Posts Tagged ‘gov20’
By blogging and twittering, you get to communicate with people around the world. I wanted to take this opportunity to understand the different point of views and evolution of opendata and opengov in Europe.
Here follow is the first chapter of this european tour starting with Sweden.
Can you introduce yourself ?
My name is Peter Krantz and I run the opengov.se website. opengov.se is a personal project to highlight public datasets in Sweden and how few of them are openly available. The questions below are answered in my role as a citizen.
Is there an existing national law evoking opendata in your country ?
Sweden is currently implementing the PSI directive. The law proposal is available here:Regeringen.se The essence of the proposal does not take open data very far. A second law proposal indicates that electronic access to public records (including data) may become easier in the future: http://www.regeringen.se/sb/
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the law ?
The current proposal aims to implement the bare minimum of the PSI directive in my opinion. As a background we have had an open access to public records policy for a long time. However, many agencies are partially funded by selling data. This makes it difficult to implement a government-wide open data policy as the government also need to change the budget policy.
How long has your country been working on openingdata ?
Not very long. The current governement is responsible in implementing the law.
Who are the main actors of opengov in your country ?
From the citizen perspective my own initiative opengov.se. In the current government it is the Minister for Local Government and Financial Markets: Mats Odell: Sweden.gov.se
What are the main bareers ?
In my opinion, the funding model of some agencies. E.g. geographical data such as maps currently funds part of the agency maintaining it: Lantmateriet.se Making the data open and free requires a change in government funding of agencies.
Which cities or states in your country are the most involved in Opendata ?
A while ago the city of Stockholm created an initiative to increase access to data: http://www.opengov.se/blogg/2010/stockholm-pa-vag-mot-oppen-data/
Is the e-ID card available yet ?
Sweden has had e-IDs available for many years (see http://www.e-legitimation.se/). A new federated model for e-ID has been proposed and may become implemented next year.
In a few word, what is the state of play of Open Government in Sweden ?
Gaining traction but a long way to go.
I have not been lazy lately, meeting many organizations involved in gov20 and elaborating different plans to make things happen locally. I have learnt that a near city has just hired someone to work on edemocracy and e-participation! Concerning liberTIC’s activity, another step will be made next month so stay in touch.
Here follow is a guide I’ve been reading for my studies.
Almost ten years ago, OECD suggested the stillupdated following guiding principles for successful information, consultation and active participation in policy-making:
Leadership and strong commitment to information, consultation and active participation in policy-making is needed at all levels – from politicians, senior managers and public officials.
Citizens rights to access information, provide feedback, be consulted and actively participate in policy-making must be firmly grounded in law or policy. Government obligations to respond to citizens when exercising their rights must also be clearly stated. Independent institutions for oversight, or their equivalent, are essential to enforcing these rights.
Objectives for, and limits to, information, consultation and active participation during policy-making should be well defined from the outset. The respective roles and responsibilities of citizens (in providing input) and government (in making decisions for which they are accountable) must be clear to all.
Public consultation and active participation should be undertaken as early in the policy process as possible to allow a greater range of policy solutions to emerge and to raise the chances of successful implementation. Adequate time must be available for consultation and participation to be effective. Information is needed at all stages of the policy cycle.
Information provided by government during policy-making should be objective, complete and accessible. All citizens should have equal treatment when exercising their rights of access to information and participation.
Adequate financial, human and technical resources are needed if public information, consultation and active participation in policy-making are to be effective. Government officials must have access to appropriate skills, guidance and training as well as an organisational culture that supports their efforts.
Initiatives to inform, request feedback from and consult citizens should be co-ordinated across government to enhance knowledge management, ensure policy coherence, avoid duplication and reduce the risk of consultation fatigue among citizens and civil society organisations (CSOs). Co-ordination efforts should not reduce the capacity of government units to pursue innovation and ensure flexibility.
Governments have an obligation to account for the use they make of citizens inputs received through feedback, public consultation and active participation. Measures to ensure that the policy-making process is open, transparent and amenable to external scrutiny and review are crucial to increasing government accountability overall.
Governments need the tools, information and capacity to evaluate their performance in providing information, conducting consultation and engaging citizens in order to adapt to new requirements and changing conditions for policy-making.
10. Active citizenship
Governments benefit from active citizens and a dynamic civil society and can take concrete actions to facilitate access to information and participation, raise awareness, strengthen citizens civic education and skills as well as to support capacity-building among civil society organisations.
During a parliamentary question on the French initiatives in the communication of public information, referring to the U.S. plan “data.gov“, French Prime Minister recalled the long-existing french portals access to information :
- legifrance.fr for Laws
- service-public.fr for Administration
- statistics-publique.fr for Statistics
All of these websites make simpler access to still complicated informations -not mentioning the re-looking need. But hey, french Data Publica to be opened in 2011.
When the US “data.gov” (or the newborn data.gov.uk) leads to increase the emergence of new services, France approach leads to increase the yet emerged “bureaucracy”.
