Tag: Digital Britain

Stuff I've seen June 21st through June 23rd

These are my links for June 21st through June 23rd:

"Government of the web, not just on the web" Digital Britain Report

“Government of the web, not just on the web”

is a critical sentence in today’s Digital Britain report.  Digital Britain is udoubtedly wide ranging, but if you’re interested in how the internet affects how we gover ourselves then you’ll want to skim through the Executive Summary (pdf -why?) until you hit point 74 and then spend some time reading Chapter 8: The Journey to Digital Government (also pdf).

So what does “Government of the web” mean?

1 Transactions: first it’s how we use the internet to do business with government (CH 8 point 16):

We propose starting a Digital Switchover of Public Services Programme in 2012. We will need to consider in more detail the ramifications of switching each service to digital but an initial list might include:

  • Student loans
  • Companies House registration
  • Personal tax returns for higher rate taxpayers
  • Electoral roll registration
  • School registration
  • Redundancy advice processing
  • Debt advice

It’s not a list that leaves my heart  a flutter.  Many digitally literate folk will already do some of these (which suggests, as ever, literacy is core).  However to force people to do some things that are core to many lives, such as school registration, only online will also encourage digital literacy.  Such ambitions are  only possible because of the policy to ensure everyone has access to broadband by the same time (even though it’s a very modest 2Mbs speed).

2 Procurement:  sounds dead yawnsome, but the paragragh 26 (CH 8) of the report wants to make it easier for smaller more innovative businesses to win government IT contracts. If that works it may accelerate the use of open source software and faster development and encourage the growth of some fine small businesses.  The simplest example of this is the 10 Downing Street website, built on wordpress at far lower than expected cost.

3 Data: Let me just quote the report.

Government has accepted the vision of the POI report, and set out in its paper of 13th May 2009 a series of initiatives aimed at achieving the principles of Open Information, Open Innovation, Open Discussion and Open Feedback as outlined below. Government is still working on some of these recommendations and an update on progress is planned for the Summer.  The Cabinet Office will take a leadership role in catalysing this change.

That’s progress, the interim report didn’t even mention the Power of Information Task Force.

That’s about it.  The report has moved slightly beyond an understanding that Digital and Government is simply about transaction, but no far.  It is fundamentally about democracy.

Stuff I've seen June 15th through June 16th

These are my links for June 15th through June 16th:

  • Digital Britain – final report – The Digital Britain Final Report is one of the central policy commitments in the Government's Building Britain's Future plan and draft legislative programme.

    Building Britain's Future sets out the practical action we will take to build a stronger, fairer and more prosperous country. It focuses the energy and mission of the government in the year ahead on three clear priorities:

    * Cleaning up politics and reforming our democracy
    * Moving from recession to recovery and planning for a strong economy in the future; and
    * Reforming Britain's public services.

  • Social Innovation Camp | The Young Foundation – Great ideas: Social Chain Gangs Flash-mobbing with a purpose. This tools aims to get a bunch of people together to get something done, whether it's cleaning up a local park, helping your neighbours move in, a quick spot of gardening – fast.

    Now all we need is the people who'd like to help.

  • ASH-10 » Digital Britain needs real Digital Literacy – Pete Ashton: "I’m able to read online news for free because I can hack a URL. Can you?"
  • #iranelection cyberwar guide for beginners – The purpose of this guide is to help you participate constructively in the Iranian election protests through twitter.
  • The Stone Tapes: Feed me! – How my iPod feedreader rendered the latest blog entries from http://podnosh.com/blog/

Stuff I've seen June 9th through June 13th

These are my links for June 9th through June 13th:

  • Local Works | Campaigning to implement the Sustainable Communities Act – You can only use the radical new bottom-up powers in the Sustainable Communities Act if your councils (district/borough/city and county) choose to use it too! See the map and list below for those who have. If your councils have not already done so please write to them (and urge others to write too!), this sample letter will help you.
  • The Open Rights Group – But with Lord Carter departing, there is a serious question as to whether the government will push the Digital Britain agenda forward at all. Who will pick up the brief; will they support and desire the completion of its recommendations; will they be able to build up the political will to see any proposals through Parliament, especially as its mood darkens?
  • BBC NEWS | Technology | Web creator job 'beyond politics' – The inventor of the world wide web has been asked by the prime minister to help open up access to government data.
  • I smell a government rat in my news | Online Journalism Blog – To help you measure the amount of government-funded journalism, Nicolas Kayser-Bril built this little app, I smell a government rat in my news. Just type in any query and you’ll see the share of articles produced with state funds.
  • Peregrine Falcons – Worcester Webcam – Great work from Worcester City Council to engage public interest and establish broader positive relations with folk.