As PublicTechnology reports Scott Brison has been appointed Canada’s first federal minister for Digital Government.
An interesting historical context for this step is that up until 2004 Canada ranked global NUMBER ONE for the equivalent of the time E-Government… Then Harper got in and .. well, we know the rest. Science, technology and everything that wasn’t oil was sidelined and the nation slipped into obscurity.
Thankfully Canada has turned back toward the light and the visible results are immediate.
I’m thrilled the Prime Minister has appointed me Canada’s first federal Minister for Digital Government to boost the great work we’ve already begun @TBS_Canada to create world-class digital services for Canadians. pic.twitter.com/gshM1gqLkH
— Scott Brison (@scottbrison) July 18, 2018
This is an extremely important best practice for others to learn from.
One way to assess the ‘Digital Maturity’ of any organization is to consider what ‘boardroom’ role technology leaders play. Many are still stuck in the old ‘IT as Data Processing Centre’ days where tech is viewed only as an operational cost and reports up into another executive function, most often Finance.
This means they consider technology as strategic as office supplies and consequently define very weak IT-enabled transformation strategies, a catastrophic position in today’s world as the likes of Toys R Us and Blockbuster video will attest to.
In contrast Canada has recognized that their Digital Government success requires an appropriate level of ministerial representation and senior executive leadership. Other key actions also include appointing Government CIO Alex Benay as Deputy Minister.
Wonderful to see Canada’s Chief Information Officer @AlexBenay appointed Deputy Minister as we continue our important work together on digital government. And welcome back to TBS @YazmineLaroche, as our new Public Service Accessibility Deputy Minister. https://t.co/pX4O39JM7e
— Scott Brison (@scottbrison) July 20, 2018
Alex has had a huge impact, visibly galvanizing the practice in Canada, with a number of transformative initiatives underway, such as their current Open Government Action Plan:
Don't run out of time! This is the last week to comment on Canada's draft 2018-20 National Action Plan on #OpenGov
— Open Government CAN (@OpenGovCan) August 5, 2018