martes, 4 de marzo de 2014

#opengov beyond government as a platform: Everywhere government

Some time has passed since O´Reilly wrrote his article "Government as a platform". Behind all the hype of open government, open data and the rest of the of all the Gov 2.0 bubble, it is powerful idea that O´Reilly synthetizes in one sentence "government is, at the bottom, a mechanism for collective action". Therefore, the usage of ICTs in Public Administration is pointless if they are not used as an enabling element for the participation and collaboration of citizens in the development and implementation of public services and policies.

Enabling government ICT systems for collaboration requires a deep transformation of the way we work. This evolution has started in some parts of the world. Open interfaces to open services and open data, based on the usage of agile methodologies. This is a formula beautifully and simply described (and applied) by the UK government. And this formula should be applied at its best in the services oriented to enable citizen participation. This is what the US government is enabling with its open API to "We the people". Everyone could open a government point of contact in its web site with a little effort from its side. Everyone could play an active in building a really open government.

However, transforming government in a platform for serving the public good demands more than throwing new technology, social media and applications on the heap of our enormous collection of legacy systems. It requires strong principles and believes. There are several summaries and versions of the principles that underpin this government redesign, but, certainly, closer collaboration with the private and social sectors should be always in mind. Collaboration is a "must" for governments, because through improving government’s procurement of ideas, products and services,  governments could unleash all its power as a provider of public goods and policies. And this is only possible if we transform the procurement of ideas, product and services in a continuous process through the usage of technology.

The consequence of the above paragraphs is obvious. Principles and tecnologies are deeply intermixed in our baggage for journey towards an open government. What is more, open government is an unachievable aim if we do not trasnsform government in something more than a platform, it should be an ubiquitous platform, but far away of the orwellian distopia. An everywhere government because all of us are the government.

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