Open government isn’t just a nifty catch phrase, it’s not purely academic and it’s not mysterious. It’s about working with the people not at them.
On the one hand, it’s about public servants being open with citizens about our work, our processes and our results. On the other, it’s an invitation to the community – our citizens, business leaders and stakeholders – to get involved in our priority setting and decision making. Open Government is about providing opportunities for our community to use our assets, data and services to their advantage. It’s about transparency and accountability. And it’s about allowing citizens to shape the future of our city in partnership with each other and their local government.
When we work together, we can harness the skills, experience and talent of the community.
We can speed things up, make sense of all our data and simplify service delivery by using new technology to solve problems. We can take the mystery out of the bureaucracy and get things right the first time.
Sounds good, right? But it’s big. How do we get there? What do our people need to get there? How do we balance privacy with transparency? How do we shift our culture? How do we encourage, reward and make time for innovation? How do we embrace and learn from failure instead of hiding from it? How do we engage our neighbours, our media, our institutions and businesses in helping open our government?