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Australian Government CIO Reinforces Employee-Centricity of Government 2.0

By Andrea Di Maio | July 31, 2010 | 2 Comments

web 2.0 in government

After the excellent declaration of open government released just a few weeks ago, another Australian senior official shows that the country really hits the nail on the head when it comes to government 2.0.

At a FutureGov forum held earlier this week, Ann Steward, Federal Government CIO, addressed the issue of what employee should be doing. According to FutureGov:

Steward said that although a lot of good work was being done, agencies needed to identify the internal barriers to embracing Gov 2.0, and develop an “action agenda” not only within their own agencies, but for collaboration with other agencies on common service areas – and the Australian public.

“How many of you are working collaboratively in externally hosted environments?” Steward asked delegates at the National Convention Centre in Canberra, prompting a show of hands. “A few, but not many,” she noted. “We need more activists to lead the way.”

The point about activists is great and goes hand in hand with the declaration of open government that requires agencies “to develop policies that support employee-initiated, innovative government 2.0-based proposals as well as the line that senator Kate Lundy takes when she addresses the same topics.

It is quite impressive to find legislators. ministers and senior civil servants all aligned on the same priorities. Ann, like Kate, is an incredibly smart and wise person, soft-spoken but razor-sharp. In another recent interview, where she discussed priorities around innovation and cloud computing, she showed a refreshing, no-nonsense attitude.

And, as a side note, Ann – like Kate – is a very good looking woman. I know this has absolutely nothing to do with getting IT and government 2.0, but you’ll have to excuse me: after all, I am Italian 🙂

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  • Andrea, I think Ann Steward’s statement this week was incredibly powerful and important.

    However, and I know you’re fully aware of this in your Australian and international experience, it’s not enough. Massive cultural resistance remains throughout the Australian public sector at all levels to activity that might be considered to be Government 2.0 in nature. We need a strong catalyst to emerge – from the public and from the political sphere – that has more power and influence than either Kate or Ann (as neither are influential enough alone or together to make enough difference).

    I have discussed my thoughts at

  • Steve says:

    Excellent affirmation Andrea. Your praise really highlights that public servants in Australia really highlights the need for public servants to get on with the job by taking a more activist approach and challenging those aspects of custom, practice and self-interest that hold the APS back.

    You might like to check out what I’ve had to say on OZloop about this