Service delivery
May 7, 2012

Four windows on service integration partnerships

Single-window service delivery (or one-stop shopping) has become an integral part of public administration. Operating under the new name of Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) agencies, it brings together services across departments and across governments, in a seamless experience based on citizens’ wants and needs.

This article considers emerging and possible future developments through four windows of opportunity.

1. Engaging the community
Much is heard about citizen and employee engagement, but little attention has been given to “community” engagement, especially as it relates to service delivery. In this context, community engagement entails ISD agencies leveraging their physical presence in communities to improve service to individuals. Those organizations with an extensive network of service centres are best positioned to pursue community engagement successfully – Service Canada has service centres in 320 communities across the country and Service BC has service centres in 59 communities across the province.

Community engagement for improved service involves staff members “stepping out” of the office to collaborate with such stakeholders as community and advocacy groups (e.g., those supporting new immigrants, the homeless and youth), business organizations, labour organizations, and other orders of government. The challenge is to bring these several community actors together in collaborative arrangements that integrate services for clients. This can be accomplished through arrangements such as partnerships, consultations and contracts.

Effective community engagement requires ISD staff to: seek information about their clients from a variety of service providers in the community; assess the needs of these clients; share this information among the stakeholders; and use the information to foster improved service in the community. Ideally, the data collected about each community is aggregated at a provincial or national level to inform central office policies and programs on service delivery.

Very few ISD agencies are pursuing community engagement in this sense. The international leader is Australia’s Centrelink, and there are helpful lessons from Service South Australia, the Strengthening Families initiative in New Zealand, and Jobcentre Plus in the U.K. Service Canada is currently examining the implications of implementing a community engagement strategy.

Among the potential benefits of community engagement are:
·    increased collaboration among government, community and business;
·    a fuller and more integrated picture of citizens’ needs and preferences;
·    the creation of partnerships to provide services otherwise unavailable; and,
·    a more positive view of agency staff dedicated to serving their communities.

The challenges to community engagement include:
·    acquiring sufficient resources to develop and implement innovative practices;
·    granting service centres sufficient autonomy from headquarters to enable them to adapt engagement activities to community needs and resources; and,
·    providing training to foster a culture of service excellence in general and a strong commitment to effective community engagement in particular.

2. Cross-jurisdictional ISD
While Canada is a world leader in the transformation of service delivery, the integration of services across jurisdictions has proved, in general, to be much more difficult than across departments within a government. Nevertheless, progress has been made in the Canada Business Service Centres, BizPaL and Seniors Canada Online.

An obviously fertile field for cross-jurisdictional service integration is federal-provincial. However, given the many barriers to cross-jurisdictional ISD agencies and the recency of these agencies, joined-up initiatives have been limited. Among notable initiatives is the collaboration agreement between Service New Brunswick (SNB), Service Canada and Transport Canada to deliver pleasure craft licences on behalf of Transport Canada at SNB’s 36 service centres. And ServiceOntario, in collaboration with Service Canada, offers a Newborn Registration Service. This “3-in-1” system permits parents to register their child’s birth online and apply for a birth certificate and Social Insurance Number all at the same time.

Service Canada and ServiceOntario have 94 and 70 service centers, respectively, across Ontario, with outreach services to remote communities. The two have already established six co-located offices; Service Canada staff deliver scheduled outreach services at eight ServiceOntario local offices; and the two agencies are collaborating on linking Internet sites and making each other’s most popular publications available. In future, they might consider the cross delivery of services, including, for example, the delivery of federal Social Insurance Number registrations by ServiceOntario and Health Card registrations by Service Canada.

There are thorny barriers to the cross-delivery of services, but there are also considerable opportunities for improved service and cost efficiency. The challenges include: training staff to deliver the other jurisdiction’s programs; overcoming technological incompatibilities; coordinating outreach services; and managing the collection of fees for each other. The most formidable challenge, regardless of the project, is likely to be privacy and security concerns.

