Dan Mintz: Government 2.0 is an Experiment

Lately, I’ve focused quite a bit in the government technology space. With the new administration and the apparent focus on open technologies and dialogue with the public, it is clear that government is going to become more transparent and will likely adopt (and maybe re-engineer) some of the technologies that the private sector has taken advantage of over the last five years.

Dan Mintz, formerly the CIO for the Department of Transportation reiterates my assertion, in an interview with ExecutiveBiz, that the Government knows that no one is an expert in this area but is willing to work with competent individuals and companies who are willing to partner in learning the space:

This is still an experiment so therefore “˜how this will play out’ will require people who are comfortable with experiments. The government has a tendency to be risk-averse, which is understandable. It will be very important for the leadership within the departments and agencies to provide support for people who are willing to do the experiments. The second important factor to remember is that it [2.0 activity] will be user driven, not IT driven.

In my earlier article on this matter, I stated:

What [self-described Government 2.0 experts] don’t realize is the government they wish to work with understands that Government 2.0 is new and that very few people are experts. The government, I believe, is looking to partner with people who have the chutzpah to become experts. Who have a firm grounding in communications principles and web savvy. They understand that the next year will make experts if the right candidates, firms and contractors are chosen. They are looking for people who have the savvy needed to guide and advise, with the understanding that it’s a completely new playing field. My instinct says that the government knows that they are getting prepared to experiment and want someone to experiment with.

Sounds like we are saying the same thing. It’s just a shame that Mr. Mintz is the former CIO of the Dept. of Transportation.

2 Replies to “Dan Mintz: Government 2.0 is an Experiment”

  1. Couldn’t agree more with your recent posts on Gov 2.0. I run communications for a big local government agency and can’t find any best practices for Gov SM. When you ask CTO or CIO they are a little nervous and suggest guidelines that often go against the Cluetrain ideals. While there are lots of case studies for biz and non-profit, very few for local government beyond political campaigns and no experts. I’m very interested to see if this soon-to-be expertise ‘trickles down’ so we have something to support. In the meantime, we’ll keep pushing forward slowly. Come see what we’re doing http://tinyurl.com/5wdbk6

  2. Just read an interesting post by Mathew Ingram over at The Globe and Mail in Canada. They ran a public policy wiki project that I found fascinating. It could also have a long-term impact on how politicians, perhaps working with news organizations, can tap public wisdom for the greater good.

    What made this compelling to me is the fact that the news org. compiled a final report and sent it to Canada’s Finance Minister.

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