Open Government Implementation Plan: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

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Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

Canada has a longstanding commitment to openness and accountability as a cornerstone of a strong, modern democracy. From the implementation of the Access to Information Act over 30 years ago to current open government and proactive disclosure requirements, the Government of Canada has worked to ensure transparency of federal operations to enable Canadians to hold their government accountable.

The proactive release of data and information is the starting point for all other open government activity. Accordingly, the Government of Canada has firmly established an “open by default” position in the mandatory policy framework, the Directive on Open Government.

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) was created in 2009 to support the competitiveness, innovation and diversification of southern Ontario’s economy. To fulfill its mandate, the Agency delivers strategic investments to businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and communities; establishes and strengthens collaborative partnerships with key economic stakeholders; and represents the region’s interests at the national level.

FedDev Ontario supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to openness and transparency, and to making government data available digitally so that Canadians can easily access and use it. FedDev Ontario’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) outlines how and when the Agency will meet the required level of compliance with the Directive on Open Government.

Revisions and updates to FedDev Ontario’s Open Government Implementation Plan will be published on the Open Information Portal on an annual basis until plan completion.

2. Approvals

David Schwindt
Manager, IM/IT (Information Management Senior Official)
Corporate Services Branch
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

 

Date

Peter Yendall
Director General
Communications Branch
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

 

Date

Susan Anzolin
Chief Financial Officer
Corporate Services Branch
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

 

Date

Kendal Weber
Acting Vice-President
Policy, Partnerships and Performance Management Branch
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

 

Date

Alain Beaudoin
Vice-President
Business, Innovation and Community Development Branch
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

 

Date

Nancy Horsman
President
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

 

Date

3. Purpose

This document describes FedDev Ontario’s plan to complete activities and deliverables aligned to the requirements of the Directive on Open Government, in order to achieve full compliance by the implementation deadline.

“The objective of the Directive is to maximize the release of government information and data of business value to support transparency, accountability, citizen engagement, and socio-economic benefits through reuse, subject to applicable restrictions associated with privacy, confidentiality, and security” (Directive on Open Government, Section 5.1).

The expected results of the Directive on Open Government (Section 5.2) are that Canadians are able to find and use Government of Canada information and data in modern and user-friendly formats:

  • to support accountability;
  • to facilitate value-added analysis;
  • to drive socio-economic benefits through reuse; and
  • to support meaningful engagement with their government.

4. Context

As Canada’s most populous region—home to more than 12.8 million residents living in 288 communities—southern Ontario is a key contributor to the Canadian economy. The Government of Canada created FedDev Ontario in 2009 to support the competitiveness, innovation and diversification of southern Ontario’s economy. To fulfill its mandate, the Agency delivers strategic investments to businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and communities; establishes and strengthens collaborative partnerships with key economic stakeholders; and represents the region’s interests at the national level.

FedDev Ontario is fulfilling its mandate by working as a co-investor, convenor, champion and delivery agent with partners and stakeholders across southern Ontario. Businesses and organizations, with the support of contributions from the Agency, are advancing innovative technologies and leveraging community capacity to develop regionally-based economic solutions. By responding to emerging economic challenges and opportunities, FedDev Ontario is supporting the overall competitiveness and future prosperity of southern Ontario.

FedDev Ontario has about 230 full-time employees and is headquartered in Waterloo, with additional offices located in Ottawa, Toronto and Peterborough.

The Agency is one of 43 partner departments that rely upon Shared Services Canada for the delivery of email, data centre and network services in a consolidated and standardized manner to support the delivery of Government of Canada programs and services. FedDev Ontario receives additional information technology services through an arrangement with Industry Canada and is an active participant in the Treasury Board Secretariat-led transformation of back office systems towards enterprise systems. Specific to Open Government, the Agency was an early adopter of the Enterprise GCDOCS system implementation for the management of digital information holdings.

5. Outcomes

FedDev Ontario is committed to achieving Open Government objectives of transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement. The Agency is also committed to maximizing the release of information and data of business value, providing Canadians with more opportunities to learn about, and participate in, government, and driving innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians. The Agency will be sensitive to ownership, privacy, confidentiality and security considerations while ensuring maximal release of data and information.

FedDev Ontario’s Open Government Implementation Plan forms part of the Agency’s commitment to providing broad access to data and information for Canadians.

6. Governance Structures and Decision Processes

The following sub-sections describe the governance structures and decision processes that support Open Government and how those responsibilities are delegated and fulfilled within the Agency.

