With more than 20 years of experience, Tim Whelan has been on the front lines of some of Saskatchewan’s most ambitious e-government projects.
Currently, Whelan is working on security and privacy issues in addition to the province’s CommunityNet project to connect 1,200 schools, government offices and health facilities to a public sector data network.
“All of my adult life I’ve been interested in technology – particularly technology that enhances communications,” said Saskatchewan’s senior advisor for security and privacy. “At various points in my life, I’ve been on the bleeding edge of technology as it related to communications.”
Whelan, who started his career with Saskatchewan as an information officer, says he sees all levels of government working towards a seamless service delivery program where citizens can get national, provincial, or municipal information from a single source. As for his role with the information technology office, Whelan says he plans to spend more time working on privacy issues.
“We don’t have an administrative framework for privacy in Saskatchewan,” he said. “There are no privacy rules. Most of our thinking about privacy is based on a paper-based world. That kind of thinking needs to be revisited when you’re in a connected world and so much of that information is potentially available online.
“It’s about changing the culture within the government to appreciate the risks and opportunities that are around e-government and the risks regarding privacy that need to be managed.”