All public services could be delivered online within four years under an ambitious pledge by Gordon Brown to create a paperless state and save billions of pounds, The Times has learnt.
Tens of thousands of public sector jobs could go in Jobcentres, benefit offices, passport centres and town halls if face-to-face transactions are scrapped in favour of cheaper and more efficient online form-filling.
Before we get to the details about the roles, I want to be clear on a few general elements:
* These are internships: they are are not normal full roles.
* Like most internships, these roles are unpaid.
* Each role lasts for six months.
* Working hours are Mon – Fri from 9am – 5pm.
I want to be clear that my team is a fast-paced, hard-working, hectic environment. I am going to work you hard, and you should expect that, but my goal here is to help you squeeze every ounce of opportunity out of your internship. We will have 1-on-1 weekly calls, I will help guide you on what to work on, help you manage your work, solve problems, and be effective in your projects. In other words: when you sign up for your internship, expect a solid six month adventure, but an adventure that will sow the seeds for many great opportunities in the future.
Can the social networking wave that is emerging help bring about more responsive government organizations?
A new report out of Grant Thornton and FreeBalance says the potential is there, for a number of reasons. “Social networking provides governments with a new paradigm: knowledge release rather than knowledge control. This Government 2.0 approach can harness government knowledge to improve results.” (PDF white paper available from FreeBalance.)
Government 2.0 — enabled through social networking tools — provides benefits such as reduced cost of engagement through more productive tools and processes, simplified knowledge creation and retention though usable applications, easier knowledge sharing, and enhanced information discovery through transparency and data mashups. It all sounds like good mom-and-apple-pie stuff, but is it actually being put to use?
I’m not going to get into whether the general public needs to understand what “Gov 2.0″ is or not, but there is one thing that we in the Gov 2.0 community need to do a better job of and it’s not educating the public on what open government is or why they should care. No, what we need to do is start calling more attention to things like the DC DMV’s real-time video feed of their lines, like NextBus to alert riders when their next bus is coming, like what Santa Cruz is doing to involve its citizens in the budget process.
While something like Data.gov may eventually become the backbone for hundreds, maybe thousands, of revolutionary open government initiatives down the road, it’s not impacting the average citizen’s life RIGHT NOW. To the average citizen, it’s not revolutionary – it’s just another government website.