Open Government 2010 Conference

June 22nd, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Some readers may be interested in the Open Government 2010 (un) conference next week – on Monday 28 June in Wellington.

It’s an un-conference, which means the agenda is fluid – set by participants. It is free to attend, but you need to register in advance.

Steven Joyce will be doing an opening address, and other speakers or panelists include:

  • Colin MacDonald, LINZ CEO
  • Mirian Lips, e-Government Professor, VUW
  • Zachary Tumin, Associate Director for Technology & Governance:The Ash Institute at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Rodrigo Mizuno, Worldwide e-Government Managing Director:Microsoft Corporation
  • Clare Curran, Labour IT/Comms Spokesperson
  • Henk Verhoeven, Solution Architect:Intergen

If you have a passion for using technology to build a more open government, then consider registering to come along. Here’s one proposal I’d love a political party to adopt:

www.oia.govt.nz

The Government every day is releasing mounds of information under the OIA – but only to the person who thought to request it. I’d love to see a pdf of every OIA response put onto a central website – www.oia.govt.nz, so anyone can see the information released and use it. A good taxonomy and search engine for the site and it will be a gold mine.

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12 Responses to “Open Government 2010 Conference”

  1. Mike (3,234 comments) says:

    Excellent David
    I’m registering and I love your OIA idea, lets do it for Local govt as well.
    With all meetings webcast and cheques over $1000 online too we could be moving away from centralisation and more statism.
    Well done.
    mike

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  2. berend (1,630 comments) says:

    Two thoughts:

    1. “You can be open, or you can govern.”
    2. “The public has a right to remain ignorant.”

    And where will it end up? As it always does, with a more flexible interpretation of the open government policy.

    We do not need a more open government, we need less of it.

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  3. Pete George (22,733 comments) says:

    “We do not need a more open government, we need less of it.”

    A more open government may lead to less of it. More scrutiny could help sort the wheat from the chaff.

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  4. berend (1,630 comments) says:

    Pete George, you’re such an idealist.

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  5. flipper (3,533 comments) says:

    Excellent thought about the OIA website David. Agree with Mike. A campaign, please, DPF.
    Not so sure about the conference.
    Apart from the Microsoft , Harvard and Verhoeven, all Government salaried (in one way or another) folk.
    Even the talented SJ, let us not forget, is taxpayers salaried though he ( and a few other NP MPs) could afford to follow JK’s example and donate his (their) salary to charity.
    Moreover, taxpayers will be paying numerous registration fees for the dozens of taxpayer -employed beltway bandits.

    [DPF: I think it is good to have Govt people there as they are critical to getting Govt more open]

    [DPF2: Note there are no registration fees. The sponsors are covering the costs]

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  6. Mike (3,234 comments) says:

    This must be groundhog day!
    I am in agreement with Pete George again :-)

    Maybe we should have a beer and discuss this?

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  7. Pete George (22,733 comments) says:

    Berend, it’s more idealistic simply saying we need less government without having a practical way of achieving it.

    Improving government (including cutting the fat) needs ideals but also has to have practical ways of getting there. This conference might help.

    I’d love to check it out but too far away for me.

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  8. Mike (3,234 comments) says:

    Lets not forget the sense of entitlement and demagoguery that all bureaucrats can end up in.

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  9. tvb (4,193 comments) says:

    When I worked in Government sometimes we made a general release of OIA information rather than give the requesting journalist a “scoop”, if the matter had wide public appeal. We also started the practice, since continued, of placing “released under the official information act” to prevent journalists and also Michael Laws trying to present such releases as a “leak”.

    [DPF: I think the person who requests it should get it first. But to then have it go public say within 48 hours]

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  10. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i like/support the oia-idea….

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  11. wombleton (2 comments) says:

    I have been porting the UK’s MySociety whatdotheyknow.com to the NZ context. It’s still in “beta” at the moment. It works, though; we have two successful OIA requests in the system so far and one pending one.

    Currently there is a large performance issue when more than a handful of people view a given OIA request at once, so be kind. It’s here: http://fyi.org.nz.

    There is also some redesign work that needs done to improve its usability.

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  12. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I always wondered, when you apply and get OIA information how do you know you have all the information concerning the subject?. And if at a later date further information comes to light can the people who withheld said information be crucified.

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