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Open-source Code: By the People, For the People [Aug. 29, 2013]

Submitted on
Thursday, August 29, 2013
,
VentureBeat

By Dries Buytaert

Many organizations adopt open source for reasons like flexibility and agility. Everyone needs to do more with less. But in government, open source drives both civic engagement and government participation like never before. Because of digital, the world feels much smaller and more connected. And open source gives people the opportunity to rally around a cause, no matter where they live.

Think about how we petitioned our government before we had the We The People website. I bet you have to think pretty hard about how it was done (I do!). Now, a website has brought to life the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. Millions of people’s voices are heard. People pull together based on common concerns. The White House built We The People using Drupal and shared the code on GitHub, opening up the opportunity for other governments to easily create their own online petitioning systems.

NSW Government Services Go Digital [Aug. 27, 2013]

Submitted on
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
,
The Australian

By Jennifer Foreshew

THE NSW government's newly launched services distribution arm aims to shift 30 per cent of traffic that resides in face to face or the call centre arena to digital in the next two years.

Service NSW, which was created to be a single point of contact for customers of government services, launched its three channels last month. They involve an initial 18 service centres, 24/7 phone service, and a customer-friendly web portal.

There are 40 million transactions in NSW every year with government.

"They (users) will certainly migrate quite easily from the call centre where a lot of the activity is at the moment to digital," Service NSW deputy chief executive officer Steve Griffin said.

Service NSW, which is aimed at citizens and small businesses, brings together the services delivered by NSW agencies Roads and Maritime, the Department of Fair Trading and Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Service NSW uses aGov, a Drupal distribution specifically designed for Australian government, for its website, which is hosted in the cloud by Acquia.

Drupal is an open source web platform used by more than 150 national governments.