Lac Carling: What they want

The Lac Carling Congress itself may last only two days, but it always delivers streams of work and research from the year just past and provides advice for the Public Sector Chief Information Officers Council (PSCIOC) and the Public Sector Service Delivery Council (PSSDC). This year’s recommendations addressed five areas: Research, privacy, service mapping, shared services and identification, authorization and authentication.

1. Research

Delegates were asked by the PSSDC-PSCIIOC Research Committee to prioritize six research areas on scales of five.

The results:

? Governance arrangements for service delivery – 3.8

? Cost-effective service delivery – 3.6

? Security and privacy – 3.6

? Taking Care of Business-2 – 3.4

? Shared Services – 3.4

? Performance Measurement and Benchmarking – 3.4

As in previous years, the PSSDC-PSCIOC Research Committee and the Joint Councils are to factor these results into the research planning process for the next year.

2. Privacy

Focusing on one of the research priorities they had just identified, delegates were asked to vote on two questions related to privacy. The first asked whether a set of standard terms and conditions for the inter-jurisdictional transfer of information would be useful. The question specifically addressed: relative responsibilities for sending and receiving jurisdictions; liability for misuse or disclosure; and limits on the use of information, including time restrictions.

The second question asked whether municipalities had the tools to meet the requirements of privacy legislation. It also sought a mandate to create a toolkit of best practices, templates and examples.

Delegates responded yes to both questions, ranking them in the order they were presented.

3. Service mapping

The discussion surrounding service mapping has matured to the point where possible governance structures have become important. Asked who should be the authority for governance, 43 per cent of delegates supported the Councils, 31 per cent opted for the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service and 16 per cent wanted an independent third party like the International Standards Organization. Only 10 per cent thought the federal government should assume the governance role.

As service mapping moves forward, there is a growing need to take on specific projects to build awareness and a long-term business case. However delegates were narrowly divided on next steps. Asked to provide guidance by answering two questions – “do we take on a new, more significant project in a particular areas – e.g. Service Canada, emergency preparedness or health?” and “Do we move on a smaller project, building on existing work – e.g. extending current mapping in existing area such as youth, or business start-ups?” – they responded with a resounding “maybe,” by voting 52 per cent and 48 per cent respectively.

Asked for views on the priority mechanism to raise awareness of service mapping, delegates overwhelmingly selected leadership by example, with a 40 per cent vote for “business case and performance outcome,” and professional development, with a 35 per cent vote for “more practitioners through training on the methodology.” “Promotional material” and “more case studies” were deemed less effective at 16 per cent, while only 9 per cent chose “extend and use certified private sector community.”

4. Shared services

In this category, the consensus opinion presented to the plenary session was that “it is important to link the Canadian shared services agenda with service delivery.” Delegates were asked to vote on how this could best be accomplished.

The strongest choice, at 43 per cent was for “establishing a sub-committee for shared services of the joint councils.” Another 32 per cent asked for a “report back to Lac Carling re: best practices, lessons learned, savings and challenges, including research by the Conference Board of Canada.” One-quarter of the delegates voted to encourage shared services practitioners to join other initiatives like service mapping.

5. Identification, authentication and authorization

A session on IA&A identified a series of questions around governance. Delegates subsequently voted 85 per cent in support of establishing and approving applicable standards and guidelines and 82 per cent for developing and promoting best practices. Lower on the scale but still well above 50 per cent support were: “liaise and promote synergy with other stakeholders,” “identify and address the legal, policy and logistical issues” and “develop policy management framework for authentication.”

– Staff

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