Awards recognize e-Service delivery excellence

After two full days of public and private sector exhibitions and educational sessions, Showcase Ontario 2005 attendees sat down for the good stuff, the dinner and awards gala.

This year, Showcase Ontario received over 100 nominations for technology initiatives and awarded four winners in each of seven different categories. Seven initiatives received the coveted Diamond Award for their contribution to electronic service delivery and innovative IT solutions.

In the category of Business Results Through Technology, Legal Aid Ontario grabbed the top prize for their Legal Aid Online (LAO) submission. LAO is a secure Web site that allows lawyers to submit criminal and civil certificate accounts and duty counsel statements, review status of submitted accounts and statements, and update contact information.

Other Diamond award winners included:

Business Value: Anywhere eDesktop – York Region is Reducing TCO Using Server Based Computing, submitted by the Regional Muncipality of York;

Citizen Engagement: Improving Access for Students with Disabilities – Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) Web cast, submitted by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, Accessibility Directorate of Ontario;

Organizational Transformation: xeWorkshop/L’@telier – Policy and Program Branch, submitted by the Ministry of Education;

Serving Ontario’s Citizen’s Better: AMBER Alert – Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, submitted by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal;

Working Together: Enabling Inter-jurisdictional Collaboration Using Information Management/XML Standards, submitted by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Ministry of Government Services and the Members of the XML Sub-committee (Sponsored by PSCIOC);

ITAC Voluntary Sector: Settlement.Org, submitted by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI).

Choosing healthcare IT vendors – the inside story

INNOVATION, RELIABILITY AND Accountability are three sought after qualities in healthcare IT vendors, a recent panel discussion in Toronto revealed. Hosted by the Ontario chapter of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), the peer-to-peer roundtable was titled: ‘Choosing a Vendor: Picking a Partner for Stability, Business Strategy and Potential.’ The discussion revolved around IT vendor selection criteria used by healthcare providers in hospitals, public agencies and associations.

Healthcare IT needs are very different in the private and public sectors, panelists noted. “We have different business drivers,” said Linda Weaver, chief technology officer at Smart Systems for Health Agency, a provincial government agency associated with the Ontario Ministry of Health. She said it is important that vendors recognize these differences.

According to Weaver, it’s not so much that healthcare technology is different from IT in other sectors, but that it is often not incorporated into the workflow. “Doctors and nurses don’t sit in front of workstations to do their jobs,” she said.

Ottawa to link land use databases

THE FEDERAL MINISTRY of Agriculture and Agri-Food will spend $100 million over the next four years to develop an Internet portal that will give land use managers access to land and water data to make better decisions. The National Land and Water Information Services (NLWIS) will link silos of data maintained by federal, provincial and municipal governments as well as industry groups, making them accessible through one portal.

The Rural Municipality of Halton, in southeastern Manitoba, has used GIS mapping technology since 1994, and participated in the pilot. Halton chief administrative officer Doug Cavers said mapping technology helps Halton decide how land can be used, approve variances from zoning regulations, permit conditional uses not usually allowed and maintain buffers between business, urban and agricultural areas.

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