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Data.gov.au loses dedicated staff

Former staffer says Gov 2.0 losing momentum

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One of the key elements of Australia's Gov 2.0 effort, the data.gov.au website, no longer has dedicated staff and is now a “mature capability” that is part of the Australian Government Information Management Office's IAGIMO's) “business as usual” efforts.

Data.gov.au is a repository for datasets Australia's government releases to the public. All data posted to the site is available for public use in mashups or other applications. The site's foundation was recommended in the Gov 2.0 taskforce report and agreed to in the government's response to the report. But the site's former staffer says AGIMO did not put sufficient effort into the site and adoption of Gov 2.0 is therefore slowing.

The former staffer is Lisa Cornish, now an employee of Queensland Newspapers, who yesterday told mapping conference GeoNext that she was the site's only dedicated worker and that her efforts represented insufficient resources to explain its underlying concepts to government agencies, or enthuse them about open data.

Cornish went on to say that AGIMO is no longer actively collecting datasets for the site.

An AGIMO spokesperson told The Register a dedicated employee is no longer necessary for the reasons above, while the fact the site is self-service means any agency can upload new datasets without human intervention at AGIMO's end, although the agency will “... continue to maintain data.gov.au and will implement any government initiatives that include enhancements to the site.”

Whether that work includes outreach and education to government agencies about Gov 2.0 is not clear, with the spokesperson telling The Register that “The business as usual team is responsible for the day-to-day management and technical support of all of AGIMO’s online products.”

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