Meanwhile, we are in default 'pockets of darkness' in Canada. It is good to have models to turn to. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” (Oscar Wilde) “Never, ever give up.“ (Winston Churchill)
AUSTRALIA SETS OPEN GOVERNMENT AS DEFAULT GOV'T POSITION
By Adrienne Valdez, futuregov.asia | 29 June 2011
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Chief Minister Katy Gallagher aims for the ACT Cabinet to be the most open in the nation, making public access to information the default position of her Government.
The new open government initiatives include release of a weekly summary of Cabinet issues and decisions and creation of an Open Government Website, which will be used to release government background reports and reviews; provide public access to material released through Freedom of Information; and access to submissions made during public consultation.
“The ACT already has a strong foundation on which to further develop open government, for example we have the most open legislative framework for access to Cabinet documents in the country. We have always taken a proactive approach to communicating with the public, but we are ready to take the next steps,” Gallagher said in an official statement. The minister refers to open government as a way of working, resting on three principles; transparency in process and information; participation by citizens in the governing process and public collaboration in finding solutions to problems.
According to Gallagher, “”Creation of an Open Government Website will provide a single gateway for access to Government information and engage Canberrans in the governance of the ACT and will be operational within three months. This will enable access to government material released through Freedom of Information through upload to the web once FOI requests have been released to the applicant.”
The Cabinet will also next month hold a Virtual Community Cabinet, where all Ministers will answer questions and respond to issues on Twitter. Harnessing new technology and reaching a more diverse range of Canberrans, who have previously not engaged directly with Government is symbolic of our new approach to open government.