The NSW Government has announced an online forum aimed at collecting public sector thoughts on “transparency, collaboration, participation and innovation” in Government ICT.
The NSW Public Sector Open Government Community of Practice was launched by Finance Minister, Dominic Perrottet, in a bid to make doing business with Government agencies easier.
The Forum was flagged in NSW’s ICT Board Report, Open Government in NSW. It’s part of NSW 2021 Strategy which includes “goals for openness, accountability and transparency when it comes to government decision making and information sharing.”
Goal 32 of NSW 2021 is to “Involve the community in decision making on government policy, services and projects.” The introduction of the Forum is expected to fulfil this goal.
The themes to be addressed in the forum include:
- Access to data and information
- Community engagement
- Collaboration on public service solutions
- Digital communications and services including social media
Perrottet said in a media release, “I see the open government initiative as a game changer in the way that public sector agencies and employees engage with their customers.”
At the heart of NSW’s Open Government policy is Open Data. According to Perrottet, since the launch of the 2012 ICT Strategy, the Government has seen 290 datasets become publicly available.
Open data has become a popular policy around the country. South Australia is currently looking to improve its open data portal while Federal, Victorian and Queensland Governments all have Open Data policies and subsequent portals in place. The ACT is currently developing one.
Despite this, Perrottet stressed that “Open data is just one dimension of open government”, he continued, “Agencies like Education and Communities, Police and Justice and the Rural Fire Service are already harnessing social media for better service delivery.”