ICT
May 7, 2012

Innovative IT: Supporting government transformation

As the showcase province at this year’s Government Technology (GTEC) conference in Ottawa, Manitoba highlighted how it is leveraging enterprise solutions to create best practices and improve citizen services. Just as interesting is its organizational structure, which has been transformed so that emerging information technology is linked into the province’s economic development. Deputy Minister John Clarkson and Assistant Deputy Minister Gisela Rempel of the Department of Innovation, Energy and Mines, spoke with associate editor Chris Thatcher about a holistic approach that ties innovation and economic development with the integration of IT.

 

What is your vision for the role of technology in government?

Clarkson: I think one has to look at the role of technology in the broader context of the services that governments provide. The role of technology is a support for government being more effective and efficient in terms of dealing with its main clients, which for us are the residents of Manitoba.

Rempel: We have a governance body called the Business Transformation Executive Committee which is responsible for coming up with an annual online services priority list. So there are a number of things that we have been looking at putting online. We’re getting more into the area of online service delivery. We have set up our website to be the portal for potentially all personal services for the residents of Manitoba in the future. And we are going to set up a portal this fall for businesses to access all of things you might need to do, for example, to name your company, pay your provincial taxes, apply for permits or licenses. It’s our vision that all services will be handled through the resident or business portals.

How do you define “connected government”?

Clarkson: Connected government means a strong link between citizens and the services that government provides, and that people can access those services and information in a way that is appropriate for them. The GTEC theme of “Connect, Collaborate and Create” relates to the way in which we have approached the whole process of transformation of government to provide services in a more effective and efficient fashion, supported with technology.

Rempel: There is also the economic development connection. Our collaboration within the province involves many vendors and systems integrators – this is not something we are doing on our own. For example, we have a common desktop throughout the province and our services provider is HP Enterprise Services. We’ve consolidated our data centre with IBM. There are many partners that we work with on application development as well.

Clarkson: Partnerships are a critical way for us to deliver services. Also, without those partnership arrangements it would be difficult for us to acquire the skills and knowledge internally in a short timeframe to install the projects we are looking at. Through partnership arrangements we have exceptional opportunities for knowledge transfer to allow us to reuse technology. Collaboration is one of the key factors we emphasize in our activities to be successful at gaining access to new processes, best practices, and being able to use technology to its fullest.

The Information and Communication Technology Council recently reported that a number of provinces, including Manitoba, will have a challenge generating experienced ICT skills. Are partnerships how you overcome that?

Clarkson: They are, and it’s not just a challenge for us. One of the unique things about our department is that not only am I responsible for internal IT business transformation and support activities related to creating more innovation in government, I have the economic development responsibilities from an innovation perspective as well, which includes the innovation policy side, the research policy side, and business development in the areas of technology or new industries. So IT business development is a critical part of the department. And the number one issue that IT companies identified to us is access to skilled resources – Canada is not producing a sufficient number of skilled resources to support the growing IT industry.

Has there been an increase in “collaborate and create” with citizens?

Clarkson: I think we are seeing a lot more of that with citizens and other governments as we have looked at ways that we can share the practices we have learned with others and others have started to share with us. We also work hard to understand the feedback we get from the public to see how we can fit that into the plans that we have going forward. As an example, citizens still tell us that the number one way they want to get information from government is by phone – having a person answer that phone. So we have stayed away from using automatic phone systems. We’ve used that to look at ways in which we can improve our service delivery so that it is seamless – if you come to an office, go on a website, or call, you get exactly the same information.

Rempel: As another example, a former employee of ours is seconded as executive director of the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service. That allows us good access to the information they glean on what citizens and business are saying. We are also working closely in collaboration with other provinces. We have staff on the public sector service delivery council and public sector CIO council. We were the first jurisdiction to roll out a province-wide online childcare registry, which makes it easier for families to find and apply for licensed childcare, but we actually got that technology from the government of Ontario. We have a BizPal program in cooperation with the federal government, and a Premises ID program that helps to plan and manage food safety, which is an IBM piece of technology.

Are you starting to see more collaboration and creation across and within departments? Is there a “de-layering” and “de-siloing” effect occurring?

Clarkson: One of the major focuses that we brought into transforming government three years ago was to centralize our IT function into one department and combine it with a business transformation responsibility. That has meant that we approach every single activity from a perspective of understanding first, what is the best practice in terms of methods and processes, and second, what is the tool that is required to support that and how do we ensure the tool is put in place for the specific issue that we are dealing with but also allows us to reuse it in a number of different places. We have done that with our asset management system. A few years ago we used SAP to bring in a major asset management system, and now use it locally within individual areas that require their own asset management systems. The first install, of course, is expensive but, because it is generic, we can reuse it very quickly. We are looking at that kind of approach with common systems for access-to-information, registration activities, e-commerce activities and claims management. In addition, we also have a common infrastructure across government that supports all of our activities.

