Came across this lot yesterday. Many of the usual suspects involved (eg Debategraph), and some interesting ideas floating around about bypassing representative democracy altogether, but there are RSS feeds and a mailing list which will now be tracking.
The mission of the eGovernment Interest Group (eGov IG) is to explore how to improve access to government through better use of the Web and achieve better government transparency using open Web standards at any government level (local, state, national and multi-national). The eGov IG is designed as a forum to support researchers, developers, solution providers, and users of government services that use the Web as the delivery channel, and enable broader collaboration across eGov practitioners.
There are three tasks forces, listed below with their missions:
- Usage of Web Standards
- Gather information about the areas where best practice guidelines are needed: best practices will be drawn from the successes (and failures) of efforts at opening, sharing, and re-using knowledge about the use of standards and specifications by government applications that could be collected into a set of best practices with the intent of identifying productive technical paths toward better public services.
- Provide input on how to ease standards compliance: use previous successful experiences in terms of broad government use (such as the Web Accessibility Initiative work) to identify ways for standard bodies to better speak in terms of government needs; for example, additional effort to package, promote, and train on best practices and existing material and tools.
- Transparency and Participation
- Identify ways to improve government transparency and openness: identify any gaps to be filled in creating a complete suite of standards to enable open government information and ease the goal of linkable Public Sector Information.
- Identify ways to increase citizenship participation: recognize new channels, ways to get the information to the citizens where the citizens are looking for it, and make better use of tools as means to increase citizenry awareness and participation while supporting champions, i.e. acknowledge and help active citizens and public servants.
- Identify ways to increase citizens and businesses use of eGovernment services: get information on benefits of Web use for government services, identify main factors that are important for people and businesses to use eGovernment services such as time and money savings, simplicity, etc. and identify ways to improve them.
- Seamless Integration of Data
- Identify how to advance the state-of-the-art in data integration strategies: identify ways for governments and computer science researchers to continue working together to advance the state-of-the-art in data integration and build useful, deployable proof-of-concept demos that use actual government information and demonstrate real benefit from linked data integration. These proof-of-concept tools ought to be targeted to applications that will show real improvement in areas that elected officials, government officers and citizens actually need. This area would include addressing the needs of business cases through the use of XML, SOA, and Semantic Web technologies.
- Development of Interest Group Notes, according to the scope. These notes should identify challenges and opportunities, needed best practices, a roadmap for guidelines and/or new technologies, etc.
Seems to be early days though – there doesnt seem to be much meat on the bones yet…