GoC Web 2.0 wish list for 2011 (Part 2)

This is part 2 of a 3-part series. See Part 1 here.

A year and a half ago I posted “GoC Web 2.0 wish list“. For 2011, I decided to reinvigorate the post with this update. Here’s my 10-point wish list. 10 departments, 10 wishes.

Just blowing them out there. Maybe they'll germinate. Or maybe not.

Part 2: Departments on my radar

#4: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan): Share your DNA

NRCan continues to do some great stuff, with knowledge-sharing, openness, social learning, and innovation. Probably you still won’t hear much of it, these great things PLUS their humility makes up the very fabric of the departmental being that is NRCan. With recent changes in senior ranks, I hope senior leadership on this front continues, and that NRCan continues to share their DNA, because other departments need to see that truly being innovative and collaborative doesn’t involve risking your house of cards falling, but can lead to stronger bonds, greater resilience, and a supportive culture.

#5: Canada School of Public Service (CSPS): Support Social Learning in the Federal Government

Some big things have been happening in the past few years in the GoC: Social learning events. Public Servants are gathering and organising their own free events to learn, to share, to exchange with each other. The stereotype of the federal public servants as non-collaborators working in silos is breaking down, more and more every day, and the sky isn’t falling from all the collaboration. Just the opposite.

Public servants are organising big events. I’m talking big. These 200-people all-day events, are “organised by public servants for public servants”, on topics like Web 2.0, Collaboration, Innovation in Management. Such events are easily worth $500 a head, multiply that per public servant and it’s no exaggeration they save tax-payers $100K each. But they’re not easy to organise, and those brave and talented organisers could do with some help to spread the learning.

As “the common learning provider for the Government of Canada“, CSPS should be at the table, or risk missing the boat. I hope CSPS can be a value-added player to seeing more knowledge-sharing events by public servants, however  cost-recovery pressures from TBS limits the involvement of CSPS to focus on money-making courses they know they can count on (which are mostly courses that public servants have to take for their jobs, and courses help public servants move up the ladder). Considering how valuable these events are, I remain hopeful that CSPS can help these dedicated public servants who are volunteering their time to fellow help public servants across the federal government learn.

#6: Library and Archives Canada (LAC): Treat Information as Value, not an Asset

It’s logical for Library and Archives to view information as an asset. I’ve written before how GoC’s information policy is sorely in need of an update. With the increasing sharing of information and new tools and technologies on both sides of the federal government firewall, the prospect of managing it all can be daunting, depressing and downright impossible.

Public servants face many barriers when dealing with information, forced to comply with archaic information management policies and recordkeeping directives that are further compromised by faulty IM tools (heard of RDIMS or iRIMS?).

Instead, public servants should be encouraged to share, share, share freely available information. They should be free to access experts, exchange knowledge and collaborate, supported by technology and tools that make this possible. And to make this possible, public servants need a department like LAC working behind the scenes to make it happen.

I hope LAC updates its approach to information, with a knowledge-supporting approach.

#7: Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC): Don’t change a thing

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I hope the OPC continues to show the rest of the federal government not only what social media is, but also what it can do and how they can do it. They do this by both talking the talk and walking the walk. The OPC blog is still (sadly) the only public-facing blog from the federal government (albeit as an agent of parliament, not a line department). On the blog, the OPC shares its thoughts and views, participating beyond the Ottawa dome of protected reality. On its knowledge-sharing site, the OPC shares its knowledge for others, stimulating discussion if there was none, pushing it if there was. Not one to shy away from taking on Social media titans the likes of Google and Facebook, the OPC also shows it has fervour, enthusiasm, and firm understanding on social change by participating in the social sphere. And the work has paid off. A few months ago, the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the world’s largest association of privacy professionals, awarded the OPC with the 2010 IAPP Privacy Vanguard Award. Congrats!

My wish is that the OPC doesn’t change a thing. And if they do, I know we’ll be impressed.
PS: Follow @CanuckFlack on Twitter.

Up next: GCPEDIA, Public Works and Government Services Canada, and, yes, all Government Departments.

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