Table of Contents
- 1. Executive Summary
- 2. Approvals
- 3. Purpose
- 4. Context
- 5. Outcomes
- 6. Governance Structures and Decision Processes
- Annex A – Planning Table 2015 – 2016
1. Executive Summary
Canada has a longstanding commitment to openness and accountability as a cornerstone of a strong, modern democracy. From the passing of access to information legislation over 30 years ago to current open government and proactive disclosure activities, the Government of Canada has worked to ensure transparency on federal operations to enable Canadians to hold their government accountable. The Government of Canada has firmly established an "open by default" position in its mandatory policy framework by issuing the Directive on Open Government. Furthermore, the commitments included in Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2014-16 will further advance the delivery of transparent and accountable programs and services focused on the needs of Canadians.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (the Agency) is a complex, science based organization. As an early adopter of publicly releasing and publishing data and information, the Agency has already started to transform its organizational culture to be “open by default”. In support of the Open Government initiative, the Agency’s release of its data and information resources, as well as its strengthened commitment to openness and transparency in its relationships with the public, will be a significant contributing factor as the Agency strives to Protect and Empower Canadians to improve their health.
This first Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP) identifies the steps the Agency will initiate, continue or complete in the coming years to maximize the release of government information and data of business value to meet its commitment to fully support the Open Government initiative and related activities.
The benefits of this commitment and support will be realized and observed within the organization as well as by external partners, stakeholders and members of the public. Internally, improved data and information identification will facilitate sharing which will result in improved information management and work efficiencies. Externally, the Agency’s ongoing support for data and information release and openness will provide the public with improved access to health related data, which translates into increased opportunities for participation and innovation in the public health sector.
The Public Health Agency of Canada will review, update and publish the OGIP annually, as per the Directive on Open Government.
Original signed by,
Chief Information Officer
Corporate Services Branch
Public Health Agency of Canada
Original signed by,
Information Management Senior Official
Corporate Services Branch
Public Health Agency of Canada
Original signed by,
Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer
Public Health Agency of Canada
Original signed by,
Public Health Agency of Canada
This document describes the Agency’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:
- to support accountability;
- to facilitate value-added analysis;
- to drive socio-economic benefits through reuse; and,
- to support meaningful engagement with their government.
Support to Government of Canada Open Government Activities
The Agency’s support for Open Government activities and initiatives will cultivate and strengthen the collaboration and information/data sharing practices that exist among various program areas of the Agency. Data and information that is identified, inventoried and shared will better serve program area representatives and internal stakeholders. The commitment to the Government of Canada’s Open Government Initiative will allow the Agency to adjust policy development practices and client service activities to possibly include an “open by default” approach. The release of health and public safety related data and information will assist the Agency with its ongoing and existing efforts to be as transparent and as open as possible in its dealings with the Canadian public. Increased transparency and openness will augment the public’s trust in and support for the Agency and the important role it plays in the maintenance and security of public health in Canada and abroad.
The Agency has previously participated in the provision of data sets to the public through the Open Government Portal established by the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS). A robust data identification and publishing process, including a data release checklist, has been developed to ensure applicable legal and policy requirements that relate to privacy, confidentiality and security considerations are addressed before data is released for public consumption.
The public’s interest in data provided by the Agency has been evident in such events as the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) 2014 and 2015. CODE is a two day coding event where innovators from across the country compete to create the best application using federal government data posted on the TBS portal. The Agency’s data was used to develop mobile applications that were amongst the contenders for final selection and awards.
The implementation of Open Government activities will allow departments and agencies to move towards a more consistent approach when making data and information resources available to the Canadian public. Open Government will provide a platform for cross-departmental discussion, collaboration and exchange of best practices. It will be through this sharing of ideas, methodologies and lessons learned that real success and progress can be achieved.
The release of an increased volume of government data and information through a single, one stop portal will provide the interested public with increased opportunities to access information related to government operations and decisions, and in some instances, opportunities for increased participation in policy development, review and post-implementation assessments. The economic impact of increased data and information sharing will also benefit Canadians. The potential for new jobs to be generated, for private sector business opportunities to be created and for increased public sector employment will impact people in diverse sectors or Canadian society.
