Alliance calls for changes to GOL policy

If the Canadian government wants to have a successful innovation agenda, there’s no better place to start than in its own house. This was the main thrust of a consultation paper released today by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance).

“CATAAlliance applauds the government’s wide range of citizen-focused online initiatives such as its ‘Connecting Canadians’ strategy and single-portal Canada Web site,” said John Reid, the president of CATA. “We now urge the government to take concerted and compelling action on a more systemic way to serve Canadians: make GOL an agent for prompting, pioneering and presenting Canadian innovation.”

The high tech association’s paper, titled Government On-Line (GOL): By, For and About Canadian Innovation, makes recommendations in 10 areas. They include:

    The Government of Canada articulates a “next-level” vision of government online and government procurement that gives equal prominence to citizen service and economic growth through innovation.Innovation becomes a core competency of public servants and becomes imbedded in all government policies, programs and practices.Government decision-makers be given the strategic direction, intelligence and tools to make innovation a criterion in their decision-making.Procurement be integrated so that it makes total government spending accessible and transparent despite diverse buying mechanisms, e.g. MERX and decentralized credit-card buying.Innovation and the use of advanced technology be made key criteria in problem-solving and procurement.Champions for innovation and the value-added use of advanced technology be identified and designated at key hubs in every government department and agency.Extend the capacity of government decision-makers to “buy” innovation with the establishment of a procurement advisory council that includes external experts and non-government stakeholders who can contribute to RFP and tender development.Create tangible rewards for proactive innovation solutions from external suppliers.Develop a methodology to measure and monitor the use of advanced technology and innovation in government decision-making and procurement.Establish a procurement auditor, reporting to Parliament, to review government purchasing in an annual report. Publish annual lists of the Top 100 contracts in dollar value and the Top 100 suppliers in dollar value.

“The digital revolution clearly delivers ‘more, faster’ but the truly profound benefits arise when technology is used to do business differently,” Reid said. “This is as true of electronic government procurement as it is of any commercial business.”

For more on the CATAAlliance go to