[LINK] Government 2.0: Policy and Practice

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Jun 20 15:12:54 EST 2009

Tom writes,

> Senator Lundy's "Government 2.0: Policy and Practice"  is a one day 
> conference at Parliament House, Canberra, 22 June 2009:
> <http://www.katelundy.com.au/2009/05/29/public-sphere-2-open-government-
> policy-and-practice/>.
> This is about creating an even more participatory form of government in
> Australia.

Thanks again Pia and Kate for your efforts, and of course Linkers Tom and
Marghanita for your participation. The program seems extensive and timely.

Now however, or soon anyway, if we Australians are serious re e-democracy
we'll need to be moving on from talk-fests about e-democracy, to actually
*doing something* about it in a real on-the-ground (ok, in the air) sense

Such public-spheres will be of valuable of course, but, time moves on and 
in no time at all, we, you and me, will be wanting more than simply chats.

As one avenue for exploration of e-government, making government info etc
more acessable/searchable seems logical. Here's one way we could do that:

Washington, D.C., Reloads Apps for Democracy 
CTO Vivek Kundra Wants Apps for Democracy Expanded 

Jun 2, 2009, By Andy Opsahl, Features Editor http://www.govtech.com

Washington, D.C., has reloaded its popular Apps for Democracy 2008 
program and renamed it Apps for Democracy: Community Edition (APPS09).  

The new version includes three additional features to the successful 2008 
initiative, which challenged citizen programmers to create public 
applications for acquiring information useful to district residents and 

Last year, contestants submitted 47 iPhone, Facebook & Web applications. 

The District of Columbia's Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) 
boasted that it spent $50,000 on the contest, which yielded $2.3 million 
worth of applications. 

Manipulating publicly available code, contestants won cash prizes for
ICT applications, several of which the district is deploying as a result.

Among the new features for APPS09 is what OCTO calls "problem sourcing."

This means the agency will first seek feedback from citizens via the Web 
about the information needs contestants should try to meet. The citizen 
with the best input will win $1,000. 

Next will be competition Round 1 and Round 2, each with a first-place 
winner collecting $3,000 and a second-place winner taking $2,000. After 
that is the final competition in which one winning application gets 

If OCTO views that application as good enough, the agency will also offer 
its Community Grant of $14,000 for further development.

"Government is going to invest actual money into helping that particular 
group carry the application forward and enhance it" said Chris Willey, 
interim chief technology officer of Washington, D.C., describing the 
other two new components - government support & ommercialization.

Willey predicts that opportunity will motivate more talented programmers 
to become contestants.

"We want people to come to us with motives both selfish and unselfish. We 
want them to come because they want to do something good -- build an 
application that's going to help people, but it also might be a way they 
could create or sustain their own businesses. It may be an opportunity 
for them to create something another city would buy," Willey explained.

The contest is open to any team of programmers in the nation, but 
contestants tend to be district area residents, according to Willey. This 
is because the district holds on-site "code jamming sessions" at which 
programmers meet other like-minded programmers and form application teams.



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