4.1 Raison d’être
Public health involves the organized efforts of society to keep people healthy and to prevent illness, injury, and premature death. In Canada, public health is a responsibility that is shared by all three levels of government in collaboration with the private sector, non-governmental organizations, health professionals and the public. In September 2004, the Agency was created within the federal Health Portfolio to deliver on the Government of Canada’s commitment to increase its focus on public health in order to help protect and improve the health and safety of all Canadians and to contribute to strengthening public health capacities across Canada.
The Agency seeks to contribute to the prevention of disease and injury, and the promotion of health. It is responsible for enhancing surveillance information and expanding the knowledge of disease and injury in Canada. The Agency provides federal leadership and accountability in managing national public health events. It strengthens intergovernmental collaboration on public health and facilitates national approaches to public health policy and planning. The Agency serves as a central point for sharing Canada’s public health expertise with international partners, and translates international knowledge and approaches to inform and support Canada’s public health priorities and programs—for example, by participating in international working groups to develop new public health tools to protect, mitigate and respond to emerging health threats.
4.3 Population and Regional Distribution
The Agency, comprised of seven branches, is spread across six regional offices and the Northern Unit. Approximately 2,300 employees work for the Agency.
4.4 Technological Environment
In June 2012, Health Canada (HC) and the Agency formed a shared services partnership to bring together select internal common services. Under this partnership, HC provides technology services to both HC and the Agency. These services include all technological aspects of the HC and the Agency’s programs and priorities, and are delivered through a mix of internal and contracted resources to support approximately 60 business applications and databases and 2,450 users of personal computing and other mobile devices.
Canada’s commitment to Open Government is based on a new way of operating for the Government of Canada writ large: all information is to be open by default. While transparency and accountability are fundamental principles in all day to day operations, the open by default practice represents a change for the Agency. It will be important to ensure the Agency’s business culture, training and tools are properly aligned to continue to fully support this new way of working. To this end the Agency has developed an Open Data Action Plan for Surveillance Holdings. This plan provides the Agency with a consistent approach for timely, appropriate and strategic posting of surveillance data.
Streamline Data and Information Collection
There are significant opportunities to be harnessed across the Agency for the streamlining of data and information collection and usage. While the goal is to ensure all Canadians will be able to leverage more timely information through regular posting of open data and information, internal resources will also be able to take full advantage of data and information available from all branches, in all day to day operations.
The Agency continues to follow the strategic shift of the Government of Canada’s enterprise transformation agenda, which is grounded in the consolidation and centralization of enterprise and back-office systems. This model provides the opportunity to optimize the capture of all electronic information holdings contributing directly to Open Government and Open Data requirements. This will result in better and more transparent service delivery through the adoption of an enterprise-wide approach to the provisioning of the Agency’s services to all partners and all Canadians.
Through the implementation of the Directive, the Agency will be advancing its internal strategic outcomes, as well as participating in cross-governmental activities such as the increased Digitization Initiative and responding to the Government of Canada on-going priorities.
Public Health Agency of Canada Strategic Outcomes
The information and data acquired or created in the execution of the strategic outcomes, when shared with the public, will make the Agency’s business and business decisions more transparent to the public. This increased transparency and openness will support an increased participation by the public in the development of the Agency’s future policy direction, informing future decisions that will shape future priorities and intended outcomes. Strategic outcomes for the Agency include protecting Canadians and empowering them to improve their health through promoting health; preventing chronic diseases and injuries; preventing and controlling infectious diseases; preparing for and responding to public health emergencies; serving as a central point for sharing Canada’s expertise with the rest of the world; applying international research and development to Canada’s public health programs; and strengthening intergovernmental collaboration on public health and facilitate national approaches to public health policy and planning.
The Agency has been very engaged on the transparency front, developing an Open Data Action Plan for Surveillance Holdings. The Action Plan enables a coherent Agency-wide approach to the timely, appropriate and strategic posting of surveillance data to the Government Open Data Portal, and ensures a consistent and transparent process for approving, posting, maintaining and updating those holdings as per the TBS Directive on Open Government.
