Jack Thurston of Farmsubsidy gives here very good insights on the problems in data availability and illustrates one example of measuring transparency.
Some important variables are described: format of data, completeness of data, timeliness of data.
Which of course reminds me of the 8 principle for reuse of public data.
I will have a look at the methodology, maybe this could be re-used for other kind of public data?
And I believe we don’t have a clear shared idea of what a good govt website should look like in the future. There is some good work on transparency and public data (the power of information, the 8 principles) but not on other aspects.
Here are some sparse (and controversial) features of an idealgovt website 2.0 I would like to discuss:
– users can comment on the govt website to: comment on the service received and help other users with using the service
– users’ search terms appear on the homepage as tag cloud (see delaware.gov)
– collecting service ratings by users ( i dont like it)
– in every page you have an amazon-like service: users who looked at this page also looked at this. Ideally across different public websites!!
– all pages searchable by google (no “robots.txt”)
– strong transparency (see “the power of information”) and extended FOI. For example: all beneficiaries of public funding made public (see farmsubsidy.org). All feedback/ customer satisfaction results published.
– civil servants blogging and facebooking ( i dont like this but let’ discuss)
– citizens contributing to improved decision-making (extending peertopatent.org to other govt fields)
– lots and lots of RSS, also for internal search
– widgets and mashable applications (eGov delivered via iGoogle and Facebook)
– or no portal at all – just a search engine and mash-up?
I would like to make this list as complete as possible. And to discuss the controversial features. For the moment, only considering front-office issues.