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Presentation to the UK's Government Digital Service, July 2013
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Presentation to the UK's Government Digital Service, July 2013


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My frank and fearless presentation on the state of Government digital engagement in Australia, covering the good, the bad and the ugly.

My frank and fearless presentation on the state of Government digital engagement in Australia, covering the good, the bad and the ugly.

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  • 1. Open government & Gov 2.0 in Australia Craig Thomler July 2013
  • 2. Who am I?
  • 3. 93% 99% 99% 100% 97% 99% 98% 65+ yrs 50-64yrs 40-49yrs 14-39yrs Female Male Total Australians online Source: Sensis Social Media Report May 2012
  • 4. Source: Sensis Social Media Report May 2012 38% 62% 38% 62% Never Use social media 2011 2012 Australian social media use
  • 5. 38% 6% 19% 36% 38% 9% 24% 30% Never Less than weekly Weekly Everyday 2011 2012 Australian social media use Source: Sensis Social Media Report May 2012
  • 6. 2006 – Australian Bureau of Statistics begins releasing data under Creative Commons 2007 – First mention of Gov 2.0 by an Aussie public servant / First public sector Twitter account 2008 – eGovAU blog started 2009 – Gov 2.0 Taskforce / MashUp Australia data competition / beta / Draft social media use guidance for public servants 2010 – Government accepts majority of Gov 2.0 Taskforce report / Open Government declaration (last act of retiring Minister) Timeline: Gov 2.0 in Australia
  • 7. 2010 - GovSpace launched / Grog exposed in media (120+ articles). Agency allows him to keep blogging, but no public statement is made 2011 – ‘Final’ APS social media guidance embedded in Code of Conduct / Production site released / Revised FOI laws come into effect, pro-disclosure bias / Australian Government adopts Creative Commons licensing by default 2012 – First GovHack (privately run) Gov 2.0 agenda declared complete by responsible agency Timeline: Gov 2.0 in Australia
  • 8. THE END(well not really)
  • 9. • No whole-of-government agenda/goals or measurement. • No political support from Prime Minister. • No responsible Minister overseeing agenda. • Review of FOI underway with brief to reduce disclosure. • Parliamentarian expenses/activities ruled to be FOI exempt. Australian Gov 2.0 today
  • 10. • Social media adoption in government still growing. • Work continuing on open data agenda (unfunded). • First Departmental Secretary on Twitter. • Gov 2.0 primer released. • Most states moving towards digital first strategy. • Cloud normalised in government procurement. • Australia joined the Open Government Partnership. • GovHack 2013 – 1,000 developers, 6 jurisdictions. • No public sector social media disasters. But it’s not all bad…
  • 11. Aussie government use of social media
  • 12. Community internet use: 98% Use social media: • 62% of Australians • 73% of Federal agencies • 72% of Federal politicians The social media majority
  • 13. In mid-2012: 73% of Australian Government agencies reported using social media for official purposes The social media majority Source: Craig Thomler – FOI request May 2012
  • 14. Use Share of responses For stakeholder engagement or collaboration 54.24% Operating an information campaign 42.37% Responding to customer enquiries/comments/complaints 42.37% For engaging with journalists and media outlets 40.68% For engagement or collaboration with other government agencies 40.68% Monitoring citizen, stakeholder and/or lobbyist views and activities 28.81% For a public consultation process 27.12% For a stakeholder or other restricted access consultation 22.03% Other type of activity (i.e. recruitment, crowdsourcing, staff) 18.64% For policy or services co-design 11.86% How social media is being used
  • 15. Over 1,500 online consultations in last four years Over 880 Twitter accounts Over 120 agency blogs Over 350 Facebook pages Over 300 agency mobile apps Over 200 agency YouTube channels Held 13 data competitions Now 7 open data sites All levels of Aus government
  • 16. Growth in Twitter use
  • 17. Government as media
  • 18. Government as convenor
  • 19. Government as platform
  • 20. Crowdsourcing
  • 21. • Australian Governments are better at using social media than corporate Australia (but often think they are worse). • Has begun positively influencing policy development and service delivery as a broader cross-section of public servants recognise the value of social listening and iterative design. Outcomes so far
  • 22. • Social media increasingly business as usual for agencies and integrated as core in communications planning. • Social media broadening beyond comms and IT teams, reaching broader public service. • Best practice case studies now exist at all levels of government. • Gov 2.0 / Social Media groups for public servants growing in many jurisdictions. The good…
  • 23. • No political leadership or mandate – Ministers even asking agencies to close down social media accounts/blogs to avoid potential risks. • Limited talent pool in public sector – few public servants with more than 2-3 years experience establishing & managing social media accounts. • Patchy support within and across agencies – few senior champions. • Limited training, support, mentoring available for agencies or staff – some signs this might change. The bad…
  • 24. • States & Commonwealth pursuing own agendas. • Code of Conduct social media guidance has gray areas, causing concern and restraining social media use by some public servants. • Coalition (potentially next government) has instructed members to avoid social media. • Only 1/3 of Commonwealth public servants can access social media services from work PCs. • Secretaries Board mandated agencies “must use more social media” – lack of clarity on what this means! The ugly…
  • 25. • Social media / Gov 2.0 works best as a horizontal, not vertical, skillset in government. • Cooperation is better than competition within gov. • Gov 2.0 can be driven from the grassroots, but it is far slower and more painful without senior support. • Lack of skilled staff is No.1 barrier to more effective use of social media – not money or mandate. • Ask for forgiveness, not permission. • Good change management makes Gov 2.0 stick. My thoughts and learnings
  • 26. • eGovernment Resource Centre: • Innovation showcase: • GovSpace: • AGIMO blog: • Trove: • Video: Dumb ways to die (Vic Metro) • iPhone: Run That Town (ABS) Good examples of Aussie 2.0
  • 27. Questions… Craig Thomler @CraigThomler @Delibaunz