Our ongoing transition to digital government

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May 10, 2018

As the Government of Canada continues its forward march into digital space, my public service colleagues are tackling the inevitable challenges that accompany such a fundamental change in how we do business and serve the public. An important part of the process has been working in collaboration with citizens and stakeholders to build a digital and open government agenda (for example, via open government and digital service engagement). Thank you to those that have participated to date. Your input has been crucial to our progress.

Next up: developing a digital policy to support our ongoing transition to digital government. A new Digital Policy will be an integrated, 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, and technology, as well as components of cybersecurity.   

Our Digital Standards will guide our efforts. These are about putting our clients first, managing effectively and securely Canadians’ and the government’s information and data, being open and transparent, and making smart use of technology.

While these are the internal rules that shape how the Government of Canada manages itself, we want your thoughts on how we can improve. 

So how do you think our rules and guidelines could evolve from “analogue” to digital?  

Some further questions to ponder:

  • What are the opportunities in respect to digital to improve how government operates and interacts with Canadians? What are the challenges? 
  • What areas or aspects of service delivery should be the Government of Canada’s focus in the digital era? What is required to support delivery of digital services?
  • How can a digital policy support the digital transformation of the Government of Canada? Of a department or a program?

I invite you to submit your ideas directly by email to Treasury Board Secretariat.  You can also request an account and join the discussion at the Digital-Numérique group on GCcollab.ca.

I look forward to getting your thoughts. We will report back on the feedback received and use this to inform future development of the Digital Policy.

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

Jim McCoig - May 22, 2018

We applied, over a year ago, for digital signing rights for everyday type documents and it is still hung up in HQ. Regardless, we are digitally signing these following procedures set by mutual consent with our Clients. The HQ folks that we dealt with were unaware that Entrust (our digital security system), has a build in digital signing process that can be used to secure documents sent out to the public.

Jeff Hurst - May 18, 2018

Without a broad profile of all business activities in the GOC, too often new investments are directed at adequate business processes; upgrading then from one technology to another, because of their role, profile or political impact. Yet many GOC business activities remain fully manually where even small investments could yield high ROI along with collateral benefits such as reduced paper consumption, transport and storage, e.g. Inventory paper FAX use across GOC and you will find Millions of dollars in paper and phone expenses that can be eliminated, effectively self-funding their digital replacement.

Marie P - May 14, 2018

Perhaps consider making data sharing agreements transparent to the public, except in cases of public safety and other areas of risk

Similarly, disclose from which data brokers and providers the GoC is obtaining data; for instance, Facebook or Acxiom, and for how much

Rose May - May 14, 2018

I am keen to learn how you are tackleing digital transformation in the aviation sector. As a biometric technology company, working with the optimisation of Airports all over the world, I am keen to learn more about the steps your Airports are making to create a better "digital view of the passenger". In fact, if you're still coming to London in a couple of months, we would be honored to show you the "Gatwick model".

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