6.1 Roles and Responsibilities – Deputy Head and Information Management Senior Official

The governance of FedDev Ontario’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) is informed by the responsibilities identified for the Information Management Senior Official (IMSO) and Deputy Head (DH) in sections 6 (Requirements), 7 (Monitoring and Reporting Requirements), and 8 (Consequences) of the Directive on Open Government.

The overall accountability for implementation of the OGIP rests with the Departmental Information Management Senior Official. Within FedDev Ontario, this role resides with the Manager, Information Management and Information Technology.

The IMSO is responsible for the following activities related to Open Government:

  • Ensuring that appropriate tools, systems, governance, procedures and training are in place to effectively manage the Agency’s information, a key prerequisite to implementation of the Directive on Open Government;
  • Ensuring that all relevant internal tools, systems, policies, procedures, governance and training integrate requirements of the Directive on Open Government as and when appropriate;
  • Briefing the Agency through the Program and Policy Committee on operational issues and requirements regarding Open Government implementation;
  • Providing briefing materials to internal governance committees (specifically the Program and Policy Committee as described in Approvals and Process section) and senior management;
  • Seeking feedback and input from the Open Government Working Group to follow up on the process work performed in all branches to enable the dissemination of open information and data;
  • Updating FedDev Ontario-specific policies and guidelines related to systems development, procurement and renewal to facilitate an “open by default” environment;
  • Negotiating arrangements with Information Technology service providers to ensure full support for the implementation of the Directive on Open Government;
  • Informing senior management, as well as the Treasury Board Secretariat, of any issues related to implementation;
  • Escalating issues to the Chief Financial Officer or Deputy Head as appropriate.

6.2 Roles and Responsibilities – Key Stakeholders

Open Government Working Group

To support the IMSO and to raise awareness of the Open Government Initiative at FedDev Ontario and to establish the necessary horizontal processes to manage the release of open information and data, an Open Government Working Group (OGWG) has been created.

The Open Government Working Group, chaired by the IMSO, is responsible for the following:

  • Supporting the IMSO in ensuring horizontal representation in resolving issues related to Open Government;
  • Raising awareness of the Open Government Initiative throughout FedDev Ontario;
  • Researching best practices in other government departments and agencies, particularly in other Regional Development Agencies;
  • Reviewing, commenting on, and testing internal tools and guidance related to the implementation of the Directive on Open Government; and
  • Briefing their direct management on the work performed by the working group, as well as on the requirements of the Directive on Open Government.

The Chief Financial Officer, FedDev Ontario, is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the Agency provides the IMSO with the resources required to implement actions set out in the OGIP and related policies and directives;
  • Providing the Agency with executive leadership to ensure horizontal engagement for implementation of the Directive on Open Government; and
  • Acting as an escalation point for issues related to implementation and that are beyond the scope of IMSO influence and authority.

The Director General, Communications, is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that any open data and information is released according to government legislation, policies and standards governing the publication of information, including but not limited to official languages, accessibility standards, Web publishing standards, and compliance with Open Data Portal and open.canada.ca posting requirements;
  • Providing expert advice on the communications risks and impacts of releasing data and information, and proposing strategies to mitigate those risks and impacts;
  • Raising awareness of associated benefits, responsibilities and accountabilities amongst FedDev Ontario staff; and
  • Receiving and responding to media enquiries that may result from the release of Agency information or data.

The Corporate Secretary, as the lead for Access to Information and Privacy, is responsible for:

  • Ensuring procedural alignment between the Access to Information (ATI) Act, the Privacy Act, and the Directive on Open Government, in order to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of ATI releases and to address the impacts of ATI request responses released under the Open Government Initiative; and
  • Preparing released ATI requests for broader release.

Information Management Functional Specialists are responsible for:

  • Providing advice and guidance to management and employees on the management of information holdings in order to meet the requirements of the Directive on Open Government; and
  • Preparing information holdings of enduring value for release to Library and Archives Canada, including removal of access restrictions prior to transfer.

Executives and managers at FedDev Ontario are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that their information, and that of their employees, is managed in accordance with the Policy on Information Management and Directive on Recordkeeping in order to establish a solid foundation for recommending open data and information for release;
  • Identifying and assessing risk and ability for identified Information Resources of Business Value (IRBVs) to be posted on the Open Data Portal; and
  • Approving information and data to be shared on the Open Data Portal, in accordance with internal policies and procedures, in a timely manner.

All FedDev Ontario employees are responsible for:

  • Managing their data and information in accordance with the Policy on Information Management and related instruments;
  • Seeking support from the IMSO and the Access to Information and Privacy coordinator, as required, in order to ensure policy and legislative compliance; and
  • Making recommendations to managers and executives regarding the release of open data and information.

