Don Black

In technology policy making, the best measurement of success is often the test of time. If your policy is still around after five years, you’ve done well. By that standard, Don Black has done well.

Black, a senior policy advisor with the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission, led the process which created the Saskatchewan government’s acceptable usage policy in IT. Five years later,it’s still in use.

Black has been with the government since 1989. “I signed on for six months to backfill for a communications director who had a baby, and I’ve been here ever since,” he said.

These days, Black focuses on what he calls evangelism on behalf of citizen-centred service, electronic service delivery and promotion of the messages in the Citizens First surveys within government.

The end goal is true inter-jurisdictional service delivery, seamless technological integration, common training for members of the service delivery community and a common look and feel, no matter which channel a citizen uses to access government services. “The dividing lines between the jurisdictions will start to blur as attention shifts towards the citizens and their service expectations of government,” Black said.

But like many public sector workers, Black has hurdles to overcome. Resource limitations are, not surprisingly, at the top of the list. “Saskatchewan is a small jurisdiction and we can often only observe from the sidelines as others, with seemingly endless resources, lead the way in government online and citizen-centred service delivery,” he said.