Friday, April 13, 2012

Information Follows the Hierarchy

Information wants to be free may be a slogan that is en vogue with technology activists but it is also a slogan that diametrically opposed to how bureaucracy actually works.

Le triangle des bermudes
On the Internet information is omnidirectional; it is easy to find, verify and re-purpose. Whereas in the bureaucracy, information is at best bidirectional (much of it is actually unidirectional); it is difficult to locate, verify and re-purpose.

In short, inside the bureaucracy information follows the hierarchy, which in turn creates a need-to-know culture, a culture where information is parceled out slowly if at all.

This, in my humble opinion, will be the core challenge that needs to be addressed in back offices of any bureaucracy looking to deliver on Open Government for its citizenry.

Originally published by Nick Charney at
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