Senator Kate Lundy on Open Government and Citizen-centric Services

Photo: Senator Kate Lundy talking about Gov2.0 at SFD Melbourne by Chris Samuel. CC BY 2.0 Generic.
On 1 March 2011, Senator Kate Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship, spoke at the Citizen Centric Service Delivery 2011, Canberra on the topic ‘Citizen-centric services: A necessary principle for achieving genuine open government’.

Senator Lundy opened her speech with the meaning of Open Government, which relates to “accessible and transparent data, the extent government engages with citizens in decision making and accessibility of government itself.” With that in mind, she focused her speech on the “three pillars of Open Government”: Citizen-Centric services, Democratizing Data and Participatory Government.

In terms of Citizen-Centric services, Senator Lundy envisioned central and tailored data services for the public, such as mash-ups utilising interoperable data. She cited existing initiatives such as Australia.gov.au and Centrelink’s online profile management system (among others) as good examples of information management.

According to Senator Lundy, the next pillar of open government, Democratising Data, is about “recognising that government data is a public resource”. She emphasised that it is about “ensuring that at the point of creation, government data is assumed to be destined for public release, unless there is a specific reason not to.” This means from creation:

  • data should have a permissible copyright license such as Creative Commons,
  • data should be stored in an open data format such that it is not locked into a specific product or technology,
  • data should be machine readable so that people can create applications that can use the data for new services or analysis,
  • there should be a strategy for whether and how to keep the data set up to date, and how updates should be published,
  • data should include useful metadata such as date of creation, author, any geospatial information, keywords, to ensure the data is able to be re-purposed on other ways such as by plotting the data on a map.

She pointed out that many government documents and cultural assets have already been released under a Creative Commons licence, including the Federal Budget under a CC BY licence – a world first of which they were proud of.

Credits—Photo: Adaptation (crop and resize) of ‘ Senator Kate Lundy talking about Gov2.0 at SFD Melbourne‘ by Chris Samuel, CC BY 2.0 Generic.

$100,000 (in prizes) to play with the Victorian Government’s data

Just a quick heads up that the Victorian government has announced that it will be launching a competition over the next few weeks to encourage people to engage and make use of its government data, with over $100,000 worth of prizes to be won.

The competition echoes Mashup Australia, which invited people to remix data from the CC-licensed data.gov.au site. It saw over 80 new applications over the course of a month – lets see if we can do even better for the Victorian government.

We’ll let you know when the competition is officially launched – in the meantime, Mashup Australia veterans, or anyone who missed out last time, now’s your chance to get ready.

More on Government Data – Geoscience Australia goes CC

Photo: Shattuck_23096-1, Uluru, NT by SouthernAntsWe know we’ve been publishing a lot about licensing of government documents and data of late, but there really has been so much happening that we just can’t resist. This week’s story is one we’ve actually been meaning to post about for a while.

As of late November Geoscience Australia has officially adopted Creative Commons Attribution as the default licence for its website. This means more than 18 877 products available through the website, including 3690 datasets, are now free to be reused, repurposed and remixed, including for commercial purposes – as long as you attribute Geoscience Australia as the original source, of course.

Credits—Photo: ‘Shattuck_23096-1, Uluru, NT‘ by SouthernAnts, CC BY 2.0 Generic.