Approvals and Process Flow

FedDev Ontario’s Open Government Working Group will support the IMSO in briefing the Chief Financial Officer and President, and ensure that regular reporting occurs through Program and Policy Committee and Executive Committee.

Figure 1: Open Government Governance at FedDev Ontario
Figure 1 - Text version

President FedDev Ontario

Left side: Chief Financial Officer FedDev Ontario, Chief Information Officer (IMSO) FedDev Ontario and Open Government Working Group FedDev Ontario

Right side: Executive Committee FedDev Ontario and Program and Policy Committee FedDev Ontario.

Chief Information Officer (IMSO) FedDev Ontario and Program and Policy Committee FedDev Ontario are linked together.

FedDev Ontario’s Open Government Working Group will support the IMSO in briefing the Chief Financial Officer and President, and ensure that regular reporting occurs through Program and Policy Committee and Executive Committee.

Externally, FedDev Ontario will work in collaboration with central agencies, Industry Canada and Shared Services Canada, as appropriate, to collect and format data and information in accordance with relevant policies and technological infrastructure, and post data and information to the appropriate websites in a timely manner.

6.3 Communication, Awareness, and Engagement

The Open Government Working Group plays a key role in advocating for the Open Government Initiative throughout the Agency, through briefings to senior management and executive governance committees. To further enhance information sharing and the development of best practices, the working group initiated an inter-departmental Open Government working group with other Regional Development Agencies. It is also aligning with central agencies and other government departments as it develops the Agency’s implementation tools.

Internal communications with FedDev Ontario staff about the Open Government initiative will involve raising awareness about best practices for information management, recordkeeping and information security. By ensuring that a consistent approach is applied across the Agency in these key areas, the application of Open Government principles will be a cohesive and efficient process.

7. Planning Tables

Planning Table A: Directive on Open Government Requirements

Reference

Compliance Requirement

Deliverables / Milestones

Lead

Activities

Start Date

End Date

Resources

(Human and Financial)

Status

DOG 6.1

Maximizing the release of Government of Canada data and information under an open and unrestrictive licence designated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS)

FedDev Ontario’s Data Release Plan

Corporate Services Branch with OGWG

Release plan developed in partnership with internal and external stakeholders.

0.10 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

not started

FedDev Ontario’s Information Release Plan

Corporate Services Branch with OGWG

Release plan developed in partnership with internal and external stakeholders.

0.10 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

not started

DOG 6.2

Ensuring that open data and open information is released in accessible and reusable formats via Government of Canada websites and services designated by the TBS

Listing of accessible and reusable formats (for data and information) to be used at FedDev Ontario

Corporate Services Branch

Listing of accessible and reusable formats developed and communicated.

0.05 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

not started

Conversion process(es) for data identified for release, whose native format is not accessible and reusable

Corporate Services Branch

Data conversion process developed in partnership with Industry Canada, Shared Services Canada and Treasury Board Secretariat.

0.20 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

  • Linkage to Enterprise G&C System, will need to be incorporated into requirements

not started

Conversion process(es) for information identified for release, whose native format is not accessible and reusable

Corporate Services Branch

Information conversion process is prepared and information is made accessible through open.canada.ca.

0.10 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

  • Will need support/guidance from GCDOCS support

not started

Release process to support the publication of FedDev Ontario’s data

Corporate Services Branch

Data publication and release processes are developed and aligned with proactive disclosure modernization and enterprise grants and contributions systems initiatives where applicable.

0.20 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

  • Requires clarification on conversion process

not started

Release process to support the publication of FedDev Ontario’s information

Corporate Services Branch

Information publication and release processes are developed and aligned with Access to Information modernization, GCDOCS and canada.ca migration where applicable.

0.20 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

  • Requires clarification on conversion process

not started

DOG 6.3

Establishing and maintaining comprehensive inventories of data and information resources of business value held by the department to determine their eligibility and priority, and to plan for their effective release (6.3)

Methodology for establishing a data inventory

Corporate Services Branch

Data inventory methodology is developed.

0.10 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

not started

Methodology for establishing an information inventory

Corporate Services Branch

Information inventory methodology is developed.

0.10 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

not started

Data inventory (detailed, itemized list(s) that describes the volume, scope and complexity of the data held by FedDev Ontario)

All

Data inventorying is completed.

0.30 FTE

(Information Management Function Specialist & Data Owners)

not started

Information inventory (detailed, itemized list(s) that describes the volume, scope and complexity of the information held by FedDev Ontario

All

Information inventorying is completed.

