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?