Federal Government to start social media work – Government 2.0 Taskforce report

There has been much talk about the Government 2.0 Taskforce report since is was released in December.

Should the Australian Government become more involved in social media channels and have a more open and communicative engagement with the Australian community? Of course.

Nicholas Gruen, a prominent Australian economist and the CEO of Lateral Economics and Peach Home Loans was commissioned to undertake the report and submitted his final copy to The Hon. Lindsay Tanner, MP
Minister for Finance and Deregulation, and Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig
Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary in Dec 2009. The report can be viewed here.

This is a positive step as a number of key recommendations on social media was submitted to the Federal Government, detailing how to improve engagement with the Australian public through social channels such as Twitter and Facebook. Large numbers of corporations have already moved into the social space to improve customer relations and support, many governments overseas have moved onto Twitter to provide direct information and help reach people they may not generally be able to communicate as effectively with.

It is good to see the Australian government weighing up their options in this fast paced online space.

Now in March 2010 the Federal Government has submitted their official response to the Government 2.0 Taskforce report.

The 13 fundamental recommendations by Nicholas Gruen and his team have had a response by the Government which we have summarised below.

– 1 – A declaration of open government by the Australian Government: AGREED
– 2 – Coordinate with leadership, guidance and support: AGREED
– 3 – Improve guidance and require agencies to engage online: AGREED (Some reservations)
– 4 – Encourage public servants to engage online: AGREED
– 5 – Awards for individuals and agencies that use Govt 2.0 tools: AGREED
– 6 – Make public sector information open, accessible and reusable: AGREED (With reservations)
– 7 – Addressing issues in the operation of copyright: AGREED (Disagreed to moving copyright control functions to new department)
– 8 – Information publication scheme: NOTED
– 9 – Accessibility compliance between agencies and AGIMO: AGREED
– 10 – Better risk assessment of Web 2.0 practices: AGREED
– 11 – Privacy and confidentiality: AGREED (Already in operation)
– 12 – Definition of Commonwealth Record and better metadata standards: AGREED
– 13 – Encourage info-philanthropy: DEFER CONSIDERATION

The full response by the Government can be accessed here.

While 12 of the 13 points have been agreed, or agreed with some modification this can be seen as an positive step by the government to embrace Web 2.0 technologies, something it’s citizens are much already apart of.

Whilst some social media policies already exist in Government agencies, I look forward to seeing more social engagements with Government departments to what has already been established.

Gov 2.0 Australia

Gov 2.0 Australia

David Cowling : Editor and Founder of I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and another blog dedicated to Instagram news. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at

  • Madeleine Kingston

    I am just delighted about the outcomes of the Gov2 Taskforce Recommendations.

    Congratulations to Nicholas Gruen as Chair of that Taskforce and his Team. And Thanks to The Hon Lindsay Tanner and Senator Joe Ludwig for giving the go-ahead for implementation.

    Much material has been produced through social media exchanges that has acted as invaluable fodder to fan further consideration of the practicalities of implementation.

    Gov2 has indeed produced an excellent body of work.

    It is particularly encouraging that a flexible approach is being used to regard policies as works in progress that can be enhanced or modified as new ideas and material come to light.

    The impetus of this dialogue needs to be maintained as people feed on each others' ideas.

    I support suggestions for a Gov2 Charter that will help identify broad principles for data management storage and retrieval; citizen engagement and practical ways in which lessons learned can be considered, acted upon and indefinitely archived in the interests of achieving the deeper goals of Gov2.

    I have been blogging on the Gov2 site since early April, and after that on the AGIMO site when the Department of Finance and Deregulation took over policy and data management.

    I am looking forward to developing a lasting citizen relationship with the AGIMO Team and with all those involved in the dialogue, including Steve Davies, whose thoughtful suggestions and accessibility have enhanced my understanding of the issues under consideration.


    Madeleine Kingston

    Citizen Stakeholder