DiPasquale takes top IT exec honours

We had no idea it was coming, and when he took the stage to accept the CIO Canada award for CIO of the Year, Savino DiPasquale looked both shocked and elated.

The Vice President, Information Technology and CIO for GlaxoSmithKline later commented, “Receiving this award is not only a personal honour, but also a win for all of us who work in IT and are focused on delivering business value. It’s an acknowledgement that the strategic and innovative use of information technology, which closely aligns IT investments to business priorities, can drive business value.”

DiPasquale also took home a silver award for excellence in the Organizational Transformation category at the 14th annual Canadian Information Productivity Awards (CIPA) Gala Banquet, held early November in Toronto. The event drew a black-tie audience of about 800 senior executives from across the country, and is the largest celebration of IT-based innovation in Canada.

This year, 64 finalists and 75 innovative projects from both the public and private sector were selected from a field of 150 submissions from across Canada. Awards were presented in four categories: customer care; efficiency and operational improvements; organizational transformation and innovation.

CIPA’s top project award, the Diamond Award of Excellence, went to a federal government program called BizPaL, which provides an online service that identifies the specific permits and licences required from all levels of government to either start or expand a business.

“BizPaL is a historic advancement in government service delivery and exemplifies what innovation means to Canada’s economy,” said CIPA President and CEO Norm Kirkpatrick. “The technological advance made by BizPaL, enabling all levels of government to share information and deliver it at one point of contact, will ultimately produce incalculable savings for all Canadians. This is a turning point well worth celebrating.”

Administered by the BizPaL Secretariat of Industry Canada, and available as a service offered on the Web sites of participating municipalities, the program is rapidly spreading across the country. Its innovative technology enables all levels of government to seamlessly display to businesses both their own data and the relevant data of other partners. This not only reduces the paperwork burden on businesses but also provides a model for all levels of government in collaboratively improving services to the taxpayers they all serve.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority received the award for Exceptional Innovation, new this year, for introducing a security system that protects airport passengers from threats of global terrorism. The system uses dual biometrics – fingerprint and iris scanners in combination – to quickly identify and validate entry by airport workers to sensitive airport operations.

Gold Awards were given to both ‘for profit’ and ‘not for profit’ organizations in four categories. The winners were as follows: