Open government talk buzzes across Canada

12.03.2010

The panelists also discussed the potential for a government app store. "If cities create the platform, the app store will be developed," said Kuznicki. "We are barely in the adoption of open data as a program within cities, but as it continues and as different cities start to think about harmonizing data sets, you will see more APIs," he said.

While the community may not know where to find city information, the city needs to understand its citizens, said , a Canadian federal public servant based in Ottawa who "blogs unofficially on public service renewal" and government 2.0.

By understanding what citizens want, government can "meet your needs rather than get something out of the door to meet a timeline," he said. But "we might need help on how to organize and (understand) what is a priority to you," he said.

"The single largest benefit for government-as-a-platform is to change the relationship between government and people," said Charney. Confidence can be built by moving to this platform, he said, because at the moment, "I don't know what you need."

Challenges, from a municipal clerk's perspective, are time, resources and the ability to communicate what's available and what's needed. "I don't think we know what we need," said Alayne Sinclair, city clerk for the .