[@OKau] Kellie Tranter on the OGP

Rosie Williams budgetaus at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 8 04:35:32 UTC 2015

Hi Steven and Cobi, 
Thanks for your thoughts. I wasn't speaking on behalf of OKAU when I posted to the list. I don't have an official position within the Open Knowledge AU other than as moderator of this list. I know Kellie Tranter supports what I do by the way, I imagine she thought she was speaking in support of what I do. I just wanted to correct statements about the government's attitude toward fiscal transparency as I disagreed with what she said. I did find her link to the Hansard recording John Sheridan's statements about the Open Government Partnership extremely interesting.
I don't know if you can have a consensus position on OKAU when there is no decision making process that requires us all to vote and we'd have to decide what would or would not be subject to decision making. At present there is no official membership so it is also unclear who would get to vote - but it might be one way of getting people to engage if it gives them the right to influence the voice of the organisation. In this the decision making process would have to be able to demonstrate that it is actually reflecting the views of the majority (although you did say consensus) if that is the way decisions will be carried.
Other thoughts are that might be difficult to build consensus in a timely fashion to respond to issues of the day. I can imagine a process like this getting bogged down in debate and bureaucracy.
I'm curious Steven about your concept of what is 'uncontroversial'. I imagine those kinds of value judgements are in the eye of the beholder but what I guess you mean, is opinions should be in line with the organisational objectives and values. Without a decision making process it is hard to imagine how those objectives and values are going to be defined. If they have already been decided by the Board or by the parent organisation in the UK then I suppose that cuts out the need to build a consensus around them for our purposes. 
Another approach is to just let people post what they want and have the official position of the organisation be that it does not necessarily endorse the opinions posted, that they are not the official position of the organisation and are published for the purposes of encouraging discussion and debate. This sounds very low on bureaucracy to me and might encourage people to post their opinions to the blog as it will give them a mouthpiece they might not otherwise have. Controversy is not always a bad thing as it engages people. If people are engaging with blog posts then ensuing discussion can be controversial as well and that might need managing (moderating). 

In my opinion the standard for publishing an opinion is that it can be backed up by evidence and sources rather than that it holds to a particular view. Anyway those are just some thoughts. Do with them what you will. 

Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)________________________________________

 NoFibs.com.au - Open Data Reporter InfoAus.net - Founder and Developer 

Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2015 12:37:16 +1000
From: steven.decosta at linkdigital.com.au
To: okfn-au at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [@OKau] Kellie Tranter on the OGP

I agree! Rosie is doing tops stuff :)
Something I'd like to raise with this list is how we enable people to share their insights and opinions via the OKAU blog. It is easy to write something uncontroversial and post it up. Board minutes, news about something in the public domain and updates from meetups are all examples.
However, when putting up something that is in reaction to, or opposition to something in the public domain then the message would need to be one of the following:
1. The opinion of the poster2. The broad consensus opinion of OKAU3. Some other consensus opinion (such as the Melbourne group, or a particular working group area).
So as to enable quick responses on topical issues of the day I think we'd need to go with the default position that all posts are the opinion of the author. However, if we are to truly amplify the message of something then we'd need an agreed mechanism for things to be escalated as the combined voice of OKAU.
We have a similar situation with the response to the metadata sharing contribution that was made by OKAU.
I think we'd easily find consensus on both the metadata comments and the comments on releasing spending data (while also encouraging more), so maybe this is a good time to put the question to the group.
What mechanism are we happy to use to arrive at a position where a public statement can be made as 'the voice of Open Knowledge Australia'?
I ran into this last night when thinking about where to post the following:http://www.linkdigital.com.au/news/2015/04/data-first-a-practical-guide/

It is something that might be relevant for ckan.org or au.okfn.org, but as it is largely an opinion piece I thought it best to not assume anything and check with people later.
Maybe I'm over thinking this and we should aim to simply post interesting and relevant items as they come up (as the opinion of the author). The post comments are then an easy place for further public discussion...
What do others think?



On 8 April 2015 at 12:11, Cobi Alison Smith <cobi.smith at unimelb.edu.au> wrote:

Thanks for sharing Rosie; I hadn't seen this. One of the things Steven and I talked about off-list is how I'd love to see current Open Knowledge campaigns reflected on the agenda
 within Australia:

you're doing awesome work in this space Rosie - I appreciate it. 

(reminder - I think you'd be a great Shuttleworth fellow! 
https://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/applications/ )

From: okfn-au [okfn-au-bounces at lists.okfn.org] on behalf of Rosie Williams [budgetaus at hotmail.com]

Sent: Wednesday, 8 April 2015 11:21 AM

To: okfn-au at lists.okfn.org

Subject: [@OKau] Kellie Tranter on the OGP

Kellie Tranter has a piece in On Line Opinion today about Australia's participation in the Open Government Partnership. 


I'm happy to see people writing about open government and transparency although I disagree with Ms Tranter that the government is not opening data relevant to government spending. Since I've been working with open data, the government has made significant
 inroads into opening spending information and improving the way financial information is published by government. 

In fact, the Audit Commission Report made specific mention of the desire to improve accountability and transparency around spending information, including program evaluation.

Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)

 NoFibs.com.au - Open Data Reporter
 InfoAus.net - Founder and Developer 




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