June 11, 2009

Government transparency around the world

By now you probably know about the US Government's online efforts at data.gov and recovery.gov. But how well do you know about efforts by other countries around the world?

New Zealand has a Policing Act wiki which allows the public unprecedented ability to comment and influence the content of the Act.

People previously unengaged in politics are now making their voices heard and government officials have benefited from the increased engagement:

Rather than relying on a small set of experts and expensive and time-consuming physical consultations, governments are able to quickly, simply and cheaply get feedback and input on proposals online.


Out of the UK is the supremely cool-sounding Lords of the Blog. The upper house of the UK Parliament has a stuffy, out-of-touch, and generally unexciting reputation. However, their blog isn't. Their commentary is sharp, their blog is up-to-date, and their blog "has been credited with reinvigorating public interest in the democratic process."

And rounding out our transparency world trip are the online portals of the Canadian Government. The site features dozens of YouTube channels, podcasts, RSS feeds, Facebook accounts, Twitter pages, and wikis.

Transparency is a principle that applies to governments around the world. With the rise of the internet there no reason for governments across the world to proactively reveal their activities.