WRITTEN ON December 7th, 2009 BY William Heath AND STORED IN Design: Co-creation, Design: user-oriented, Ideal Goverment - project, Transformational Government, What do we want?

At first glance the new Smarter Government white paper looks pretty refreshing.

The stuff on freeing up data is good:

‘Public data’ are ‘government-held non-personal data that are collected or generated in the course of public service delivery’.

Our public data principles state that:

* Public data will be published in reusable, machine-readable form
* Public data will be available and easy to find through a single easy to use online access point (http://www.data.gov.uk/)
* Public data will be published using open standards and following the recommendations of the World Wide Web Consortium
* Any ‘raw’ dataset will be represented in linked data form
* More public data will be released under an open licence which enables free reuse, including commercial reuse
* Data underlying the Government’s own websites will be published in reusable form for others to use
* Personal, classified, commercially sensitive and third-party data will continue to be protected.

To enable this innovation, government must unlock much more data. These data have to be usable

It calls for user-oriented design and co-creation:

“Service users will be directly involved in the design of online services in order to ensure that they are usable and meet their needs.

Better late than never)

I vaguely recall at Uni reading a poem by some German called Morike about the owl that flies only at the very end of the day, and how wisdom only sets in at the very end. Is that what’s happening here? I’m a sucker for a decently written White Paper (once one extracts the inevitable Sir-Bonarisms) but we’ll have to

i) see how it compares with all the similar promises of the last decade, from Modernising Government on, and

ii) see whether the aspirations are deliverable.

Must dash or I’ll miss the train…

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