I’ve made various suggestions about the possible terrificness of open source approaches to government, for instance here.
The Poms are having a crack at this kind of thing. They’re trying to use suggestion boxes to improve policy. Thus the front page of betterregulation.gov.uk run by the Better Regulation Executive is a big suggestion box calling for suggestions for better regulation. It’s a good idea. What do you get for putting in a suggestion? Not a lot, but the responses are public and thus fairly well reasoned. And there seems to be good work going on there, though how resources intensive and so cost effective it is is another question.
And the British are getting active in promoting public sector access to information, and in trying to work out how to get value out of it. Showusabetterway.com – interesting that it’s .com, and not .gov and not .gov.uk or co.uk – goes one step further.
The UK Government wants to hear your ideas for new products that could improve the way public information is communicated. The Power of Information Taskforce is running a competition on the Government’s behalf, and we have a £20,000 prize fund to develop the best ideas to the next level. You can see the type of thing we are are looking for here.
A good thing methinks and it will be interesting to see how they go.