Govt 2.0 report 'lacks purpose and aim'

Govt 2.0 report 'lacks purpose and aim'

Summary: The Government 2.0 Taskforce report, released late last year, had "analytical weaknesses" and read like it had been "written by a machine", according to an IT analyst.

TOPICS: Enterprise 2.0

The Government 2.0 Taskforce report, released late last year, had "analytical weaknesses" and read like it had been "written by a machine", according to an IT analyst.

Guy Cranswick

Guy Cranswick
(Credit: IBRS)

The Government 2.0 Taskforce looked at how government information could become more accessible and useful, how the government could make use of the views, resources and knowledge of the public, and how to promote collaboration across agencies. The taksforce's final report, Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0, was released at the end of last year.

Intelligent Business Research Services IT and business management consultant Guy Cranswick planned to release a paper that critiques the report. Cranswick believed it had "a number of weaknesses" and "lacked an audience and market context".

"If you are going to write any strategy, certainly a communications strategy, you've got to have that," he said. "And that's completely absent from it."

The other problem with the report, he said, was that it lacked definitions and terms of reference.

"Who is it addressing and why? And what is the aim? Because of this analytical weakness in the report, which presumably is a very quick representation of the work done by the taskforce, it lacks purpose and aim."

It was also "poorly written" in some parts, using "standard cliché" words such as "transparency" and "better strategies" without defining what the words meant in their context. "It could have been written by a machine," Cranswick said.

Questions asked and answered in the report were not clear-cut either, he said.

"They haven't asked the right questions, they haven't plotted the right kind of strategy, and they haven't dealt with discrete sets of the market as you would in a proper commercial communications strategy."

The report also confused the word "engagement" with "activity", Cranswick said. "So what this document does is confuses an act, that is sending an email or being in a chat room, with genuine engagement and the kind of paradigm that the commercial media industry has used for about 40 years," he said.

Cranswick plans to release his paper in March.

Topic: Enterprise 2.0

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  • Terms of Reference

    I am the Finance division manager responsible for this area.

    The Terms of Reference may be found at They were posted there in late June 2009. They are also on page 87 of the report which may be found at It is not a strategy.
  • Can't wait

    Terrific. Can't wait for the paper. I was a member of the Task Force. Plenty of room to debate some of the points here some of which touch on really key issues. And i can assure you the report was not written by a machine:) Neither was it a "communications strategy". Read the terms of reference - they are in the report.
  • A free critique I hope

    As one of the audience for the Taskforce's report, as a public servant involved in the online sphere, I had no difficulty understanding the terms of reference and the report met my expectations for a six-month Taskforce.

    I hope Guy considers all the project reports alongside the Taskforce report. They form a single body of work that provide support and guidance for people working in my area of expertise.

    It was not designed to be a strategy or a communications plan and it is not all about outwards engagement by government.

    I trust Guy will release his report under the same licensing arrangement as the Taskforce - free to use and distribute with attribution (a Creative Commons license).