Recommendations (draft)

In summary, the Taskforce makes the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1

As a matter of course, public servants should be active in online peer support forums concerned with their areas of work, be it education specialists in parenting forums or doctors in health forums. Public bodies should investigate and publish lists of the major forums and other discussion sites within their areas of responsibility and engage [...]

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Recommendation 2

Public servants will require adequate internet access to take part in social media as part of their job.  The Cabinet Office should work with staff involved in setting access rules and issue guidance.

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Recommendation 3

Government should encourage and assist the development of capability outside government in online empowerment or mutual support for public service outcomes, particularly in the Third Sector.  It should also address the issue of those online organisations or people which are delivering clear, highly leveraged social value but which do not have a sustainable funding model.  HMT [...]

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Recommendation 4

Unlock innovation in leading public sector sites using a ‘backstage model‘, a standing open online innovation space allowing the general public and staff to co-create information-based public services.  This capability should be a standard element of public information service design. The government should start by creating a live backstage service for DirectGov by end June [...]

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Recommendation 5

Invest in innovation that directly benefits the public by ensuring that public sector websites spend about as much on innovation as leading knowledge businesses.  DirectGov, BusinessLink and NHS Choices should create an combined innovation pot of 10% of their budgets, focussed on improving the public experience of government websites, through outside-in innovation not internal requirements.  [...]

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Recommendation 6

Stay at the leading edge of customer driven service improvement.  The Permanent Secretary Government Communiations should regularly publish best practice and innovation in engaging large number of people online such as Show Us a Better Way, Dell Ideastorm, Apps for Democracy, etc. An initial readout should be published on the Cabinet Office website by Q3 [...]

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Recommendation 7

The public services can break out of the traditional challenge/response model of consultation by using the latest online tools. Consultations should be presented on Departmental websites in a format and with the tools which allow real participation.  An agenda to achieve this would include:

Clear and mandatory standards on accurate tagging and metadata
Breaking down consultation papers [...]

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Recommendation 8

A plan for supporting the change needed in policy development skills to make the most of online participation should be developed by the Cabinet Office Capability Group by end 2009, with a concomitant training plan from the National School for Government.

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Recommendation 9

The Ordnance Survey is fundamental to delivering the power of information for the economy and society.  The Taskforce has contributed to the Government’s Trading Funds Assessment.  This Assessment should be radical and fundamental. In particular:

Basic geographic data such as electoral and administrative boundaries, the location of public buildings, etc should be available free of charge [...]

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Recommendation 10

(a)  Government should ensure that there is a uniform system of release and licensing applied across all public bodies; individual public bodies should not develop or vary the standard terms for their sector.
(b)  The system should be a creative commons style approach, using a highly permissive licensing scheme that is transparent, easy to understand and easy [...]

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