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Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to become Whitehall adviser

Guardian Government Published 13 March 2012

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to become Whitehall adviser

Wales will become an unpaid consultant on opening up policy making using new technology

Whitehall has enlisted Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to act as a consultant to the public sector.

According to a government spokesman, Wales will be act as an unpaid adviser to the government in its efforts to open up policy making.

"He will advise government on developing innovative new ways in which technology can be used to give the public a greater say in the policy-making process," he added.

The announcement of Wales' appointment was made on Sunday by Rohan Silva, a senior policy advisor to David Cameron. Silva was speaking at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas during a panel session on crowdsourcing.

There have been no further details released on the scope of Wales' work, although according to the Financial Times he is expected to take up the role as advisor from next month, where he will work with Whitehall to make sure bills are shaped by the public as well as politicians.

The government has already made forays into crowdsourcing of policy with the launch of its e-petitions site in 2011. The site allows individuals to create and support petitions, with those gaining more than 100,000 signatures being debated in the Commons.

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