This article was first published in the Local Government Chronicle 16 September 2010
Technology has long been seen by government as a key tool for improving the way it works and engages with citizens in public services. This has never been more necessary, given the unprecedented crisis and uncertainty both the government and the economy are facing.
After more than a decade of significant investment in e-government programmes by the Labour government, the current administration has set its stall out early to reposition technology in government.
The coalition recognises the value of the web as a key player in government transformation, one that is far more light touch and, frankly, cheaper than previous initiatives, holding it central to its manifesto and to the delivery of a Big Society.
The web provides a unique opportunity to rework government and its relationship with its citizens through the use of quick, cheap and easy-to-use tools and services.
And government no longer needs to have all the answers. By focusing on what it has responsibility for (such as public datasets now mandated to be published online by Eric Pickles and his colleagues), government can find a new role as an enabler of civic entrepreneurialism within the Big Society.
Over three days in October some of the brightest brains in the space of cities, government, technology and the web will come together at the CityCamp London event. With a particular focus on local government, CityCamp participants will begin to create a vision for the way in which technology may be used to transform both (government) organisations and how they can learn to best enable their communities to act.
Topics are likely to include how to create public services 2.0, how to deliver on the transparency agenda and how government can best engage with communities online.
CityCamp London will take place on 8-10 October and is free to attend.
LGC is supporting CityCamp London as a media partner