Now this is really crazy (in a positive sense, certainly). I knew Australian Government to be liberal and modern and up-to-date (relatively to some other places on this planet), but this news caught me by an absolute surprise.

Check out Thinking Home Business and this post where Des Walsh says:

The Australian Government Consultation Blog Discussion Paper is, as the name implies, an invitation to public discussion about the potential value for government and the community in having a government “consultation blog”, what such a blog might contain, how it would be managed and so on.

The paper is available as a downloadable PDF and you can also read it on the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) website.

The paper provides some background on “the new internet environment”, covering the evolution in the way people communicate online and spelling out some challenges for government in seeking to participate more fully in this environment.

(from: Government Consultation Blog Discussion Paper)

This provokes some ideas. Definitely. Here in Ukraine I don’t feel myself as a part of the country. They do something on their own, we do something on our. This innovation AU authorities are planning makes me want to get there badly. It’s not that I fancy going to the blog every day to speak to the governors, but to me it shows that they are open, and most importantly, open to innovation — new ideas, new approaches.

Just another illustration I was holding up for a special occasion is an upgraded process of visa applications processing. In the past there was an option to lodge applications through the form on the site and send electronic copies of documents, and it was available only for the onshore applicants. This month I discovered that it has become available to offshore people (not all types of visas yet). Today people can scan their documents, fill the online form and upload it altogether in hour instead of waiting days for the regular mail delivery and waiting in huge queues for the officer to be assigned.

Moreover, there’s one further step taken. If you send a color copy of a document, it doesn’t need to be certified, yet if you send a black & white — it needs. Isn’t it beautiful!

As the result of this improvement, the processing time decreased substantially. I’m not sure about exact times for the whole process before and after, but I do know that it took almost 6-10 months only to get an officer assigned to you before; now it’s only 2-3 days.

Well, let’s see what’s next!