Government 2.0 aims to create accessible and usable government data and has strong endorsement from Finance and Deregulation Minister, Lindsay Tanner.
There are two outcomes sought by Tanner of Government 2.0:
- Transparency – the opening up and sharing of government data for the community to use in innovative ways; and
- Dialogue - the use of collaborative tools to allow public sector policy makers engage meaningfully with the public in the policy drafting process.
In the three months since the tabling of the report in late December 2009, enabling measures to facilitate greater transparency have started to emerge:
- The Information Officer Designate has been appointed;
- A Bill to amend the Freedom of information laws is before Parliament; and
- A beta website - data.australia.gov.au - has been established.
Agencies at both the Federal and state level have been adding to data.australia.gov.au site.
Currently it contains an odd assortment of information, much of which is likely to have previously been in the public domain, and not all of which lends itself to the mash-up vision of new and innovative means of manipulating the data.
Crime statistics feature more heavily on the data.australia.gov.au web site than many other categories of information. Such statistics have previously been published by Federal and state governments, but not necessarily in a way that allowed for easy interrogation and further use.
The release of a report by the Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian crime: Facts and figures 2009, and its associated online database, Facts and Figures Online is either the first, or one of the first that aligns with Government 2.0 transparency vision. Ironically, as yet, it is not on the data.australia.gov.au website.
Facts and Figures Online enables citizens to analyse and compare crime statistics from the Australian Crime: Facts and Figures collection. The underlying technology uses interactive visualization to generate results to user queries eg relating to crime perpetrators and location of crime.