Scribblings jotted down at this year’s Lac Carling Congress suggest two things in particular:
1. Sorry, Pollyanna, there’s a tough sell ahead. By most accounts, the next big challenge in the digital revolution in government will be the re-engineering of management structures and processes.
That means more marketing of change management and less marketing of the latest and greatest gizmo in service delivery. It will be tough enough inside the public sector, where there’s a lot of chatter about how to talk the walk but not necessarily a lot of walking. And outside the public sector? Put it this way: Larry Lunchbucket may indeed be persuaded to file his taxes online. But he’ll likely be less impressed by the rejigging of who does what for whom down at the tax office.
That being said, there should be no doubt of the importance of that exercise in change management. Treasury Board President Reg Alcock – ever astute on these matters – was blunt in his keynote address at Lac Carling: “The heavy lifting that we have to get into now is really to organize ourselves internally.”
2. Equally, however, this year’s conference was a winner in just about every respect. In the world of electronic service delivery, the trick is to get from the theories that live at 100,000 feet to the people – and public servants – who live on the ground. These delegates, this year, turned that trick.
That’s not to concede that all is perfectly serene. Many municipalities, for example, are impatient with the state of play in ESD; they expect (but will surely get) their due. And there’s no doubting a measure of skepticism toward federal initiatives like Service Canada.
But by and large – this was a good at-bat, as they say in the majors.
Robert Parkins I Editor [email protected]
Peter Bennett — 1954-2005, Manager IT, City of Winnipeg
This is a beautiful issue, from the butterfly on the cover to the content that covers a great deal of the Lac Carling proceedings for 2005. You can’t help but notice within the articles the great sense of community – a community that has lost a beautiful person in the late Peter Bennett, former Manager of IT for the City of Winnipeg. Peter was the first municipal co-chair at the Lac Carling forums, representing municipalities from coast to coast not only at this forum but also with the Public Sector CIO Council. He was instrumental in the formation of MISA Canada, which officially signed on at this year’s Lac Carling, and a member of this publication’s editorial advisory board. All who came into contact with Peter Bennett liked and admired him. It is an honor to salute this man, and this is the perfect vehicle in which to do so. This publication, and all of us at CIO Government Review who deal with this vibrant evolving executive community, want to say: Thank you Peter, for the legacy you leave behind.
Fawn Annan I General Manager & Publisher Government Division [email protected]