Our continuing journey to develop the rules and guidance for a digital government


August 10, 2018

On the heels of the Prime Minister announcing that the President of the Treasury Board would assume an expanded role as the first Canadian Minister of Digital Government, I want to provide you with an update on our efforts to develop a new Digital Policy that will help transition the Government of Canada into the digital era.

This new policy will support federal departments and agencies in operating effectively as digital organizations. This will be achieved through a single set of rules and guidelines for government departments and agencies that set out how the Government of Canada manages service delivery, information and data, technology, and cybersecurity.

When I last blogged about the launch of the Digital Policy, I was hopeful that taking an open approach to developing the internal rules to government would generate dialogue and ideas. Our open approach was a success! We received a high volume of thoughtful feedback from both the public and government officials on what this guidance might look like. Thank you for your participation.

We have now begun to lay the groundwork for high-level direction for a new Digital Policy informed by the ideas and feedback received, a review of the existing rules, and Government of Canada priorities. Although there is still much work to be done, a few recurring themes are already emerging. These themes provide an outline for some of the top priorities that a new Digital Policy will enable, including direction for:

  • Continued focus on the user and their needs, be they Canadians or public officials;
  • Better management and safeguarding of our information and data; and
  • Evolution of government practices and processes to keep pace with the digital era.

Moving forward we will need to make sure that policy direction and accompanying guidance is developed in clear, simple and user-friendly language.

As we continue to develop the Digital Policy in the open, I invite your comments on our proposed high-level rules by September 11, 2018.

Your feedback will support us in further developing these policy directions, as we engage senior Government of Canada officials in late fall 2018.

I invite you to submit your ideas directly by email to Treasury Board Secretariat. If you have not already done so, you can also request an account and join the discussion at the Digital-Numérique group on GCcollab.ca.

I look forward to continuing our dialogue and will report back to you on what we hear through this stage of the development process.

Thank you in advance.

Alex Benay

Chief Information Officer, Government of Canada

Alex Benay currently serves as the Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada. Prior to this appointment, Alex was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation since July 2014.

From 2011 to 2014, he was Vice-President of Government Affairs and Business Development at OpenText. He has played a leadership role in Canada’s digital industry, as well as in promoting the global shift to digital in organizations such as the G20, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Olympics. Before joining OpenText, Alex managed various teams and programs at the Canadian International Development Agency, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and Library and Archives Canada.

Blog comments

Gavin Berube - September 25, 2018

A Policy is a first step but I think more authority will be required, such as an Act or Legislation, perhaps similar to, but better than, the US Clinger Cohen Act. This piece of legislation should be inspirational to a Canadian version. To achieve "Working as One Enterprise", whatever this means or could mean below the surface, something entrenched in our legislative framework will be required. Some level of authority overriding DM's authority over their Department, to achieve this specific Vision, that will survive in coming or out going elected officials and short lasting Senior Executives that move around every 18-24 months is needed to ensure continuity of execution.

Junior masikini - September 17, 2018

I'm doctor i need to work in canada

Mary Beth Baker - September 10, 2018

Can the related content on slide 3 be made available on an open platform?


M Thibault - September 10, 2018

We are unable to access the proposed high-level rules as Google Docs is blocked by our department's network.

Karim Virjee - August 13, 2018

Does this imply that the CIO for the Government of Canada will stop asking people (Citizen no less) to move to Estonia?

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