Authentication by itself is not enough; it’s service delivery that drives it, according to Jeff Evans, authentication project manager, I&IT Strategy Policy Planning, Ministry of Government Services.
Evans specifically addressed the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Service Delivery Vision, which he described Tuesday at Showcase Ontario 2006 as an integrated, cross-jurisdictional service delivery system through multiple channels that’s customer focused, seamless and convenient.
“All channels should be fully developed and integrated,” said Evans. “And with respect to service delivery, electronic service delivery holds great promise,” he said.
It’s imperative that government have some assurance that the person accessing the service is who they say they are, said Evans, stressing that authentication is the enabler and that historically authentication has always been done at counters.
“We need to ask what clients need,” said Evans. “What they need is the ability to access their own files like electronic health records, efiling, taxes, secure transactions and be able to undertake secure correspondence.”
It’s crucial that the OPS ensure privacy, security and legal liability issues are all addressed, according to Evans.
“Where I&IA now stands, Ontario has a transformation vision that’s ambitious,” he said. “Ontario is ready to reap the benefits of electronic service delivery.”
Plans that Ontario has coming up include a Service Ontario Server Plan and a Portal Software Service.
To meet program needs to date, Ontario has been developing an Ontario Trust Model as well as an Information Classification System.
And the route that delivery has to take should not hamper their progress, in Evans’ estimation.
“Delivery can be cost efficient, flexible and supported by any source: municipal, provincial, or federal as long as they agree with the necessary requirements,” he said.
Evans said that trust is a function of the people or processes in ID authentication.
“The Ontario Trust Model lends itself to the vision of the integrated approach,” said Evans. “It makes good sense to share practices and lessons learned in this area.”
The approach Ontario is taking is also centred on the client and service interoperability, he said.
“It’s obvious there’s a need for an integrated approach to authentication, we need to build on this and we need to build long term.”
Although work still remains to be done, Ontario has made good progress, said Evans.
“Ontario is positioning itself to get on with implementation.”