Rempel: From a program perspective, for example, our general practitioners throughout the province now have the first online tool in Canada to help doctors find the right specialist for their patients, which saves time for both doctors and patients. We have an immigration portal for our provincial nomin

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

ICT
 
Have you ever thought of the role between racing and technology?...
 
In the private sector, the cloud is now the new normal...
 
Very soon, two of the world’s largest privately-held companies will go...
 
Leadership, service delivery, change management, performance measurement, big data, transparency, digital...
 
Disruption, for the most part, always used to be seen as...
 
While most of my focus here is on IT and digitization...
 
When data.gov launched in May of 2009, the site seemed to...
 
In 2017, identity theft cost Americans $16.8 billion, and, in just...
 
Risk management is top-of-mind for many organizations and executives. It seems...
 
Most articles you’ll read within the pages of Canadian Government Executive...
 
Today’s global and local environments require public servants at all levels...
 
For over two days at the end of January this year,...
 
Canadian Government Executive (CGE) media team is excited to announce a...
 
Today on CGE Radio, John Jones interviews Alex Miller the President...
 
Canadian Government Executive is honoured to have Michael Wernick, Clerk of...
 
For many years now, the buzz in government has been around...
 
The adoption of new technologies provides many opportunities, poses unique challenges...
 
Earlier this month I had the privilege of testifying as an...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media, (CGE) publisher of Canadian Government Executive magazine...
 
Public sector managers from all levels of government across Canada increasingly...
 
Does your organization have a very narrow view of what digital...
 
With businesses and government agencies increasingly operating in a highly information-based...
 
Blockchain. There’s probably no other technology trend in recent years that...
 
In the last few years, we’ve seen various federal governments warning...
 
Over the last two years, an ever-growing number of organizations around...
 
Canadian Government Executive is excited to announce the agenda for TechGov...
 
Canadian Government Executive media through its upcoming TechGov event is providing the...
 
Have you ever met a virtual human being? By common definition,...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) is pleased to announce its first batch...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) is pleased to welcome Microsoft as its Platinum Sponsor for...
 
Innovation is vital in every sector; public service is no exception....
 
Canadian government agencies and departments are modernizing the way they do...
 
In this episode, J. Richard Jones talks about the appointment of...
 
Facebook Pages can be an essential tool for businesses and charities,...
 
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA Alliance) is Canada’s One Voice...
 
Over the decades, technology has been grafted into governments around the...
 
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with its 28 independent member countries...
 
Governments around the world are seeking to tap technologies such as...
 
Yes, according to the former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence...
 
In a little more than a year, Canadian banks and lending...
 
The government is spending $3.5 million to improve an existing immunization...
 
A research project at that explores the design and feasibility of...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) yesterday heard from several...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today begins a public...
 
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it has managed to...
 
IT organizations, especially those in healthcare facilities and government institutions that...
 
The Ontario government and telecom gear maker Huawei Canada yesterday announced...
 
Huawei is bringing back to Canada and expanding its information communication...
 
The Province of British Columbia is doubling down on deepening its...
 
Last week the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported that...
 
Written By Jason McNaught Contrary to what you may have heard,...
 
The good news is that the Government of Canada recognizes the...
 
In late July, Amazon startled investors with the tiniest of profit....
 
Many Canadian government websites were knocked offline last month including Canada.ca,...
 
High profile individuals are always under scrutiny, especially when it comes...
 
Canada’s penchant for oligopolies is understandable: a vast territory and sparse...
 
The International Open Data Conference kicks off this week in Ottawa....
 
As politicians prepare for the upcoming elections, leveraging mobile devices and...
 
Before the Internet, video was largely synonymous with television, supplemented by...
 
This past August, the Toronto Star reported that in the four...
 
In Budget 2015, the federal government earmarked $58 million over five...
 
Cyber-attacks. From the public perspective, where its a frequent headline, we’re...
 
New technology and the move to mobile are transforming the way...
 
On May 7, British voters will cast ballots and decide the...
 
Team Niew Labs was crowned grand champions of CODE 2015 last...
 
Technology has opened the door. Now governments have unprecedented opportunities to...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) announced today that Patrice Dutil has...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) announced today that Patrice Dutil has...
 
For skeptics, Google’s recent decision to abandon sales of its current...
 
And then there were 15. Of 125 apps built from open...
 
After early success as a world leader, Canada’s e-government performance has...
 
If you missed the Digital Governance Forum, hosted by the Institute...
 
Digital and mobile technologies are transforming politics, especially the ways in...
 
Adobe is encouraging public sector organizations to take a big leap...
 
There are, of course, thousands of public servants who deliver services...
 
It’s a well-known fact that websites are driven by content. Public...
 
Each year, IBM makes five bold predictions about technologies that “will...
 
During a panel discussion held at GTEC 2014, senior executives from...
 
Westminster parliamentary democracies like Canada’s are widely credited with a high...
 
There was a time when reporters played a significant “gatekeeper” role...
 
In what ways are digital culture and technology affecting our democratic...
 
Connection: governments want it, citizens demand it, technology facilitates it and...
 
How can CIOs set up their teams to be able respond...
 
In both private and public sectors, the management of information has...
 
Our annual GTEC conference, exhibition and distinction awards wrapped up at...
 
Canada Post’s phasing out of home delivery in many urban dwellings...
 
As Canadians, it’s in our DNA to be helpful and to...
 
The role of today’s Chief Information Officer is one of technical...
 
When you think of email management, you probably envision a pristine,...
 
Every member of society craves information that is clear and accessible....
 
A study done by the Social Science Research Network looked at...
 
A significant challenge for Canada in the digital government era is...
 
With its ability to continually evolve and innovate to meet and...
 
As a municipality that truly believes in fostering a culture of...
 
The Green Governance Award won by the City of Grand Prairie...
 
Ottawa’s GTEC 2014 event is in full swing, and its theme,...
 
Social media presents new challenges for all organizations and for government...
 
GTEC honoured the best in government information and communications technology Monday...
 
Fifteen years ago, citizen-centric e-government drove transformation efforts. Today, the new...
 
In Canada’s public sector, the rise of Big Data has meant...
 
For those interested in open government, October could shape up to...
 
In an increasingly connected and fast-paced world, much has been made...
 
More and more of us are watching high profile events such...
 
Is there a gamified approach to citizen engagement by the public...
 
The act of linking people and ideas through communication and relationship...
 
Claims of a social media transformation in politics and government are...
 
For the past two-three years, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has...
 
On time, on budget and in scope! How often do you...
 
On July 2nd, Richard Pietro packed up his things and set...
 
Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, created a stir in the...
 
Nine former members of the CBC board of directors were reported...
 
The government of Canada is in a constant state of evolution...
 
With a seemingly ubiquitous Internet and mobile devices at every turn,...
 
Technology is moving at such speeds that at times it seems...
 
In the digital age, companies are more than ever looking for...
 
Open data is gaining momentum. A recent hackathon, supported by federal...
 
It’s no secret that we’re all rapidly going mobile. The rate...
 
Adobe held its third annual Digital Government Assembly on Thursday at...
 
The world is going mobile and governments must adapt. Underscoring the...
 
Media Sonar is a London, Ont.-based start-up that works with public...
 
To engage and serve their citizens, public sector organizations are looking...
 
The digital age has changed everything-including governments. Citizens expect the same...
 
Ontarians will now have access to court information online, thanks to...
 
The Canadian healthcare system is famously slow to adopt new technologies....
 
The big issue on the table now is big data and...
 
The government of Canada’s 2013 budget pledged to reduce public service...
 
It has long been recognized in the federal public service that...
 
According to a report by the Ottawa Citizen today, the federal...
 
It may not seem immediately obvious, but public safety is an...
 
Border control is an important element of modern society. We live...
 
Health care is one of the most important services that governments...
 
It may not always seem so, but government and business go...
 
Canada has recently witnessed several important debates concerning the Internet’s widening...
 
In 2011, eight countries signed on to an Open Government Partnership,...
 
Public safety has gone through some significant changes since modern technology...
 
With the rise of “smart power,” distinct from “hard” and “soft”...
 
How much is your property worth? In times past, you would...
 
It has been estimated that each year the Wheel-Trans Department of...
 
Recordkeeping requirements designed for the work environment of the 1990s are...
 
As all eyes turn toward Russia for the Winter Olympics, the...
 
The same power of digital communication that is disrupting the commercial...
 
In August 2013, Shared Services Canada (SSC) posted a notice on...
 
Over the last few months there has been tremendous speculation in...
 
The Royal Canadian Mint has been busy developing a new digital...
 
At the end of November, the Council of Europe hosted the...
 
