Message from the Public Sector CIO Council

For the past two issues of Lac Carling Governments’ Review, you may have noticed that the message from the Public Sector CIO Council (PSCIOC)–normally a joint affair–came exclusively from myself — Lori MacMullen.

With this instalment,

Michelle d’Auray, the federal government’s new Chief Information Officer, will share the space on behalf of the PSCIOC and share her views on the work we’re collectively undertaking.

Michelle co-chaired her first PSCIOC meeting with October.

In my second week on the job as CIO, I attended the 34 th annual meeting of the International Council for IT in Public Administration, which brings together representatives from over thirty countries.

I was speaking on a panel with an American colleague, and the discussion turned –as it so often does — to the challenges facing governments as they transform themselves for the digital age.

After we enumerated the various issues that we’re all facing — security, privacy, IT infrastructures, human resources training and development, information management, funding, and so on–he leaned toward me and said: “I guess that’s why some people say that CIO really stands for ‘Career is Over.'”

Thankfully, I’m still standing after three months on the job — and during that time it’s been tremendously helpful for me to meet with colleagues from other jurisdictions to compare notes.

The PSCIOC, in particular, is an excellent forum in which to update each other on progress, share lessons learned from ongoing initiatives, and explore opportunities for greater co-operation on electronic government.

In the networked universe, the need to share experiences in this way is greater than ever –especially since different levels of government serve common clients.

We know that Canadians expect governments to work together-and that citizens and businesses are not terribly concerned with who delivers a particular service, as long as it is easily accessible and responsive to their needs.

But they are interested in accountability and sometimes knowing who is doing what, with whom, is just as critical.

That’s why

the work undertaken by various working groups under the auspices of the PSCIOC is so important.

Having a shared understanding of the myriad e-government policy issues –such as information protection and security, information management, or authentication and certification, to cite just a few examples — is key to true interoperability.

The more we co-ordinate our policies on these fronts and introduce pilot projects that push the envelope on integrated service delivery, the closer we will come to achieving a single-window view of government that citizens want.

There’s no question that electronic government is a huge undertaking.


doing much more than adding a service channel-we’re rethinking the business of government itself and transforming how we deliver services and programs to citizens.

But if we fully seize the opportunity for business transformation that the Internet and information technologies offer, we’ll provide Canadians with better services and give them instant access to the information they need to make decisions about their lives, families, and businesses.

Doing so will enhance the relationship between Canadians and their governments–which, for all its complexity, is what e-government is all about.


an incredibly powerful incentive to move forward aggressively with our collaborative efforts — even if CIOs can be forgiven if, from time to time, their thoughts turn to other, less hectic, career choices!

The next meeting of the PSCIOC is scheduled to take place in Toronto in February or March 2001.

In the meantime, we will hear from the subcommittees, and convene via a conference call to discuss the Electronic Service Delivery Clearinghouse and the possibility of establishing an innovation fund for ESD.

And as we begin planning for the next Lac Carling Congress, it will also be important to continue strengthening our working relationship with the Senior Service Delivery Officials (SSDO) forum.

The Public Sector CIO Council is at <>.