Update on the development of a new Digital Policy

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November 07, 2018

Building upon the announcement of the latest iteration of the Government of Canada's Digital 'Standards', I'd like to share an update on the development of a new Digital Policy to support federal departments and agencies in our joint effort to operate effectively as a digital government.

"Digital" is not only about technology. The Digital Policy will further integrate technology and data in all stages of the processes for policy, program and service delivery. 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 we sought your feedback on proposed high-level directions for the new Digital Policy, based on your early ideas. I am so pleased to see your enthusiasm and the volume and quality of feedback you have submitted. This is a collaborative journey and we couldn't have done this without you. Thank you!

Based on your feedback, it looks like we're on the right path. You validated (What We Heard Report) our proposed direction for the Digital Policy and provided us with a number of considerations to keep in mind as we refine our thinking, translate the policy direction into actual requirements, and plan for their implementation.

Throughout our collaboration, a few key considerations emerged:

  • Digital is about the user, it is an enabler, and going digital should not leave anyone behind;
  • Culture shift and change management are critical for the Digital Policy to be successful;
  • We need to be sensitive to the resources and capacity of departments and agencies; and
  • We need to strike a balance that supports immediate impact and allows for iteration, standardization and flexibility, openness, privacy, and security.

This fall we will be seeking endorsement from Deputy Ministers on these proposed high-level directions. Once confirmed, we will move into the next phase of policy development, writing the technical policy language.

There still remains much work to be done and we look forward to continuing on this journey with you. Stay tuned for further updates.

Remember that our feedback channels always remain open. It is never too late to provide your views by either sending us an email or by making an account and joining the discussion at the Digital-Numérique group on GCcollab.


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.

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