On common ground

A request for help from Finland on the W3C e-government interest group  list resulted in a pointer back to another site I hadn’t been to recently, the Civic Commons wiki. As with many colleagues out there, including the one posting that URI, I am keen that we don’t reinvent any wheels, so I’m posting it here, too.

As the site states in its ‘About’: “In the face of budget crises, government entities at every level must cut costs and find efficiencies. An enormous opportunity lies in their IT infrastructure — the technology they require to provide their citizens essential services. For the most part, each city, county, state, agency and office builds or buys their technology solutions independently, creating huge redundancies in civic software and wasting millions of tax-payer dollars. They should be able to work together. An independent non-profit organization, Civic Commons will help these institutions share code and best practices, reform procurement practices, and learn to function not only as a provider of services but as a platform to which an ecosystem of industry can add value for government and its citizens.”

So even better, we can spread these savings internationally, if possible. The UK equivalent for applications is http://data.gov.uk/apps – Give it time, it’s only been there a year and nobody has even written on the wiki yet…or am I being disingenuous?

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2 Responses to On common ground

  1. Maybe nobody has posted on the wiki because the public sector is blocking people from accessing it…it’s forbidden for me sat at my desk! Classified as ‘suspicious’.

    • Yes, I’m not sure what the percentage is still but whilst most governments in the world sing the praises of social media (and I’m not saying all of them are of equal value), many government bodies (and it must be 50% of LA’s in the UK) won’t let their employees look at even WordPress, Google, Twitter &etc.

      I think we’re still at the start of the learning curve.

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