Michael de Rosenroll

After practising law for several years in Victoria, B.C., Mike de Rosenroll decided to trade the “stressful, boring but lucrative” life of a lawyer for the “stressful, challenging and much more fun” life of a public servant.

Now, more than 25 years later, de Rosenroll said the trade-off has proved more than satisfactory. As the director general, IM/IT infrastructure, architecture and security within the Chief Information Officer Branch (CIOB) of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, his team within CIOB has a myriad of responsibilities.

Coordinating the design and implementation of the common technology platform needed to deliver online federal government services to Canadians, is his job, which means delivering these services conveniently, efficiently, and consistently with the best security and privacy practices.

Thus far, he said the biggest challenge has been the development of the “ePass Canada” service which uses public key infrastructure (PKI) technology to provide Canadians with e-credentials for dealing securely online with the Government of Canada.

“We believe the service, already launched in pilot mode, has the potential to transform and dramatically improve online services, whether within governments or between governments and their citizens,” de Rosenroll said.

In implementing these initiatives he said the biggest challenge is to provide common infrastructure services that are not just reliable, but are accepted as reliable by both the departments providing services and their clients.

And so far his biggest achievement was building a policy management framework that allowed the Government of Canada to deploy highly complex, interoperable PKI services between federal departments and between governments.

When asked what the main issues public sector employees face in regard to e-government, he responded that technology is not the issue.

“Business process visioning and re-engineering to harness the potential of new IM/IT technology, consistent with public policy imperatives, is the challenge for which we are not yet well prepared,” he said.

“And just how e-mail recently turned our lives upside-down – for better or worse – so too e-government will revolutionize our relationships with others, including and especially governments.”