[Linux-aus] Helping the Australian Government learn how to collaborate better

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 14:38:22 AEDT 2018

Hi Kathy,

The Digital Transformation Agency has asked for civic participation for 
their Open Government National Action Plan:


This open letter aims to be a very compelling statement about how to be 
more effective at Open Government.

Warm regards, Cameron

On Mon Feb 26 11:15:09 AEDT 2018, president at linux.org.au wrote:
Hi Cameron, thanks for posting this to the linux-aus list.
What's the trigger for the Open Letter? Is it in response to a review,
call for feedback, off the back of a major issue etc?
Kind regards,

On 20/2/18 9:38 am, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> The Australian Government has asked [1] for ideas for their next Open 
> Government National Action Plan. I think we need to respond and call 
> on government agencies to learn how to collaborate more effectively, 
> and to learn from our methodologies within the Open Source community.
> I think that it has been great that governments around the world have 
> embraced very positive principles around Open Government [2], but 
> their implementation has fallen short due to a lack of understanding 
> of what makes Open Communities work effectively.
> Selection of the term “open” (as in “open source”, “open data”, “open 
> government” ...) is a bit of a marketing blunder. It focuses on “what” 
> (free software) and distracts us from the more important questions of 
> “how” and “why”. Governments have been publishing "open" datasets but 
> not considering the more important aspects of collaboration and 
> project sustainability.
> I propose that Linux Australia submit an open letter recommending that 
> the Australian government recognise the limitations of current 
> government collaboration initiatives. We should provide practical 
> guidance on how government should address collaboration in the 
> upcoming Open Government National Action Plan.
> If others believe this is worth pursuing, I'm prepared put in a 
> significant amount of the work required to get such a proposal 
> written. (I have quite a bit of material which I can draw upon already).
> Questions:
> * What's involved in getting buy-in/approval to write something on 
> behalf of Linux Australia?
> * What process has been used in the past to collaboratively craft 
> responses from Linux Australia?
> * I suspect it would be valuable to collect signatures from multiple 
> organisations and individuals in order to add weight to the open 
> letter. Any suggestions on ways to achieve this?
> * Anyone else interested in helping crafting such as response?
> Who am I?
> For those who don't know me, I've been involved in the geospatial open 
> source community for over a decade. Of note, a few years ago I 
> co-authored [3] an open letter on behalf of open source community 
> which resulted in us successfully defending geospatial open standards.
> [1] 
> https://mailchi.mp/73feb7beca31/developing-australias-next-open-government-national-action-plan-2018-1107129?e=0429b6534e
> [2] https://www.opengovpartnership.org/open-government-declaration
> [3] 
> https://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/06/03/2229245/gis-community-blocks-esris-geospatial-open-standard-rest-api

Cameron Shorter
Technology Demystifier, Learnosity
Open Technologies Consultant

M +61 (0) 419 142 254

More information about the linux-aus mailing list