Mike Cowley

Mike Cowley decided he wanted to be on the inside. After 40 years in the private sector, he decided to enter the public sector so he could effect change from within.

“After being subject to government process, rules, procedures in the private sector for many years, I decided the only way to bring about change was to get inside,” said the Victoria-based director of the small business branch at the Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise in British Columbia.

Cowley is currently leading the development of OneStop Business Services and the inter-jurisdictional single business number project in B.C. He also sits on inter-agency and intergovernmental committees, including the B.C. CIO’s e-B.C. strategy.

One initiative he worked on, which brought federal, provincial and municipal government agencies together to develop and implement OneStop Business Services on the Internet, received the Gold Information Technology Award for Excellence in Electronic Service Delivery at a conference on Strategies for Public Sector Transformation.

Gaining strong executive leadership and political commitment are among the most difficult challenges that public sector employees face, Cowley said.

Cowley hopes to move into an area where he can influence strategy and priorities are at a broader, more corporate level.