- Vivek Kundra, Obama’s CIO was hired in March 2009 and US Data.gov was launched in May 2009
- “Bureaucracy” is a french word
With their respective Opendata Directives, Australia, USA and UK took a large step away from France on national transparency. While American Senate makes available all its voting datas, french national assembly still don’t show any informations, leading french citizens and non-governmental organizations to gather and work over getting datas created and usable.
Nosdeputes.fr is a french website willing to emphasize Parliament action. The dozen of democracygeek volunteers working on this project is synthesizing the various legislative activities of the elected officials. Their first work was to get and then make available the datas concerning commission works, speaches, law votes… This action leaded to the publication of the assiduity-graph of french deputies.
Soon came a new challenge.
After 2009 and a national debate over the lack of attendance of deputies to the National Assembly, internal assembly rules were modified with new amendment stating:
“Beyond two absences [...], each absence of a deputy at a commission or ordinary session [of Wednesday], gives place to the withdrawal of 25% on the monthly amount of its salary ».
As written previously, the workingday not attended by deputies are not public datas. Presidents of each commissions do have a list but it is not published. So guess what civilians from Nodeputes, under the organization Regardscitoyens.fr just did ?
They used their attendee made-up list to create a mashup to define absences and then published their study.
By calculating how many deputy-related-commissions took place and how many deputies really showed up on the days of commissions, they got the result.
According to the study, the new amendment did led to a higher attendance rate.
On average between the years 2008 and 2009, the deputies thus increased their frequentation of the obligatory meetings of Wednesday of 54%, passing from an average of one Wednesday presence out of three with one out of two.
And this assiduity is not limited to the only meetings of Wednesday: for these three same months, we can observe that the average of presence of a deputy in committee increases by 36%, that is to say the passage of approximately 3 days of commissions per month in 2008 to 4 in 2009.
RegardsCitoyens.org published the 42 deputies names who did not respect the amendement and their calcul shows 25 433€ shall be recovered from the total salaries but according to the Parliament, no salary deduction was required for the moment. This situation is particularly ironic as the leading-party UMP is willing to suppress welfares to families whose child misses school.
Yesterday, UMP french leading-party secretary, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, introduced UMP new socialmedia: “Les créateurs de possible“.
The idea of this platform is to make it possible for every citizen to purpose, discuss, and get involved in community projects.
« Creators of opportunity», as it may be approximatively translated, is a Do It Yourself project launched by the french right-wing party. This platform of a new kind in France will be online in the following 24 hours.
Creators of opportunity is:
- A mash up of socialmedia to serve community
- A community open to all the citizens
- A simple design with easy ergonomics and traditional functions of a social network
- A free speech space with no moderation a priori (except for discriminative contents)
- A community where UMP logo does not appear (but the platform logo looks similar)
- A webspace emphasizing transparency and authenticity
- A social network using web20 tools to spread informations (Facebook, Twitter & Co, RSS)
- A platform with iphone app and some widgets available
- An online activism toolkit with apps such as online petition and door-to-door advises
Eventhough the presentation is not complete as I could not access the platform, this initiative has been underlined as « very risky » during its presentation.
Organized well, it would be easy for a bunch of opponents to transform this platform into a big mess.
The no-yet-existing digital identification would indeed allow anyone to use fake identities and post any irrelevant comment and there will be only 3 staff members to moderate 35 million potential french websurfers.
Maybe the purpose of this website (again, still to be seen) is not to recolt such a great amount of feedbacks. Maybe it could never be so popular anyway as french people have not answered yet the question:
Are you willing to animate a platform launched by a political party when his leader, french President Nicolas Sarkozy gets less than 40% of favorable opinion on national polls?
Of course, UMP presence on this platform seems to be insidious but confusion remains.
Is it a national platform for all citizens to solve problems conjointly ? Or is it a partisan website to launch partisane
The UMP and its leader ‘popularity is not at its top and Sarkozy is not known as a man uniting people in real life. For these two reasons -at least- pretend to be able to bond french people on the web is indeed, so risky.
That is why one may regret that NKM, by the way mainly known as Secretary of State in charge of developping digital economy in France, created such an interesting tool for a « party concern only » instead of creating it for a national purpose.
At the meantime, French people are launching a « No-Sarkozy-day » on the net.
On the other side of the (political) border, we can’t help but thinking about Segolene Royal « Desir d’avenir » platform. Segolene Royal is the french left-wing politician who ended 2nd to the run for presidency in 2007. She actually announced on december 28th that her collaborative website was turning into a platform of solidarity, « a fraternity and solidarity-based website to give a hand on each other projects ». Platforms are being very trendy lately.
Concerning oversea empowerment projects, we could cite the City of Manor (TX) and its launching of « Manor Lab » that allows citizens to purpose and vote for local projects. http://www.manorlabs.org/
There is also Fixmystreet, the British DIY where you can report or discuss local problems http://www.fixmystreet.com/
Without mentioning all the citizen applications for iphone developped by cities such as New York, Washington, Portland, San Francisco and so on to emphasize interaction and community involvement. Not mentioning neither “Smarter government” project in the UK and “Engage” program in Australia.
So we finally made a point. But we still have time to make up on gov20 so let’s hope that this participative platform – as a first step- will turn to be successful, for an emerging edemocracy and gov20 in France and for the greater transparency that should inevitably follow.