3. Safeguarding privacy and security
Advocates of inter-jurisdictional ISD are acutely aware of the barriers presented by the different privacy and security requirements of each government. Public servants understand that success depends heavily on information sharing, which in turn requires citizens’ confidence that this information will be kept confidential and secure. Since June 2006 Canada’s deputy ministers responsible for service delivery have given high priority to the cross-jurisdictional standardization of identity management and authentication (IdM&A) for citizens and businesses. They also established a task force, with representatives from all orders of government, to develop a pan-Canadian strategy for IdM&A.

In its April 2007 interim report, the task force identified three key challenges to implementing such a strategy:

1.    complying with legislation – including some that is sector or program specific and may impede the use or sharing of data related to certain services;
2.    balancing needs – recognizing that achieving seamless service delivery (involving more information sharing) and privacy protection (involving less information sharing) requires a delicate balance and creative solutions; and,
3.    obtaining broad acceptance – by the public, and by multiple privacy commissioners.

The task force concluded that identity information can likely “be shared in many cases across departments and jurisdictions for the purpose of providing a seamless, multi-channel service experience” so long as this is “done in a controlled way and with the knowledge and consent of the client, where appropriate.” The task force is nearing completion of a pan-Canadian IdM&A framework that it will be asking Canadian governments to adopt.

4. Virtual service networks
Collaboration for service delivery between the public and business sectors has advanced more slowly in Canada than many ISD advocates anticipated. In the United States, governments have made more use of business organizations to pursue citizen-centred service. For example, BearingPoint consulting has partnered with Texas to provide an award-winning online portal that integrates state and local governments into

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Service delivery
 
Whether you’re trying to decide on which brand of cereal to...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones talks with...
 
From Executive Government to Crown Corporation to Public Traded Company. Today...
 
Earlier this year, the federal government kicked off an auction for...
 
In the show, J. Richard Jones talks with Colin Earp, Partner...
 
Leadership, service delivery, change management, performance measurement, big data, transparency, digital...
 
China’s Shenyang is traditionally an industrial city, but when work began...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones talks with...
 
The Northern Federal Council (NFC) is a collaborative network of over...
 
We risk missing out on the potential “Artificial Intelligence” has to...
 
Tornado warnings broadcast a few weeks ago in Eastern Ontario and...
 
Everyone wants to change, become more efficient, and drive better value...
 
Artificial Intelligence is creating a great stir across many industries today....
 
In the spring of 2018, the Auditor General of Canada, Michael...
 
By June 2017, the Public Engagement Team at the Privy Council...
 
Everyone wants to change, become more efficient, and drive better value...
 
In July 2017, a local company unveiled a “virtual statue” on...
 
In 2016, the community of Fort McMurray, Alberta, located in the...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones speaks with...
 
We are excited to share with you the latest issue of...
 
Welcome to the era of Smart Cities where connectivity will drive...
 
In this episode, J. Richard Jones sits down with Martin Joyce,...
 
Over half a billion children live in countries that are falling...
 
According to a recent McKinsey study there is a potential for...
 
As Executive Director of the UK’s Government Digital Service, Mike Bracken...
 
Having a clear definition of success is one of the key...
 
Public servants are responsible for providing advice and support to the...
 
Public sector managers from all levels of government across Canada increasingly...
 
With businesses and government agencies increasingly operating in a highly information-based...
 
Blockchain. There’s probably no other technology trend in recent years that...
 
Rankings of public sector entities has been big trend for quite...
 
In March, the Canada Revenue Agency’s website was shut down by...
 
The latest issue of Canadian Government Executive is currently available. Some...
 
The association representing more than 42,000 physicians and medical students in...
 
As Toronto’s city staff prepares top release proposed regulations for taxis...
 
In the face of mounting public support for supervised injection sites,...
 
It appears it was not just the Mounties that were affected...
 
Last year, the Canada Revenue Agency rolled out a pilot program...
 
