Growing public expectations on the speed at which they can received services over the Internet, as well as government red tape that hinder the pace of innovation, conspire to dampen the ability of the federal government to deliver online services to the public.
Taxpayers can file their taxes online, seniors can use the Internet to update their pension information on government Web sites. However for services such as passport application, requesting access to government information or obtaining proof of citizenship, people still need to appear in person at Services Canada locations or mail in application forms.
In fact, 77 per cent of federal services cannot be completed online, according to documents obtained by the Toronto Star. It lamented the sorry slide over several years of the federal government’s online services.
“Fifteen years ago, Canada placed first worldwide in e-government services; today the UN e-government survey ranks Canada as 11th,” according to the document prepared by Treasury Board President Scott Brison.
One the factors that have prevented the government from keeping pace with the developments is the slow pace of budget decision implementation. For instance, the document said, the average time between an announcement and actual execution is around 15 months.
Brison put forward four key issues that the present Liberal government should focus on if it intends to deliver on a campaign promise to develop a one-stop-shop online portal for accessing government services.