Do you think technology is something that should be ubiquitous in...
 
commentEmail””:””peter.karwacki@servicecanada.gc.ca”” Related posts: Seeking agricultural programs and services?...
 
Governments have taken a page from their private counterparts and started...
 
There is no doubt that advances in information technology have paved...
 
When a public sector IT project is featured on Saturday Night...
 
In 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency won the top honours in...
 
It’s no secret that governments are trying to make social media...
 
It’s hard to believe it’s been just a few months since...
 
Chapter 2 of the Auditor General’s fall 2013 report looks at...
 
In 2001, the government of British Columbia initiated a number of...
 
British Columbia’s Citizens@TheCentre service transformation strategy calls for a shift toward...
 
New technology is changing the way the public service manages offices...
 
The City of Ottawa and a Ryerson University spin-off company called...
 
As a political federation with a sparse population spread unevenly across...
 
As the Canadian government pursues its goal of creating IT efficiencies...
 
Governments have a historical and natural propensity to manage organizations in...
 
Finding federal and provincial agricultural programs and services is just a...
 
As governments seek to improve service delivery for citizens, it is...
 
The CIO Association of Canada, or CIOCAN, is a self-managed, not-for-profit...
 
For the casual observer, openness and transparency are terms that can...
 
Kurt Roemer, chief security strategist at Citrix, was at GTEC 2013...
 
In the past decade, technology has been pushing the boundaries in...
 
GTEC’s theme this year is Agile Government: Open, Collaborative, Mobile. The...
 
Shared Service Canada was launched just over two years ago with...
 
The report in January 2013 of a lost portable hard drive...
 
The government of British Columbia recently launched iMapBC 2.0, an upgraded...
 
This is the best of times for the CIO community. Our...
 
The U.S. State Department, of all departments, has an Open Government...
 
Imagine, for a moment, a world without radio and television (much...
 
The government of New Brunswick has recently taken several steps to...
 
None of us likes the feeling of being watched. This is...
 
Over 80 percent of Canadians are now living in urban areas....
 
You have undoubtedly seen the ad (on TV or YouTube, depending...
 
In the past 20 years, technology has caused a rapid change...
 
Have you ever thought about working from home? Now that most...
 
Researchers led by a network scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of...
 
The government’s increasing reliance on technology to engage with the public,...
 
Cool. Dry. Secure. Since the first data centers came into existence...
 
With cuts in budget, there has been a significant decrease in...
 
PR Newswire contends that silent advertising is sometimes the best advertising:...
 
With the proliferation of social media, governments must ensure they’re taking...
 
This month, the United States government approved Instagram as a social...
 
The federal government has announced that, as of July 2013, all...
 
Sometimes it seems that governments are mesmerized – like deer in...
 
and sometimes to others Related posts: Social media’s...
 
What can government learn from the private sector on big data?...
 
Modern Times is the 1936 comedy starring, written, and directed by...
 
CIOs, like others in back-office functions, need to start thinking and...
 
A joint study conducted by Symantec Corp. and the Ponemon Institute...
 
For normal day-to-day work in the office, most people have no...
 
In the midst of cutbacks and crisis, efficiency is vital to...
 
At stake is the evolving apparatus enjoining Canadians with the information...
 
Chances are, when you think about printing you think of large...
 
When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is asked about his company’s volatile...
 
therefore it is only natural that the workforce will change. Trying...
 
It’s no secret that an organization’s people are critical to its...
 
Government is entrusted with the responsibility to shelter and safeguard a...
 
In the summer of 2012, I realized that if I wanted...
 
As the pace of technological change quickens and the demands on...
 
The authentication model for the Internet is changing. We have hit...
 
If technology is the driver, then the management of information must...
 
Faced with the Newtown tragedy, President Obama has sought to make...
 
February 23rd marks the 2013 International Open Data Hackathon day. It’s...
 
The now, seemingly distant 2012 holiday season proved to be fertile...
 
You’re a government security IT professional and you’ve taken the steps...
 
We built it. They came. They left. The reason? Open data...
 
In 2008, President Obama refashioned American politics for a more digital...
 
With real lives on the line, analytics technology helps improve every...
 
As governments seek transformational change to shift from austerity to agility,...
 
Canadians are the most digitally engaged country on the planet, by...
 
Why is it so difficult for governments to implement an enterprise-wide...
 
In recent months, Apple and Samsung have been clobbering one another...
 
When GTEC begins on November 5 in Ottawa, British Columbia will...
 
Steve Jobs once said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a...
 
Why was the IT Shared Services Branch (ITSB) of Public Works...
 
