#GCDigital: A Year in Review

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January 03, 2019

The Government of Canada (GC) has made important progress on the digital government agenda in 2018, but it was not without its challenges. This past year, the GC committed to moving the needle forward on some crucial pieces to help lay the foundation for success in its digital endeavours in 2019 and beyond.

Here are a few examples that the #GCDigital community has to celebrate and build upon in the New Year:

  1. It has upgraded our digital government efforts by naming Treasury Board President Scott Brison as a new Minister of Digital Government, and by updating legislation to strengthen the role and to clarify accountability of the Chief Information Officer of Canada.
  2. The GC is also working to explore options to replace the Phoenix pay system with the launch the Next Generation HR and Pay initiative. This time around, the GC is committed to doing things differently and recognizes that, as an organization, it needs to pivot its approach to large technology procurements following Phoenix. Teams across the GC have been equally busy making strides on internal initiatives.
  3. The Talent Cloud team is actively reimagining how the GC hires people in gig economy.
  4. The team at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) has also worked with colleagues at Shared Services Canada (SSC) to make policy changes that support cloud first adoption and has collaborated with the team at Public Service and Procurement Canada to experiment with a new, agile approach to GC procurement.
  5. Increasingly, departments are experimenting with new ways to deliver information on smart devices (or OmniChannel service delivery), such as Alexa and the Samsung Smart Fridge, to better serve Canadians.
  6. The Canadian Digital Services (CDS) team has grown tremendously this past year and has welcomed Aaron Snow as their first CEO. With Aaron now at the helm, CDS is continuing their good work with departments to improve services to citizens.
  7. On the international scene, Canada is being recognized for its digital achievements thanks to the efforts of its leaders, hard-working public servants and partners. Canada was ranked number one alongside the United Kingdom on the 2018 Open Data Barometer thanks to the GC's commitment to transparency in its data-publishing practices and use.
  8. Canada has also built momentum among the Digital9 (D9) network thanks to its commitment to improving digital service delivery for citizens. As a group, the D9 agreed on a set of principles to guide the responsible implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) across the globe. The GC has gone above and beyond its commitment at the D9 and has also strategically invested in the development and standardization of (AI), a key component of efficient and effective service delivery.
  9. The team is putting the finishing touches on the Directive on Automated Decision-Making, which has been developed in the open and continues to inspire nations around the world.
  10. Stay tuned for more exciting developments in 2019. In particular, keep an eye out for details on the 2019 Open Government Partnership Global Summit, progression on the new Digital Policy, advancement of the GC Data Strategy, and news from TBS and SSC on protected B cloud readiness.

That is just a taste of what 2018 had to offer. Public servants are increasingly getting out there and talking about their work in their own words, so don't forget to follow Canada's digital journey by searching #GCDigital Twitter and LinkedIn.

To everyone that made this year's accomplishments possible, congratulations on a job well done. I look forward to working with you in 2019!


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 .

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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