In a time of heightened service delivery expectations and rapidly evolving technologies, the Agency must remain responsive, resilient and strategic. Modernizing the Agency’s information technology solutions and increasing the move toward digitized information holdings will address some risks and strengthen the Agency’s ability to deliver on its commitments. As part of its Information Management (IM) strategy, the Agency has adopted the Government of Canada-wide approach, focusing on reducing the paper mountain and assuring that electronic information is easier to search and retrieve and made available faster for Canadians.
As part of ensuring Canadians have access to scientific information, an Open Science Committee was established. The committee includes representatives from across the Health Portfolio and facilitates broad-based science discussion. The outcome of Open Science is the development of processes and guidance that will improve the sharing of scientific information. This is a benefit to the large scientific community at the Agency as it will allow sharing of valuable information across all branches.
Federal Science Library
Through participation in the Federal Science Library initiative, the Agency will further promote and support information resource sharing and increased availability amongst a larger user community. The Federal Science Library is a new one-stop and integrated self-serve platform that will enable users to search and access library collections and information services from participating science-based departments and agencies through a single point of entry. The Federal Science Library will position libraries to benefit from economies of scale; leverage talent from across multiple departments; and deliver integrated, modern services to government researchers and policy-makers, as well as to Canadians.
Government of Canada Priorities
The Agency supports accountability and transparency of decision making through ongoing proactive disclosure of contract, hospitality and travel information.
Canada’s Action Plan 2.0
As required for all federal departments and agencies, the Agency is publishing an OGIP, which describes the planned activities that will respond to the Directive, including the following:
- Establishing and maintaining inventories of data and information holdings;
- Prioritizing the publication of data and information based on public demand;
- Publishing data and information in accessible and open formats, on federal open government websites under an open and unrestrictive license; and
- Reporting annually on progress made.
In addition to the sharing of data and information, this will improve the management of the Agency’s electronic holdings.
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 institution.
6.1 Governance Structures
The planning, coordination and oversight of Open Government activities and deliverables is embedded in the current governance structure of the Agency. Additionally, the governance structure for the organization already takes into account decisions required to ensure that the information management program and related activities and deliverables move forward and success is realized.
6.1.1 Governance Committees
The Open Government governance structure is comprised of the following committees and working groups:
Public Health Agency of Canada Executive Committee
The Public Health Agency of Canada Executive Committee members provide direction and guidance on matters of significant importance and priority to the Agency. This committee is responsible for the discussion and approval of open government related activities and deliverables, including the OGIP, on behalf of the Agency.
Corporate Services Branch, Branch Executive Committee
Representatives from across the branch discuss and approve key information management (IM) and open government activities and deliverables and make recommendations to the Agency’s Executive Committee.
Information Management Advisory Committee
The Information Management Advisory Committee members discuss and approve open government activities and make recommendations to the Corporate Services Branch Executive Committee.
Open Data/Governance Working Group
Branch representatives discuss and collaborate on open government activities. Branch representatives are responsible to update their branches on all activities related to the Open Government Initiative.
6.1.2 Organization Chart
A pictorial representation of the Agency’s governance structure has been included below:
6.2 Roles and Responsibilities – Senior Officials
The governance of the Agency’s OGIP is informed by the responsibilities identified for the Information Management Senior Official (IMSO) and Deputy Head (DH) in the Directive on Open Government.
|President, Public Health Agency of Canada||
|Information Management Senior Official||
6.3 Key Stakeholders
The Agency’s Open Government key stakeholders are depicted from two perspectives: internal and external.
6.3.1 Internal Stakeholders
Chief Information Officer
The Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Agency plays a key role in ensuring that Open Government activities and deliverables are planned, coordinated, executed, completed and that progress is reported on through the assignment of information management and information technology specialists. The CIO communicates and promotes Open Government requirements, projects and status updates to senior representatives of all branches and business organizations of the Agency. The CIO recommends to the IMSO the release of data and information that has been identified and prepared for release by a branch/program area. The CIO reports to Central Agency organizations regarding the completion and status of Open Government activities occurring within the Agency.
Functional Specialists – Information Management (IM)/Information Technology (IT)
Under the direction of the CIO, the IM Functional Specialists working in the Information Knowledge Management Division (IKMD) are responsible for developing the Agency’s OGIP through collaboration with their colleagues in the information technology divisions and with input from additional internal stakeholders and program area representatives. IM/IT Functional Specialists develop the tools and processes needed to facilitate the selection, assessment and publication of Agency data. They are responsible for the registration of select data and information on the TBS portal, and for obtaining authorization from the CIO and the IMSO for the release of this data and information to the public. The IM/IT Functional Specialists are the primary contact for representatives of the TBS, Information Management and Open Government Division; they represent the Agency on TBS-led Open Government working groups, and coordinate branch responses to comments received from the public via the TBS portal(s).
Branches are recognized as the Business Owners for their program-related datasets and information. They are the responsible authorities for identifying and communicating datasets and information to be released to the IMSO for publishing purposes. Business Owners are responsible for preparing the data for publication, assessing its eligibility for release and for obtaining approvals for publication from branch senior officials. Business owners are responsible for the content to be released, the maintenance and support of the published information, and for responding to specific enquiries received from the public regarding published datasets and released information. The Business Owner is responsible for providing any necessary funding to make datasets and information “open by design”. The Business Owner is responsible for ensuring their branch and directorate is represented at internal (Agency) Open Government working groups, for reporting on progress for assigned deliverables and communicating status updates back to their branch colleagues.
The Head of Communications is responsible for supporting the development of a communication plan that will increase the level of awareness and engagement on this initiative to successfully execute the Open Government Implementation Plan, and associated activities and deliverables. The Head of Communications is also responsible for the implementation of the Web Renewal Initiative and coordinating input to open dialogue for the Agency.
6.3.2 External Stakeholders
Treasury Board Secretariat, Information Management and Open Government Division
The Agency works closely with the Information Management and Open Government Division of TBS. Through participation in TBS-led interdepartmental Open Government working groups, the Agency has taken direction and also provided input and feedback to processes and tools being produced to facilitate Open Government related activities. This collaboration has been further cultivated by special arranged one-on-one meetings, where representatives of TBS and the Agency have met to discuss expectations and best practices.
Representatives of the Agency work closely with the Information Management and Open Government Division at TBS to ensure full understanding of and adherence to Open Government-related requirements and expectations. This collaborative arrangement has also assisted with the timely registration of data sets as they are identified, prepared and authorized for publication on the TBS Open Data Portal. It has also helped to ensure that public comments on existing data and requests for specific data sets are adequately addressed.
Municipal, Provincial, Territorial Government Representatives
The Agency relies heavily on other levels of government for access to, and the ability to use data that is collected at the municipal, provincial and/or territorial level. Collaboration and consultation with these levels of government has been and will continue to be instrumental to the success of the data release plan.
Other Government Departments
The Agency works closely with other federal government departments to fulfill legislated functions and activities. In some cases, these working relationships result in or necessitate the sharing of data resources and the collaborative effort to make as much data available as possible.
Members of the public have an inherent interest in the Open Government activities and deliverables undertaken and achieved by the Agency. Open Government activities are intended to foster increased innovation and improved transparency in government policy development, decision-making and service delivery for Canadians.
6.4 Communication, Awareness, and Engagement
The Agency has developed an open government internal communication plan. This plan will be revised regularly to ensure sustained communication approaches are in place that will foster the cultural change needed to implement open government.
Open Government communication at the Agency is led by the Information Management Services Directorate, Corporate Services Branch, with support from the Communications and Public Affairs Branch.
Annex A – Planning Table 2015 – 2016
|Reference||Compliance Requirement||Deliverables / Milestones||Lead||Activities||Start Date||End Date||Resources (HR and Financial)||Status|
|DOG 6.1||Maximize the release of Government of Canada open data and open information under an open and unrestrictive licence designated by TBS||Public Health Agency of Canada Data Release Plan||IKMD||
|Public Health Agency of Canada Information Release Plan||TBD||
|DOG 6.2||Ensure open data and open information is released in accessible and reusable formats via Government of Canada websites and services designated by TBS||Listing of accessible and reusable formats (for data and information) to be used at the Public Health Agency of Canada||IKMD||
|Conversion process(es) for data identified for release whose native format is not accessible and reusable||IKMD||
|Conversion process(es) for information identified for release whose native format is not accessible and reusable||TBD||
|Release process to support the publication of Public Health Agency of Canada’s data||IKMD||
|Release process to support the publication of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s information||TBD||
|DOG 6.3||Establish and maintain comprehensive inventories of data and information resources of business value held by the agency to determine their eligibility and priority, and to plan for their effective release||Methodology for establishing a data inventory||IKMD||
|Methodology for establishing an information inventory||TBD||
|Data inventory (detailed, itemized list(s) that describe the volume, scope and complexity of the data held by the Public Health Agency of Canada||IKMD||
|Information inventory (detailed, itemized list(s) that describe the volume, scope and complexity of the data held by the Public Health Agency of Canada||TBD||
|Renewal process(es) to maintain the currency of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s data inventory||IKMD||
|Renewal process(es) to maintain the currency of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s information inventory||TBD||
|Assets included in the data inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release||IKMD||
|Assets included in the information inventory are evaluated to determine their eligibility and priority for release||TBD||
|DOG 6.4||Developing, posting to the designated website, implementing, and annually updating the departmental OGIP||Governance structures are in place to oversee the implementation of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s OGIP||IKMD||Health Canada and Public Health Agency governance is fully established for all IM approval requirements, including OGIP||NA||NA||NA||Complete|
|Public Health Agency of Canada’s Open Government Implementation Plan (OGIP)||IKMD||
|Signatures in section 2 (Approvals) of Public Health Agency of Canada’s OGIP||IKMD||
|Public Health Agency of Canada’s OGIP is resourced||IKMD||
|Monitoring and reporting processes for assessing progress and maintaining the currency of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s OGIP||IKMD||
|Public Health Agency of Canada’s first annual update to the OGIP||IKMD||
|Public Health Agency of Canada’s second annual update to the OGIP||IKMD||
|Public Health Agency of Canada’s third annual update to the OGIP||IKMD||
|Public Health Agency of Canada’s fourth annual update to the OGIP||IKMD||
|DOG 6.5||Maximizing the removal of access restrictions on departmental information resources of enduring value prior to transfer to LAC as part of planned disposition activities||Methodology for the removal of access restrictions from data and information resources of enduring value prior to their transfer to the LAC||IKMD||
|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 the Public Health Agency’s disposition plans and procedures.||IKMD||Develop process for ensuring the removal of access restrictions for both data and information is integrated into all disposition plans and procedures, based on methodology||TBD||Not Started|
|DOG 6.6||Ensuring that open government requirements in sections 61.1 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.||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||IKMD||
|Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into the Public Health Agency of Canada’s procurement process(es) for applications, systems, and solutions||IKMD||
|Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into the Public Health Agency of Canada’s development process(es) for applications, systems, and solutions||IKMD||
|Directive on Open Government requirements are integrated into modernizing process(es) for applications, systems, and solutions||IKMD||
|DOG 7.1||Departmental IMSOs, as designated by the deputy heads, are responsible for|
|Overseeing the implantation and monitoring of this directive in their departments||Performance framework for the monitoring of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s progress against the activities and deliverables / milestones in the OGIP||IKMD||Develop and implement performance measurement for Directive on Open Government requirements (including OGIP)||TBD||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||IKMD||Develop and implement performance measurement for Directive on Open Government requirements (including OGIP)||TBD||Not Started|
|Performance framework for the monitoring of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s ongoing compliance to the requirements of the Directive||IKMD||Develop and implement performance measurement for Directive on Open Government requirements (including OGIP)||TBD||Not Started|
|Process to ensure significant difficulties, gaps in performance, or compliance issues are reported to the President||IKMD||Develop process to ensure performance gaps and results from measurement exercises are shared in timely fashion||TBD||Not Started|