Monday, 22 March 2010
On Twitter I recently got involved in a discussion with people from Australia (and Texas) about eGovernment. Australia, you know, the #nocleanfeed country where they want to relive the Middle Ages they never had themselves by trying to censorship the Internet. E-government is not something to think lightly of, in Australia...
I got all excited about what we do in the Netherlands regarding electronic and government (making the definition of E-government very wide here).
And decided to write a blog post about it as there really was way too much to tell. Here it is
This post will contain a lot of links, and they will all lead to Dutch sites or people. I'm aware that the vast (regular) majority coming here doesn't master that language, but I hope it will at least give you a visual and an idea of how we do things in NL with regards to Government 2.0
Just recently I had created the (Dutch) Police and Yammer communities and handed it over to Ed Sabel from the Dutch police (Ed Sabel on Twitter). That there is the Police 2.0 Ning network by the way, and if your Dutch is not too rusty you can see a few comments on Yammer. The police has been Yammering on the Yammer Dutch Police network for a good while now, and are very active on Twitter as well. Amber Alerts are tweeted and usually surpass the 50 tweets, and tens of thousands of people are reached
All these initiatives? Let's just call them liberal, and laissez-faire. Just like our Civil Servant 2.0 network
On the official side, we have our electronic identity that we e.g. use when we file our electronic tax returns. Filing electronic tax returns is mandatory for businesses (with a small loophole allowing for very little participation), and 82% of individuals file their tax return electronically. The government even monitors itself and hands out reports about among others their paper to electronic ratio for the various means they support. Transparent? I think so
The government is pushing cities and councils to not only have a website, but also to offer electronic services to businesses, citizens, and they're keeping track of the progress made
For my council, here's their product catalog. Reeuwijk is a little council with around 13,000 inhabitants - just so you know
Government departments are increasingly cooperating as well, like the Chamber of Commerce, the Basic Council Administration, Tax Office,and many others
In short, it's not a question of why and how, it's a matter of when all these initiatives come together in a coherent fashion. I think we've hit a sweet spot with not trying to make the wheel round for all at the same time, but having a guided go at disclosing our government backend services to our front-end citizens
I'd like to end with the book on Civil Servant 2.0, available via Scribd, as wiki or 'simple PDF'