1.50  FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist & Information Owners)

  • will require cross-Agency engagement
  • to be confirmed as part of the methodology development

not started

Renewal process(es) to maintain the currency of FedDev Ontario’s data inventory

Corporate Services Branch

Data inventorying renewal processes are developed.

Internal checklists and guidelines are in place to ensure ongoing inventorying of data.

0.10 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

not started

Renewal process(es) to maintain the currency of FedDev Ontario’s information inventory

Corporate Services Branch

Data inventorying renewal processes are developed.

Internal checklists and guidelines are in place to ensure ongoing inventorying of information.

0.10 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

not started

Assets included in the data inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release

All

Processes are in place to ensure verification and validation of eligibility of release data.

0.30 FTE

(Information Management Function Specialist & Data Owners)

not started

Assets included in the information inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release

All

Processes are in place to ensure verification and validation of eligibility of release information.

0.30 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist & Information Owners)

  • Linked to the inventory process

not started

DOG 6.4

Developing, posting to the designated website, implementing, and annually updating a departmental Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP)

Governance structures are in place to oversee the implementation of FedDev Ontario’s OGIP

All

Governance structures are developed to oversee the implementation of FedDev Ontario’s OGIP and aligned with existing corporate governance.

0.50 FTE/year

(open Government Working Group)

completed

FedDev Ontario’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP)

OGWG

FedDev Ontario’s OGIP is developed, edited and posted to open.canada.ca.

0.20 FTE

(Open Government Working Group)

completed

Signatures in section 2 (Approvals) of FedDev Ontario’s OGIP

PPPM

FedDev Ontario’s OGIP is approved by the Deputy Head.

N/A

completed

FedDev Ontario’s OGIP is staffed and funded

All

The OGIP forms part of considerations during the annual integrated planning exercise and receives funding and resources.

N/A

in progress

Monitoring and reporting processes for assessing progress and maintaining the currency of the FedDev Ontario’s OGIP

Corporate Services Branch

OGIP monitoring and reporting processes are developed, implemented and integrated into corporate monitoring and reporting exercises.

0.20 FTE

(Open Government Working Group)

not started

FedDev Ontario’s first annual update to the OGIP

Corporate Services Branch

First annual update to the OGIP is developed, approved and published to open.canada.ca.

0.20 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist & Open Government Working Group)

not started

FedDev Ontario’s second annual update to the OGIP

Corporate Services Branch

Second annual update to the OGIP is developed, approved and published to open.canada.ca.

0.20 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist & Open Government Working Group)

not started

FedDev Ontario’s third annual update to the OGIP

Corporate Services Branch

Third annual update to the OGIP is developed, approved and published to open.canada.ca.

0.20 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist & Open Government Working Group)

not started

FedDev Ontario’s fourth annual update to the OGIP

Corporate Services Branch

Fourth annual update to the OGIP is developed, approved and published to open.canada.ca.

0.20 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist & Open Government Working Group)

not started

DOG 6.5

Maximizing the removal of access restrictions on departmental information resources of enduring value prior to transfer to Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Methodology for the removal of access restrictions from data and information resources of enduring value prior to their transfer to LAC

Corporate Services Branch

Methodology is developed for removing access restrictions from FedDev Ontario data and information.

0.20 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

  • Dependent upon completion of data inventory and external dependency on LAC

not started

Methodology for the removal of access restrictions from data and information resources of enduring value prior to their transfer to the LAC is integrated into FedDev Ontario’s disposition plans and procedures.

All

Methodology is integrated into FedDev Ontario disposition plans and procedures.

0.10

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

  • Dependent upon completion of data inventory and external dependency on LAC

not started

DOG 6.6

Ensuring that open government requirements in sections 6.1 to 6.5 of this Directive are integrated in any new plans for procuring, developing, or modernizing departmental information applications, systems, or solutions in support of the delivery of programs and services

Processes, documentation, systems and other tools are revised or developed in order to comply with the Directive and facilitate an "open by default" environment

All

Tools, templates, training sessions, procedures and policies are developed and delivered to Branches to facilitate the desired culture change.

0.50 FTE

(CIO)

  • linked to Recordkeeping and Information Management processes currently under development

in progress

Governance structures are in place to ensure that the requirements of the Directive on Open Government are integrated into any new plans for procuring, developing, or modernizing departmental information applications, systems, or solutions

All

The necessary governance is in place to support procurement, development and modernization of departmental information systems, applications or solutions to ensure that the requirements of the Directive are integrated.

Raise discussion with Industry Canada (IC), Shared Services Canada (SSC), Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and TBS where these departments have functional or delegated authority with respect to FedDev Ontario’s information applications, systems and solutions to ensure that the requirements of the Directive are met.

O.05 FTE

(CIO)

  • This activity will require on-going review against external service provider MOU’s and SLA’s

not started

Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into FedDev Ontario’s procurement process(es) for information applications, systems, and solutions

Corporate Services Branch

Open Government Directive requirements are integrated into FedDev Ontario’s procurement processes for information applications, systems and solutions.

Raise discussion with IC, SSC, PWGSC and TBS where these departments have functional or delegated authority with respect to FedDev Ontario’s information applications, systems and solutions to ensure that the requirements of the Directive are met.

0.05 FTE

(CIO)

  • will attempt to leverage common language from Government of Canada working groups

not started

Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into FedDev Ontario’s development process(es) for information applications, systems, and solutions

Corporate Services Branch

Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into FedDev Ontario’s development processes for information, applications, systems and solutions.

Work through conditions of existing Memorandum of Understandings and Service Level Agreements with application owners to ensure integration of FedDev Ontario’s Directive on Open Government requirements.

0.05 FTE

(CIO)

  • most systems are externally managed

not started

Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into FedDev Ontario’s modernizing process(es) for information applications, systems, and solutions

Corporate Services Branch

Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into FedDev Ontario’s modernization processes for information, applications, systems and solutions.

Work through conditions of existing Memorandum of Understandings and Service Level Agreements with application owners to ensure integration of FedDev Ontario’s Directive on Open Government requirements.

0.05 FTE

(CIO)

  • most systems are externally managed

not started

DOG 7.1

Departmental information management senior officials, as designated by the deputy heads, are responsible for overseeing the implementation and monitoring of this directive in their department.

Performance framework for the monitoring of FedDev Ontario’s progress against the activities and deliverables / milestones in the OGIP

Corporate Services Branch

A performance framework is developed for the monitoring of FedDev Ontario’s progress against the activities and deliverables / milestones in the OGIP.

0.05 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

not started

Progress against the activities and deliverables / milestones in the OGIP is regularly reported to the governance structures in place to oversee the implementation

Corporate Services Branch

Regular reports on the progress of the OGIP are provided to governance structures in place to oversee the implementation.

0.05 FTE/year

(Information Management Functional Specialist & Information Management Working Group)

ongoing

Performance framework for the monitoring of FedDev Ontario’s ongoing compliance to the requirements of the Directive

Corporate Services Branch

A performance framework is developed for monitoring FedDev Ontario’s ongoing compliance with the requirements of the Directive.

0.05 FTE

(Information Management Functional Specialist)

not started

Process to ensure significant difficulties, gaps in performance, or compliance issues are reported to the Deputy Head (DH)

Corporate Services Branch

Compliance issues are reported to the DH as required.

0.05 FTE/year

(Information Management Working Group)

not started

Planning Table B: Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2014-16 Commitments and Directive on Open Government Roles and Responsibilities

Reference

Compliance Requirement

Deliverables / Milestones

Lead

Activities

Start Date

End Date

Resources

(Human and Financial)

Status

APOG B2

Support the establishment of an open data institute in Canada (the Canadian Open Data Exchange, or ODX), as a national marketplace that includes an online community for those engaged in the commercialization of open data. ODX will undertake the following in collaboration with governments, civil society organizations, and private industry (see next column):

The Canadian Open Data Exchange will:

Develop new tools and applications to access and manipulate government data

Establish a framework for open data standards, including the articulation of industry standards for presenting and providing access to open data for key sectors

Consult with industry champions on the development of demonstration projects for the commercialization of open data in priority sectors

Launch a national outreach program, including events, workshops, hackathons, and student contest opportunities nationwide

Incubate new data-driven companies

FedDev Ontario

A contribution of $3M over three years was committed to Communitech Corporation in May 2015 for the creation of an open data institute in Waterloo, ON. The Open Data Exchange, created in partnership with Desire2Learn, OpenText Corporation, and the University of Waterloo, will facilitate access to, and use of, open data through the creation of a network able to bring together all players necessary to derive commercial benefit from open data.

The Open Data Exchange will support the development of industry standards for open data, build a national marketplace where the commercialization of open data can flourish, and support a pan-Canadian open data innovation community that will incubate the next generation of data-driven companies. The desired outcome is to spur interest in open data and its use, especially by businesses, so that they can take advantage of the innovation and commercial opportunities presented by open data.

The project will focus on three key areas of activity: 1) building capacity; 2) developing collaborations; and; 3) pursuing commercialization opportunities.

$3,000,000 (G&C)

On track