questions for new zealand state services

. . .

kia orana, greetings.

A few media-type questions below.

But first, some background.

Had a little brainflash just now, a few moments ago. Relating all this web2, gov2, you2 stuff to areas of my news agency interest, corruption and transparency.

"Why not transparency2 ?"

So I did a quick google. Nothing. Bowing to accepted terminology I typed :

"Transparency 2.0"

You know, with the quotes.

Magic. Vastly encouraged to find a wealth of material online already.

Just for laughs, I then decided to confine my search to New Zealand.

A ready sneer died on my lips when the one, single link to pop up was of course, this page.

At State Services.

State services? I wondered. Is this New Zealand? Or some weird stray from America? Scroll up. Nah. A blog. At the New Zealand State Services Commission. I gawped.

On their official web site!

All the way back from 30 April 2009!!

And ... comments.

Eight of them.

Hearty congratulations to the SSC for providing national leadership on something New Zealand needs to catch up on, like, really quickly.

Lack of transparency across the board, despite freedom of information legislation, traverses beyond legal borders into outright corruption.

The fact that a multi-billion construction scandal can be successfully portrayed as a common cold without a single prosecution strongly suggests systemic failure throughout the executive, if not legislature.

Leaky House Syndrome, but one example.


"New" Zealand does not deserve it's place at the top of the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index. A little bit of digging raises questions about hundreds of millions here, a few billions there.

Pretty soon, you're talking real money.

And lives.

A colleague, giving me therapy for burn-out, blurted out how, over the years, there have been at least half a dozen deaths among journalists, freelancers and information activists.

Unexplained. Sudden. A disappearance, or two.

Here, in New Zealand.

Corruption of a deep, ugly, kind, if even half the not-reported rumours are true.

The challenge for the SSC is to not to avoid the minefield, but to lay one.

Question is, what next?

Having enabled a benchmark via this blog post, what is the SSC doing about it?

What progress can we expect by the 12 month mark from this blog post, and others in the same vein from the author?

As an independent news agency, we'll be marking the 12 month anniversary with reporting, on what's been done towards continuing the Laurence Millar legacy so warmly praised above.

More of a challenge, really.

Rationale for such a challenge is in itself part of the transparency2 paradigm shift. For example, this agency has already posted a copy of this comment on its own blog site. Date stamped, the post will be a useful benchmark against time of response from the commission.

Bit of a chicken or egg process but done it a few times now.

Type this up first. Post it on my agency inhouse transparency blog. Copy the link onto this blog post, this page, this comment box.

Click "Post Comment".

Advantage for the commission is that they can respond in kind, and in full, instantly, by leaving comment on the blog.

No journalistic gatekeeping.

Even better, the comments are automatically linked to my page on Facebook and a global network of friends and associates as well as colleagues in the journalism community worldwide.

Or the commission can issue a press release via Scoop, which is automatically picked up by news aggregators like Google News, just like I'll do to publicise questions around the issue of transparency 2.0.

Probably relates in some way to gov 3.0 concepts.

Anyway, what I probably wouldn't say face to face is this kind of editorial comment:

"What the commission cannot do is continue to ignore criticisms from a broad range of CSO, civil society organisations that there are deeply shameful abnegations of responsibility within its main area of competency, i.e. good governance."

I'd pose it as a question instead.

"How does the Commission respond to criticism from civil society organisations that there are shameful, even deeply shameful abnegations of responsibility within the commission's main areas of competency, such as good governance?"

"You know, preventing corruption and promoting governance. Stuff."

Like what?

The commission may well ask.

Well, like like the rainbow coalition of CSOs who mounted an extensive campaign named "Don't corrupt aid?" alleging a complete break down in due process with the Murray McCully-inspired dismantling of NZAID. Three decades of aid harmonisation within global UN and other systems, tossed out the window.

For example ...of the criticism.

You understand.

Excuse the rather chatty style, but that in itself is part of transparency 2.0. It's how I'd give background over the phone, or face2face, to use that hip, happening web2 style.

As prelude to questions, in other words, like the ones above.

Sending questions this way gives readers an insight into how the journalistic process works, whether it's fair. Kinda thing.

Don't worry, transparency 2.0 has its limits.

Anything marked news from this news agency will, of course, adhere to old-school, journalism 1.0 ethics.

But, for now, Transparency. 2.0.

Or maybe it's transparency 3.0 ?

Whatever. This agency is amalgamating these approaches through what we are promoting as TTT, Total Transparency Tools. An element of TTT is a transparency 2.0 version of the infamously positive curriculum vitae.

It's called curriculum veritas.

Brainflash over. Over to you guys and gals.

kia manuia,

jason brown
avaiki nius agency

est. 1999 rarotonga

. . .

No comments: