.0). The problem lies in the fact that there has been not enough transparency, and selective, not too much.
What do you think?
June 15, 2008
“The Power of Information” is the title of a review carried out by Ed mayo and Tom Steinberg for the UK Cabinet. It is highly recommended reading, it can be considered as “the classic” on web2 and government.
So it is highly recommmended to follow the developments after the review – through this blog.
Power of Information Task Force
June 12, 2008
I liked a lot alorza’s commandment for eGov 2.0: “don’t create web2 applications in vain”
I would suggest another one: “never present and eGov project in a public meeting without mentioning its COST and its TAKE-UP”
I am fed up with presentation of idea and projects, indicating objectives and potential benefits.
Cost and usage are two essential data, which are ALWAYS available to the project manager – no data collection required. And they address the 2 critical points of eGovernment (high cost and low take-up).
Of course data on real impact would be more important, but they require additional effort for data collection and analysis.
June 10, 2008
The Open Method of Coordination is a voluntary collaboration method between government. In the EU, it is used especially in policy fields where the EU has no competence.
Key tools for Open Method of Coordination are benchmarking, peer pressure, exchange of good practices, institutional learning.
Well, all these are perfect application fields for web2 tools. Not only on eGovernment policies, but on any policy.
If I were a web2 consultant/developer, I would look at these as possible “customers” of web2 solutions in public administration.
One of the problems is: can there be such a thing as institutional learning? or only individuals learn?
June 5, 2008
Off I went to Rimini for an event organised by my friend Claudio Forghieri of Modena municipality.
I must say I am quite negative about the Italian situation on e-government, and I didn’t change my mind this time. It seems we continue to repeat the same things as 9 years ago, when we I started working on this. The atmosphere is quite pessimistic, and somebody proposed half-jokingly that we should start thinking about an “EXIT STRATEGY” from e-government!
But there are some interesting individuals and project which I discovered this time. There are reasons for optimism.
There is no italian public blogosphere such as the spanish or UK one, but I managed to meet Paolo Subioli of “Cronache di e-government” which I will now add as second Italian blogger on these issues, along with Alberto Cottica – whom I will meet tomorrow. It appears that many Italian public administration are more resistant to civil servants blogging than other European administrators.
I found an interesting project: it’s like FixMyStreet, but launched by an Italian Public Administration: the municipality of Spinea. Citizens can complain online, and the follow-up to the complain is published as well. This appeared to have a great impact on quality of service, and on citizen satisfaction. Plus, it gave managers in the capacity to better control the quality of internal work, and the work of subcontractors. They are thinking about extending this to schools maintainance (I also proposed FixMySchool just two days ago!). This is an administration that really gets it.
Do I have to add that the project costed 6500 EUROS?!?!? To give you an idea, I read in an article that 6 BILLION EUROS were spent since 2000 on eGovernment in Italy.
This fits perfectly with the visualization I made in a previous post: public data such as citizens feedback can be a lever for actual change in public administration.
This is really changing the rules of the game, and from what I heard it is not just one project, other municipalities such as Venice have similar projects. We shall make sure that software is shared and re-used by the widest number of bodies for managing feedback.
Why don’t we try to establish a common standard for feedback/ratings on public services? Maybe a microformat? Anybody interested?