Dries Buytaert

Open Government 2010 conference

Tomorrow, I'll be presenting at a Open Government 2010 conference organized by FEDICT and the Flemish E-government team. While I'm only in the pre-conference program (rightly so), the main conference sports some impressive speakers: Herman Van Rompuy (President of the European Council), Neelie Kroes (European Commissioner for Digital Agenda), Vivek Kundra (Chief Information Officer of the United States), etc.

The pre-conference is linked to the "Citadel Statement" a call-to-action for Europe and its Member States. The Citadel Statement identifies five core areas where European and national decision makers can provide tangible support to improve local e-government. Here is a summary:

  1. Common architecture, shared services and standards: Incorporate EU best practices into a common service delivery architecture (information, process and application-layer) that provides one common language and helps local governments share services and learn from other 'best practices' such as how to work with authentic registrations, how to create personalized access to services, etc.
  2. Open data, transparency and personal rights: Show a commitment to making public data open and accessible by establishing a well maintained repository of definitions and taxonomies that makes data consistent throughout Europe.
  3. Citizen participation and involvement: Demonstrate political leadership and courage to improve the democratic process and facilitate citizen participation in decision-making across Europe. Promote the value of co-designing services in conjunction with citizens as a first step in making government more people-focused. Provide guidelines, training and methodologies on involving citizens in decision making and service design.
  4. Privacy and identification of individuals: Create a robust political and policy framework to address common privacy issues across Europe associated with personal data. Provide protocols that enable the easy identification of individuals over the Internet and facilitate mobility by developing shared standards for the identification of people that makes it easier to travel and do business all over Europe.
  5. Rural inclusion: Promote the concept of Broadband as a public utility that - like electricity and water - should be available to all communities no matter how small or geographically dispersed. Equality of access is an important precondition for the growth of superfast broadband - an economic necessity in today's growing marketplace.

While the path to Open Government will be a long, I really hope that Europe will get this right. I'm sure it will be a journey with many challenges, many beyond picking website technology. That said, I do believe this is a great fit for Open Source and an area where Drupal can help make a difference.

— Dries Buytaert

1 min read time