Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
With respect to social assistance, the Review Commission, while remaining
largely within its confines of social and human development, notably embraces
transparency, recommending, for example, the creation of new online reporting
mechanisms compelling communities to provide a more open and regularized
accounting of activities and outcomes. A similar appeal is made to broaden exist-
ing report card mechanisms aimed at poverty reduction (particularly for children)
to include progress on the transformation of social assistance. Information is
unquestionably a prerequisite to the realization of more participative governance
and anything resembling a state of ubiquitous engagement (Lee & Kwak, 2011).
Unfortunately, the Commission's recommendations fall well short of a Gov 2.0
participatory logic and instead emphasize the importance for the public sector to do
a better job of communicating its efforts and accomplishments. Such linear report-
ing measures fall well short of meaningful collaboration and processes of coproduc-
tion and codesign. Complementing the Commission's own caution in this regard
is the trepid response of the government in the 2013 Budget to its own recommen-
dations, pledging to consult stakeholders on prospective reforms but providing no
detail as to how such consultation shall take place.
The Commission's failure to address transparency more systemically and pro-
actively is all the more troubling when coupled with the thrust of open data initia-
tives and likeminded app contests by many governments, which seemingly stand
to engage and benefit the most technologically literate citizens already well versed
in new technologies and mobile devices specifically. The caveat here is that, as dis-
cussed previously in this chapter, some governments such as those of Britain and
Denmark feel that mobility can serve as a platform to better reach and engage those
currently disenfranchised digitally, but the central point in this regard is that those
governments are articulating specific strategies and targeted mechanisms in doing
so. A very different reality presents itself in Ontario.
11.5.4 Performance
In linking its Gov 2.0 Action Plan to better and more integrated outcomes, the
State of Victoria emphasizes the need to build strong government-wide capaci-
ties and capabilities both individually and organizationally. Closely enjoined with
the notion of leadership (forging a form of virtuous cycle in this regard), these
new capabilities encompassing all levels of government organizations are achieved
through training and dialogue, pilot experimentations, and a greater acceptance
of risk than traditionally permissible within a model of traditional public admin-
istration and Westminster democracy (Roy, 2013, 2014a). In doing so, it is notable
the Victoria Action Plan assigns ultimate responsibility for the plan to a whole of
Government Implementation Task Force, a network committee itself supported by
the Department of the Premier and the Cabinet.
Such a recipe reflects the governance tension that all Westminster jurisdictions
face, namely, systemic and often historically rooted pressures for centralized authority
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