When Westminster meets digital - Canadian Government Executive
Renewal
November 19, 2014

When Westminster meets digital

Quote of the week

“Digital governance is the central challenge facing governing institutions and societies in the coming decades.”

Editor’s Corner

Most public sector conversations around the impact of digital refer to big data, open data and the capacity of IT systems to respond to the challenges these bring to the business of government. Add to this the promise of improved service delivery as a result of digital – a conversation that mirrors what we were talking about 10 years ago with e-government – then you have quite a transformation agenda.

And it doesn’t even scratch the surface.

The impact of digital goes far beyond the mechanics of how public servants use or share data, important though they are. It raises key questions about how we manage our key commodity – information – in a world where everyone has it, can access it, and create value from it.

The impact of digital is also cutting to the core of our democratic structures. Our Westminster system has evolved well over the centuries since the Magna Carta in 1215 took power away from King John, but can it deal with the influence of Twitter and other social media?

For example, does it matter that political parties are using data analytics experts to micro-target voters based on their specific issues, and shaping campaigns, strategies and the business of government around their analysis? Does it matter that a minister can Tweet a Cabinet decision before it is formally announced?

At a systems mapping and futures workshop last Friday, a group of academics, students and public servants attempted to work out the scope of the challenge. Participants spoke of what they saw as the key issues surrounding digital and our government systems, and put forward approaches for further research.

Coming out the event will be a conference to be held in Ottawa January 28 and 29, 2015 called “Westminster Meets Digital: Understanding Our Evolving Democracy.” Run by a SSHRC partnership made up of the Institute on Governance, the University of Victoria, Dalhousie University, OCAD and MIGHTY Purpose – and supported by the organizational and media services of the CGE – public servants will not want to miss the event.

Stay tuned …

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À cause de l’évolution démographique, du changement climatique, des pénuries d’énergie, de la crise économique mondiale et des boums économiques localisés, les gouvernements n’ont jamais été autant sollicités....
 
Dans son quinzième rapport annuel au Premier ministre sur la fonction publique du Canada (2008), le greffier du Conseil privé et secrétaire du Cabinet mentionne ce qui suit...
 
In the fifteenth annual report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada (2008), the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet stated: “Renewal is about making sure that the federal public service preserves and strengthens its capacity…”...
 
Mes amis, vous avez fait un bon choix. En entrant dans la fonction publique, vous vous retrouvez en plein cœur de l’action....
 
La Direction de la conservation et de la protection (C&P) est chargée de l’exécution des lois touchant Pêches et Océans Canada dans la région du Pacifique....
 
Conservation and Protection (C&P) is the enforcement arm of Fisheries and Oceans Canada....
 
When the National Managers’ Community gathers in Montreal in March for their annual professional development forum, it will present the Mike Nurse Leadership Award…...
 
When someone I meet for the first time asks me the usual question: “So, what do you do?” I like to answer that I have two full-time jobs...
 
Although the value of Canada’s professional and non-partisan public services is widely acknowledged, the need for deep-rooted and comprehensive re-branding of the public service is critical....
 
As a new public servant, I sometimes think about the future social and economic issues that will be front and centre during the tenure of my career....
 
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In this issue of Canadian Government Executive, our lead story is on how to bring about real cultural change in the public service. Gilles Paquet, Professor Emeritus at the Telfer School of Management talks about the new governance system that requires a thorough renewal of our way of selecting, evaluating and coaching executives. Other stories:...