The Canadian model for government service delivery is three to five years ahead of those in the U.S. and U.K., according to the Citizens First 4 update presented Monday at the Lac Carling Congress in Saint-Sauveur, Que.
Citizens First 4 is the latest in a series of research initiatives designed to provide public sector managers with direct input from Canadian citizens on their experience with service delivery, and their priorities for improvement. Counties from around the world are coming to see the Canadian model. They say that the Canadian model is the one to implement.
Using this research over the past seven years, governments across Canada have been able to focus service improvement on things that make a difference for citizens. Canada has also led the world in improving the quality of their services in a measurable way, according to data published by Citizens First.
“Counties from around the world are coming to see the Canadian model,” said Brian Marson, senior advisor, Public Sector Excellence and Innovation, Treasury Board Secretariat. “They say that the Canadian model is the one to implement.”
Marson is a key driver of the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS) agenda. In 1998-99, ICCS released a series of reports, sponsored by various levels of government, which included recommendations for improving citizen satisfaction with public-sector service delivery.
Marson said that one of the key elements of today’s Canadian model, lost on other nations, is research on a department-by-department basis. They also lack whole-of-government research.
“I had a colleague (recently) that was searching for somebody in the U.S. government who might be able to tell us what they are finding in their research,” Marson said. “We couldn’t find anybody, because there isn’t anybody conducting enterprise-wide research on citizens’ wants and needs.”
It is the same in the U.K., according to Marson, and they are just starting to replicate parts of Citizens First, discovering citizens’ drivers that the Canadian model publicized in 1998.
“The second element that we have that other countries don’t is a community of best practices,” said Marson. “These are represented by the joint councils and by events like Lac Carling. You can go to most countries and not find anything like this.”
Marson went on to state that what Canada takes for granted, other countries see as something they might be able to do years from now.
In 2005, Canada was ranked first in citizen-centric maturity, according to an Accenture study. To progress further towards true leadership in customer service, Canada needs to move more quickly to leverage its gains and achievements to date and accelerate the implementation of the next wave of seamless multi-jurisdictional service offerings.Text “The Accenture report this year moves from an E-government focus to a broader citizen-centric focus,” said Marson. “What they are saying in the report is that, ‘not only is Canada number one, it is way ahead of the other (21) countries in the citizen-centic-ness of the service strategy.”
Accenture’s citizens’ survey indicated the Canadian government is not moving at the speed its citizens expect.
“To progress further towards true leadership in customer service, Canada needs to move more quickly to leverage its gains and achievements to date and accelerate the implementation of the next wave of seamless multi-jurisdictional service offerings,” the survey reported.
“I know it’s hard for Canadians to believe we are number one in anything except hockey,” Marson said. “One of the pillars of what we do is the research to find out what citizens really want from us.”
Canada has the community practice across Canada to improve service delivery, based on that research, to Canadians, stated Marson.