Here’s the scoop: In the 17th annual report to the Prime Minister published a few weeks ago, Privy Council Clerk Wayne Wouters states “government departments have to embrace the Web 2.0 tools and technology that rest of the world uses that allow more collaboration among workers, levels of government and Canadians”. While hisÂ predecessorÂ included similar phrases in the last report, Wayne clearly makes a point to emphasize how Canada has fallen behind in terms of e-government, not just from a technological standpoint, but much more importantly from anÂ organizationalÂ culture standpoint.A grassroots movement of proactive public servants has been brewing for years nowÂ tryingÂ toÂ push this to theÂ frontÂ of our government’s agenda. Just take a look at the Canadian examples on theÂ Gov 2.0 wiki or the conversations going on under the #w2p, #goc, #gov20 and #gc20 hashtags.
So this begs the question, who’s left to convince? Why aren’t the majority of departments jumping on collaborative platforms, 2-way engagement tools, and data sharing programs?
My simple answer:
- Extremely risk -averse middle management (not everyone, but the majority)
- Political culture of centralized-control (enough said)
I sincerely hope that representatives from these two groups (not just their junior staff!) start attending events such as the Gov 2.0 Expo taking place in Washington D.C this year in May. The Government 2.0 movement is revolutionizing the role of the public service in numerous countries. It’s time for a wake-up call. This latest Privy Council Clerk report is a great chance for proactive public servants surrounded by a stagnant culture to piggy-back on and lead the change within their departments.