The British government has just signed on Jimmy Wales as an adviser on transparency and public policy. The London Telegraph reports that Rohan Silva, a senior Downing Street aide to Prime Minister David Cameron, announced Wales' appointment was announced at South by Southwest last night in Austin, Texas, where Silva was giving a talk titled 'Open Source Government, Enterprise and Innovation.'
Speaking after the announcement, a government spokesperson offered a little bit of clarity as to what Jimmy Wales will be doing:
"Mr Wales will act as an unpaid adviser to Government to support its agenda to open up policy-making to the public," the spokesperson said. "He will advise Government on developing innovative new ways technology can be used to give the public a greater say in the policy-making process."
According to a Whitehall source that spoke to the Telegraph, Wales' role will see him providing help and advice to civil servants as opposed to ministers. Additionally, this source said that the father of Wikipedia is one of several unpaid advisers. Though Wales will serve as an adviser to all government departments, he's also said to have a few specific projects that he will be working on.
Wales co-founded Wikipedia over a decade ago, in 2001, and founded the Wikimedia Foundation in 2003.