Quote of the week
“There is a substantial amount of evidence that Canadians want self-service delivery.”
— Report prepared for PSSDC-PSCIOC Research Committee
A report called Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device: Innovations In Public Sector Self-Service Delivery came out a short time ago. The paper examines “public sector self-service delivery,” that is, government services that citizens get without the use of government personnel. Essentially, this means service delivery via the Internet and, increasingly, mobile devices.
Long, long ago when the world and government service delivery concepts were young, the goal of “no wrong door” ruled. That is to say, no citizen would be forced to use a specific channel to get their public sector services, be it the web, the telephone, a walk-in centre or snail mail.
Now there is a view that due to expected cost savings (although the report notes that the metrics are weak in this area) and increasing citizen sophistication with the web, focusing resources on the Internet channel is the way to go. For example, in his report to the Ontario government Don Drummond said he favoured increasing the use of the web for service delivery
According to the PSSDC-PSCIOC report, there are essentially four barriers that have stopped governments from going forward faster on this front: political, structural, operational and cultural.
Politically, there is the worry that citizens who are not web-savvy will feel left out if their ability to get services via other channels is diminished.
Structurally, governments still tend to operate in silos, and so creating integrated approaches can be challenging.
From an operational perspective, there remain issues around privacy and security, not to mention the resources needed to make this happen.
The cultural barriers are defined as “turf tension” caused by a lack of collaboration and vision on the final outcome.
In fact, this is all part of a larger transformation of government driven by technology. The Danes call it Government 1.5, a significant change in government works that will result in a rethink of how it uses technology, including social media, to communicate and deliver services.
You can find a link to the PSSDC-PSCIOC report on self-service delivery in the Editor’s Choice section of our website at www.canadiangovernmentexecutive.ca