I’m preparing for the keynote on Public Service Sector Renewal and technology I’ll be giving at this year’s DPI conference on Thurdsay in Ottawa. I’ve been working on creating a series of slides that I’m hoping will be quite interesting and tha I promise to share either here or via slideshare.net.
What has been most interesting is how hard it is to get data about the government. In my case, I’ve been trying to determine the address of every major ministry (or, if you must, department) in Ottawa in 1930, 1960, 1980 and today. I know this information exists – the problem is finding it. It would appear that it can only be found in the national archives – in hard form, from a protected document that people aren’t really allowed to access.
It makes me think of how much data the government has collected over the years – or even minute by minute that gets stored – even digitally – in inaccessible ways, making it harder for companies, non-profits or other entities to leverage the public resource.
If our government is going to get one thing right, it would be enabling its citizens to do that.