Transportation wins Diamond Award for serving Ontario’s citizens

The Ministries of Transportation and Community Safety & Correctional Services went home last night with two Diamond Awards each from Showcase Ontario, the province’s annual information and information technology (I&IT) exhibition and education conference for public sector service delivery.

Law enforcement was a common theme in Transportation’s two awards. The ministry’s Electronic Commercial Vehicle Inspection Reports system won for the category, serving Ontario’s citizens, while its Electronic Provincial Offence Notice (ePON) application was recognized for achievements in government agencies working together.

Earlier today during a panel discussion on modernizing government services, Shelly Jamieson, deputy minister of transportation, talked about some of the other “intelligent transportation” initiatives the province was working on.

Jamieson described how her Blackberry constantly fed her detailed data reports on traffic accidents, lane closures and other incidents across Ontario. The ministry gathers this information 24×7 via a massive fibre-optic network, CCTV cameras and road sensors within the pavement.

“We’ve seen a 12 per cent reduction in collisions as result of this kind of intelligent transportation, and accident clearance times have dropped from an average 86 to 30 minutes,” she said.

The ministry is also using GPS (global positioning system) technology for automatic vehicle location to better monitor the province’s resources and to meet contractual agreements, said Jamieson.

Another project targets “intelligent transportation” at Canada’s border crossings with the U.S., and involves working with both the federal government and the State of Michigan, she said.

Jamieson added that business and IT really had to know each other and move with each other on a project. “There’s this dance between business and IT, and a project’s results can be predicted by this dance,” she said.

Transportation’s vehicle inspection software was judged to have made Ontario’s roads safer by providing enforcement officers with a mobile, real-time application to report high-risk trucks and unsafe vehicles, as well as share that data between Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions.

In working together to produce its ePON application for provincial offence notices, the Transportation Ministry partnered with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the province’s Attorney General and the City of Toronto.

Using ePON, police officers are now able to issue electronic tickets on the spot and the ticket data can be shared throughout the judicial system immediately, resulting in faster law enforcement and savings in lost revenue.

Community Safety & Correctional Services scored double Diamond wins with its canine augmentation technology and remote deployment system, in the project achievement category, and with its “housecalls for patients who can’t get out” system – in a partnership with Ontario Telehealth – for business value and results through technology.

“Housecalls” uses broadband video-conferencing technology with high-resolution cameras and electronic medical instruments to examine and diagnose patients remotely. High business value was identified in the elimination of travel and security costs, reduced potential for security breaches and increased public safety.

Canine augmentation and remote deployment are the results of collaboration between the ministry, the OPP emergency response team and Ryerson University’s computer science department.

Using two new products, search and rescue dogs now have the ability to capture real-time audio and video of their search environment, as well as the ability to deliver equipment, food and water to victims.

Diamond Award category winners:
  • Business value and results through technology: Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Ontario Telehealth Partnership, for “Housecalls for patients who can’t get out.”
  • Innovation: Ministry of Natural Resources, for “PC tablet mapping in forest fire management and decision-making.”
  • Organizational transformation: Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, for “Labour Market Development Agreement infrastructure project.”
  • Serving Ontario’s citizens: Ministry of Transportation, for “Electronic Commercial Vehicle Inspection Reports.”
  • Working together: Ministry of Transportation, for “Electronic Provincial Offence Notice.”
  • Project achievement: Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, for “Canine augmentation technology and remote deployment system.”
  • Stakeholder agreement: Ministry of Government Services and Service Ontario, for “Newborn registration service.”
  • ITAC voluntary sector: Ability Online Support Network, for “Ask Anything homework guide.”

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