The Ontario Student Assistant Program (OSAP) mobile application is challenging the...
 
commentEmail””:””suebegin4@gmail.com””...
 
With the Treasury Board Secretariat’s release of the Guideline for External...
 
With the initial internet boom of the 1990s now firmly behind...
 
There are several key principles that organizations can use to guide...
 
Governments in Canada know they need to use the Internet better...
 
Our cities are growing at an unprecedented rate. In 1900, only...
 
With the federal public service in a state of budgetary retrenchment,...
 
Web 2.0 is here and it’s only going to get bigger....
 
It’s Saturday afternoon. I’m staring at my dice and a stack...
 
Governments are looking to online as the future of service delivery...
 
Did you know that a lot of white elephants roam the...
 
Call it the little research project that grew....
 
In the beginning social media was uncharted territory for the Government...
 
CEOs and CIOs face significant challenges in managing IT budgets in...
 
With healthcare spending typically the single largest component of any government’s...
 
For organizations with aging or redundant IT equipment – like governments...
 
Canadians want smart spending, and to hear about project successes, rather...
 
From an asset management perspective, Cambridge is tackling infrastructure management with...
 
When Saskatchewan began a Cabinet Modernization Project in 2008, members of...
 
Referring to themselves as the G4, the cities of Ottawa, Toronto,...
 
The first provincial jurisdiction to establish social media guidelines for its...
 
When he was deputy attorney general, Allan Seckel was known for...
 
One of the peculiarities of the 21st century is the correlation...
 
When President Barack Obama campaigns during the coming months for re-election,...
 
I’ve spent the better part of the last five years working...
 
As the iCloud takes hold – along with numerous other private,...
 
A new year is a good time to reflect on the...
 
If only it were so. While Shared Services Canada promises simplicity...
 
The securing of a much-coveted majority by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives surely...
 
The federal election campaign has not been particularly kind to cities...
 
Despite the occasional ministerial tweet and public banter about the federal...
 
More than a decade ago, some enterprising folks at Industry Canada...
 
Canada’s three national science and technology museums include the Canada Science...
 
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are one of Canada’s most critical...
 
In 2008, a project was undertaken by the Canada Science and...
 
Toronto’s new mayor, Rob Ford, has pledged to cut city council...
 
As BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion negotiates with many governments around the...
 
To start with a timeless question: what do woman want? Presumably,...
 
One important consequence of climate change is rising ocean levels. The...
 
Shortly after the Quebec referendum of October 1995 that brought the...
 
As this column goes to print (literally or online as the...
 
Full disclosure – the Conservative government has serious problems with the...
 
Students of public administration struggle with an important contradiction of Westminster...
 
L’opération de promotion à laquelle l’Alberta s’est récemment livrée souligne les...
 
Alberta’s recent branding exercise underscores the tensions and risks inherent in...
 
La plupart des organismes se voient affecter des « directeurs des...
 
With Parliament once again open and a new federal budget in...
 
Two important global events are garnering much attention: the upcoming Winter...
 
The recent scandals plaguing Ontario’s e-health agency carry important lessons for...
 
The Obama administration is appointing “Directors of New Media” for most...
 
Y a-t-il de l’espoir? Une fois de plus, le gouvernement fédéral...
 
Dans le numéro de janvier, Ruth Hubbard et David Zussman nous...
 
In the January issue, Ruth Hubbard and David Zussman discussed the...
 
Web 2.0 is more than a technology shift. It is a...
 
They say the line between love and hate is a thin...
 
Although it is widely recognized that Canada has great strengths and...
 
Moving to a paperless work environment is not as simple as...
 
Many governments and defence departments around the world have recently announced...
 
When citizens are ‘Googling’ for information about tax credit programs, employment...
 
Today’s Web 2.0 technology appeals to the drive to connect with...
 
A complicated doodle in red, green and black depicts frowning faces,...
 
Combining the digital age with the current climate of financial austerity...
 
The economic downturn and subsequent loss of tax revenues are forcing...
 
Technology has fundamentally changed the way governments and their citizens interact....
 
Poet Rudyard Kipling famously described southeastern Alberta as having “…all hell...
 
As the IT needs of an organization evolve, and existing systems...
 
As the showcase province at this year’s GTEC conference, Manitoba highlighted...
 
With 69 percent of IT operating budgets and 54 percent of...
 
When the Canadian army and the Department of National Defence set...
 
This fall, a select group of American college and university students...
 
The UN’s E-Government Survey for 2012 ranks Canada in a tie...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
Have you ever thought of the role between racing and technology?...