B.C. to amalgamate IT, telecommunication functions

In order to ensure the citizens of British Columbia have better access to government, key electronic and face-to-face client services are being amalgamated under one ministry, the provincial government announced during a recent throne speech.

The move means the Chief Information Office, the service delivery project, the government agents branch and government’s telecommunications function – which were previously situated in different ministries – will now be transferred to the Ministry of Management Services.

The transferred functions will be integrated with the ministry’s ongoing projects, which include implementation of a value-added shared services model, corporate information management functions like privacy and access, Enquiry BC, and statistics and records management.

The provincial government says the changes will give the public, businesses and organizations that sell computer-related equipment and services one point of contact to do business with, as recommended by the Premier’s Technology Council.

“Ultimately with these changes, people walking into our province-wide government agents’ offices, or vendors and suppliers using their computers to access government information should get the most efficient, complete and timely response possible,” said Sandy Santori, the management services minister. “Consolidating, co-ordinating and providing these functions through one ministry is more efficient and best meets the needs of taxpayers and customers.

“The ministry will provide comprehensive e-government services, while telecommunications staff will continue to work proactively with telecommunications vendors and other British Columbians to ensure that broadband services are extended to rural and remote parts of the province.”

Santori also announced that Scott Campbell, chief information officer, will be interim deputy minister for the ministry, effective immediately, replacing Catharine Read, who is leaving government to pursue other opportunities.