The AGIMO Government 2.0 Primer

Peter Alexander - AGIMO
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As part of the work of the Government 2.0 Steering Group, AGIMO has developed a Government 2.0 Primer for Australian Government agencies. The Primer describes common scenarios when agencies can use Government 2.0 approaches and an overview of common interactive online tools such as blogs and wikis.

Publications such as the Government 2.0 Taskforce report, the Government’s Declaration of Open Government and Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for Reform of Australian Government Administration are the policy foundations of Government 2.0. The Primer is intended as more of an operational document. It is about putting the policy ideas and principles into action and providing examples of where and how agencies can engage with the public and release more data online.

The Primer will form part of our redeveloped Web Guide, currently under production.  Rather than wait, and following the Gov 2 principle of releasing early and releasing often, we’re making the Primer available through the AGIMO Blog, in these formats:

Update: the latest version of this document can be found on the Web Guide. The below links are retained for archival purposes.

We’d welcome your feedback about the Primer. Please leave comments below or email them to Public servants from all levels of government in Australia can also email that address and request membership of the Government 2.0 govdex community, where the Primer is also available for feedback. The sort of questions we have in mind about the Primer include: How useful do you think the Primer is? Is there anything that needs to be added or changed? Can you suggest or contribute any case studies that would add value to the document?

Comments on this blog are now closed. Please let us know if you would like to discuss this post or have any general comments.

Comments (6)

Another quality piece of work from AGIMO that I am sure will help agencies deepen their understanding of the space.

The only criticism is the use of the terminology "It's not just about technology". I do understand why this sort of statement is made. Of course, it is plainly true.

However, I contend that it is "about the technology". I can't help but wonder why the "just" is inserted. It's always smells like a devaluation of the technology.

We need to think about how the technology we are using comes about. I think that the technologists who develop these products don't set out just to create technology. They set out with an idea in their mind about what humans can do with the technolgy. Then they build the technology.

The inplication of this is that it is through understanding the technology, in what it can do, that we can decode what we can use it for.

As a 'strategic technologist', I have enough war stories of APS staff dreaing up ideas based on 'labels' which bear no resemblence to the actual technology being proposed. They may, as example, declare that they need a "wiki" but when one drills down into their needs, you find that a "wiki" would be the least effective technology.

Another great example of late that I am hearing around town is the almost default use of Wordpress. Now don't get me wrong, Wordpress is a great tool and indeed I am working on a project right now where it is a perfect fit.

But, the town is already full of examples of the default use of WordPress hitting walls of limitation very early on or, in really bad cases, when it is too late. One I have heard of was marked by the technologists pressing that WordPress was not the right fit. I understand that, in that case, the 'client' did use the expression "it's not about the technology".

So, I contend that we need to emphasis that "it is about technology" . This does not devalue that it is also very much about people, policies, business drivers, etc, but it places technology at the centre of the effort.

Perhaps a better way to describe it is "It's about technology meeting business requirements" or something similiar.

I know that many think my points like this are semantic but, on the ground, the devaluing of technology can lead to business areas not including technologists in early planning. This often leads to bad technology choices. It can also lead to lesser outcomes because the planning is not enriched by the potentials that a deep understanding of technolgy might bring.

Hi Folks

The Gov 2.0 primer is great. Clear and concise. One suggestion. Given that it also deals with the tools that are used in this space why not link to the user help also provided by the various tools and services?

Jimi is spot on with his comment about ensuring agencies have people at the table who really understand the technology. There are simply to many people who have a self-limiting view of the technology. That is dangerous as it will sell the APS short.


I have reviewed the AGIMO blog before and I agree that it is a good "starter" document ('primer').
I recently read an article by Andrew Di Maio (distinguished analyst at Gartner), attached.
The title "5 necessary truths about Gov2." might be taking some poetic licence (marketing flair) but there are some good points.
I hope you can all read this (as it is a commercial newspaper site with ads and all!).
Point # 2 is a key one that I have been considering for a while. Rephrasing Di Maio words, he feels that too often Governments (promoting Gov2.0) seem to think they need to be the host for any Gov2.0 initiative. He says "Government 2.0 is not about being the host but being a "guest in a conversation.".
He implies we will have more success by joining in conversation with (community) groups who are driving strong community initiatives and supporting their work!
I think, with the number of issues that will confront us (as government) as communities become more engaged, we need an innovative approach and we need to ensure that we pass the baton to communities (citizens) who have the most to gain.

I think this is a really practical document and would be keen to circulate it amongst State Government once it's finalised.

My only feedback is there's no mention about data quality. Including information about the quality of a dataset increases it's usefulness ot the public. However, that may be beyond the scope of this document as it's talking about more broadly about information.

The AGIMO Primer is very comprehensive and concise. It truly is a great tool for all the other governments out there. This serves as an inspiration for both the government and the public to work hand in hand and make the world a better place to live in.

To learn more about wider benefits of an open public service and some other important issues, here's another interesting read,

Last updated: 28 July 2016