I recently attended a meeting of four graduate students and four executives from a provincial Crown corporation. The topic was e-government and how Web 2.0 can improve customer and employee engagement and thus improve performance.
The United Nations recently published its 2008 Global E-Government Review, an exhaustive comparator of countries and trends from all regions of the world. Relative to the last such undertaking in 2005, Canada's performance is stagnant, up one place from seventh to eighth.
Virtual reality sites, such as the popular Second Life, are getting a lot of attention from public leaders and have increasingly become a venue for propagating political platforms and creating a virtual existence. CIO Government Review columnist, Jeffrey Roy, explores the democratic landscape, or lack thereof, in the virtual reality world of the Linden-spending Avatars.
Much of the discussion around IT governance and service transformation centres on the public sector's internal architecture. The undertone of such conversations is technological organizational innovation. Interesting to note that despite this being government, politics has no role - elected officials apparently not required.
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations was formed in 2000 to improve access to government information and services. With its new brand emphasizing a "no wrong door" philosophy, Access Nova Scotia deploys a multi-channel delivery network to manage more than 13,000 external client interactions daily.
In Canada, cross-jurisdictional initiatives designed to better share or integrate information are growing. The need for genuinely collaborative governance explains the recent protocol on public sector renewal signed by the respective heads of the Canadian and Ontario governments.
Rumours abound that Research in Motion Ltd. has commissioned a study of democracy's future based on the premise of a Blackberry for all Canadians. Such a scenario, perhaps not so entirely farfetched when considering wireless penetration rates now in excess of 90 per cent across much of Northern Europe, would galvanize the emergence of a truly virtual democracy.
The formation of Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) in Ontario marks an important new chapter in the organization and delivery of health care in Canada's largest province. Although technology and the emergence of e-health are important drivers of this experiment in regionalization, governance will ultimately be the key determinant of success or failure.