Publication Details

James, J. & Clarke, R. J. (2010). Transforming the relationship between citizens and local councils using Web 2.0 technologies. In H. Yeatman (Eds.), The SInet 2010 eBook (pp. 135-145). Wollongong: SInet UOW.


Australian local government organisations (LGOs) are unique in terms of the variety anddiversity of services that they provide to their communities. These include traditionalfunctions like maintaining local roads, managing property information, regulating real estatedevelopment, and collecting and disposing of waste. LGO service portfolios have expandedas a result of federal and state governments devolving their traditional responsibilities to localgovernments. LGOs have also raised community expectations by delivering a vast array ofcommunity and commercial services in addition to their traditional services. For example, thecommercial services operated by Wollongong City Council (2002) include facilities such astourist parks, leisure facilities, tourist information centres, and cultural and performing artscentres; and they also deliver community services such as community transport, coordinatingvolunteering, operating libraries and providing information to the public in the form ofcommunity directories.Making these services available has increased the number of independent informationsystems used in localised parts of the organisation to manage these functions. How councilsdevelop, manage and implement these independent systems, coupled with budgetary and timeconstraints and community expectations, has a significant impact on future systemsdevelopment requirements. This paper examines the changing demands and expectations thatthe implementation and use of Web 2.0 technologies has on both the information systemsdevelopment and integration that many government service providers face today, as well ason the shifting nature of the relationships between government service providers and thecitizens that use these services.