The Australian Senate requires each government department and agency to provide an indexed list of all relevant file on its web site (Senate Continuing Order No 5). A web search for such files finds more than 100,000 web pages.What implications does this activity have for the efficiency, security of government records? Are their implications for the privacy of personal and corporate records? How might electronic document management techniques be used to improve this process? How has the advent of email and the web effected the relevance and comprehensiveness of this service? How might a government wide interface to these records improve the service for the citizen?
Government electronic documents released by default?A group of academics and politicians have proposed that government documents in electronic format should be released by default. The idea is that releasing electronic documents is cheap compared to the cost of having someone go through and check them:
One catch with this proposal is that the cataloging of the information would have to be correct to prevent any privacy or security breeches. Previously public servants could write relatively freely in an internal file, on the assumption most of it would never be made public and what was would be carefully checked before release. If electronic records are freely available, they can be pured over by millions of eyes (and automated search programs) looking for embarrassing, or financially useful, information.
How would you implement this proposal?