There’s a lot of noise out there about digital government. Yet...
 
Somewhat surprisingly in light of ongoing budget constraints at all levels...
 
commentEmail””:””thomk@rogers.com”” Related posts: Uber faces insurance woes in...
 
There are many reasons why governments should move to a citizen...
 
Governments around the world are integrating services as a means of...
 
The New Zealand government and public service went through major reforms...
 
The government of Langford, British Columbia, received last week the 2014...
 
Since 1998, the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service has been conducting Citizens...
 
Labour intensive with slow response times, limited data and obsolete technology:...
 
As the only official bilingual province, with a third of its...
 
The government of Nova Scotia has introduced a Seniors Navigators Program,...
 
Like all provinces, Nova Scotia is grappling with transforming the way...
 
Yesterday the Globe and Mail reported that the federal government hopes...
 
The drive to contain costs within the public sector will likely...
 
ServiceOntario has helped change the way the Ontario government serves people...
 
In 2012, two major initiatives changed the face of Ontario’s Student...
 
On December 6, Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak released a...
 
There is little doubt that a crisis of relevance has hit...
 
The PrimesChris McGoffJohn Wiley, 241 pages, $35.95 As the World Bank...
 
Long, long ago when the world and government service delivery concepts...
 
Government citizen-centred service delivery is undergoing a re-think. The growing number...
 
More than 15 years ago, the Ontario government implemented a model...
 
The P3 model is different from traditional procurement: it transfers significant...
 
For First Nations, a child’s birth must be registered before parents...
 
That Alberta Works office reflects a philosophical shift that has transformed...
 
On March 29th, the federal government brought down one of the...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.5 May 2007 In late 2004, the Ontario Public...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.4 April 2007 Western countries and institutions have for...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.5 May 2007 Ontario is striving to achieve its...
 
By 2017, visible minorities will make up almost 29 percent of...
 
For leaders, the biggest challenge to improving public sector service delivery...
 
The Public Sector Service Delivery Council (PSSDC) is a coalition of...
 
Quote of the week “‘Deliverology’ challenged government to be both clear...
 
Quote of the week “We expected, and found, a negative depiction...
 
Quote of the week “…governments bear responsibility for producing public value.”...
 
Essentially, the Office asked in its audit whether the Australian Public...
 
Les services généraux ou ministériels ont souvent du mal, surtout dans...
 
Corporate services branches, particularly in small organizations, often have difficulty balancing...
 
Government services around the world face the following challenge: how to...
 
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment is in the midst of significant...
 
A recent study conducted in the Ontario public service elaborates our...
 
As the Internet has grown and evolved, so too has the...
 
While most North Americans today have a limited experience with trains,...
 
Leadership of public sector organizations is one of Canada’s most important...
 
La Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) a décerné...
 
Le Groupe d’experts indépendant sur les subventions et contributions prône un...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.9 November 2007 There is a resurgence of quality...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.8 October 2007 Ron McKerlie is Ontario’s Corporate Chief...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.7 September 2007 Governments and their public service organizations...
 
The past decade has given rise to tremendous experimentation in public...
 
« Les différents intervenants au Canada n’arrivent tout simplement pas à bien...
 
The Civil Service Commission was created in September 1908 to eradicate...
 
"Oh, the land of cloudless days," Willie Nelson croons in one...
 
À vos yeux, quels sont les plus grands défis de l’IAPC?...
 
Quand Willie Nelson vante les charmes d’une contrée sans nuages dans...
 
The tragedy of the E. coli outbreak in Walkerton in 2000...
 
“Help wanted” has again become a common sight in windowsills and...
 
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport is poised to...
 
A short 18 months ago, the Ontario Public Service made its...
 
According to the people who know it best – its residents...
 
La prestation de services à guichet unique fait maintenant partie intégrante...
 
This article considers emerging and possible future developments through four windows...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
Whether you’re trying to decide on which brand of cereal to...