Last month Government in the Lab announced (in Newsletter no.3) that the Government of Quebec is undertaking an analysis mandate of the potential of Web 2.0. The Deputy House leader, Henri-François Gautrin, kindly answered our questions.
1 - WHAT IS THE ANALYSIS MANDATE ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OF WEB 2.0?
Web 2.0 is based on three principles:
Decentralization: There is no formal structure in terms of both content and technology.
Participation: Web 2.0 exists because of the Internet.
Simplicity of use and technological breakthrough.
The Premier (Jean Charest) gave me the mandate to analyze the implications for Quebec society, especially for the Government, of using the increasingly popular Web 2.0 and social networks, and to propose strategic actions so that Quebec can draw on every possible advantage.
2 - WHAT WORK HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE BY YOUR TEAM, AND WHAT IS PLANNED FOR UPCOMING MONTHS?
I proceed in four steps for the project:
* Consultation with people associated with government action.
* Discussions with Quebec citizens via the Internet (public community).
* A closed consultation on the Internet (private community).
* A conference.
We are currently setting up a website, which should be operational in early June 2011.
The conference is scheduled for early September.
The final report is to be submitted to the Prime Minister and the Government by the end of 2011.
3 - WHAT IS, ACCORDING TO YOU, A GOOD RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS?
A good relationship between government and citizens based on the use of Web 2.0 should improve:
* communications with citizens
* interactions with citizens
* services to citizens
Communications with citizens: increase citizen accessibility to government information. The use of blogs or microblogging, like Twitter, even Mashups, fall into this category. The goal is to bring government information closer to communication tools used by citizens, rather than requiring them to visit many Web pages.
Interactions with citizens: This is primarily to get feedback from citizens on policies and programs put forward by the government. It also allows managers to benefit from the wisdom of crowds to put forward new programs or new ideas.
It also allows officials to make their suggestions to improve the efficiency of their departments or agencies in how they fulfill their mission. I am thinking here, in particular, of using social media like Facebook.
4 - TRANSPARENCY, PARTICIPATION AND COLLABORATION WITH CITIZENS, THROUGH OPEN DATA AND OPEN GOVERNMENT, ARE THEY BEING CONSIDERED IN THIS CURRENT MANDATE?
Besides transparency, participation and collaboration with citizens, the use of Web 2.0 tools should:
* improve citizen participation, particularly in regards of policy making
* improve relevance and quality of services to citizens.
* enable access and more efficient use of government information
* improve internal operations and collaboration between different departments and agencies.
Uncle Sam Calling
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