A Progress Report on e-Government in Ontario by cyf16036


									THE FUTURE IS HERE                >

    A Progress Report on e-Government in Ontario






The digital age has arrived and touches every dimension of our lives, from work and business
to learning and leisure. The Ontario government’s goal is to create a positive environment for
individuals and business to succeed in the new economy.

We are creating an environment for the people of Ontario to engage actively in the global digital
society. Through measures like the Electronic Commerce Act, proposals for private-sector privacy
legislation and plans to modernize consumer protection law, the government is putting in place
the legal framework for online communications and the electronic conduct of business. Just as
important, the provincial government itself is leading by example by evolving into an electronic
government or e-government.

E-government is about applying information and information technology to virtually everything
government does. We are using information technology to make the delivery of services more
seamless and customer-centred, to stimulate reform in public systems such as health, education
and justice, and to create new channels to interact with government.

The move to electronic service delivery is a top priority. The province is committed to increasing
Ontarians’ satisfaction with government services by becoming a world leader in delivering ser-
vices online by 2003. We are well on the way. We have transformed from a government that
offers public services through long line ups and counters. Already, many people have ordered
a government publication, reserved a provincial campsite or registered a business online.

By delivering services more conveniently and fostering better outcomes in the broader public
sector, e-government will contribute to improving Ontarians’ quality of life. E-government also
supports and complements e-business — the application of digital technology by the private sec-
tor to compete in the knowledge-based global economy. By enabling businesses to receive
services and deal with government electronically, e-government sharpens Ontario’s competitive
edge in world markets.

The move to e-government is a logical step in moving the Ontario government forward into the
21st century. Over the next few years, we will continue helping the public service work smarter,
faster and better; enhancing choice, convenience and accessibility for people; reducing fraud;
and minimizing administrative duplication.

Please read on to learn more about the reasons why e-government is so vital to Ontario’s future
and the steps now being taken to make Ontario the best e-government in the world.

Hon. Chris Hodgson
Chair, Management Board of Cabinet

“This instrument can teach, it can illuminate, yes, it can even inspire. But it can do so
 only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it’s
 nothing but wires and lights in a box.”
 – Broadcaster Edward R. Murrow talking about television in the 1950s.

 In the 1950s television was viewed by some                    for both individuals and organizations, as
 as a fad, and by others as heralding a commu-                 well as the passport to social, cultural and
 nications revolution. From today’s vantage                    recreational opportunities. To remain competi-
 point, it seems incredible that anyone could                  tive economically, and to maintain a high
 have believed television was a fad. Yet the                   quality of life, Ontarians must engage fully in
 promise of the computer too was often under-                  the global digital society.
 estimated. In the 1940s the head of IBM
                                                               The Government of Ontario is determined to
 thought the potential world market for computers
                                                               realize this potential to make our province the
 was only a handful of units. And as late as
                                                               best place in which to live, work and do
 the 1970s the founder of Digital Equipment
                                                               business. Capitalizing on digital technology
 Corporation felt there was no reason anyone
                                                               is essential to accomplish such overriding
 would want a computer in the home.
                                                               goals as a stronger economy, better value for
 Even predictions a few years ago about the                    taxpayer dollars and improved public services
 growth of the Internet and information tech-                  — resulting in healthy, prosperous, safe and
 nology and how they would affect our lives                    self-reliant communities.
 now seem conservative. Already the computer’s
                                                               To usher in the digital era, the government
 impact is probably more profound than that of
                                                               is fostering a positive environment enabling
 television. We are living in a digital age that
                                                               Ontario residents, businesses and other organi-
 touches every aspect of life — how we work, how
                                                               zations to participate actively in the digital
 we do business, how we learn, how we spend
                                                               world. The government is paving the way by
 our leisure time and how we are governed.
                                                               enacting the Electronic Commerce Act to remove
 More and more, being connected to informa-                    legal barriers to e-business, and proposals for
 tion networks is the key to economic success                  Ontario privacy legislation to protect personal

information in the private sector. The govern-       service in the world and to delivering service
ment plans to modernize consumer protection          excellence and value for money for the people
law to reflect the transition to a service economy   of the province.
and the growth of e-commerce. The government
                                                     This booklet explains what e-government is
is also working to ensure that Ontarians have the
                                                     and why it is essential to Ontario’s future
right education and skills for the new economy.
                                                     prosperity and quality of life, and then out-
Just as important, Ontario is committed to           lines how the province is implementing this
being a world leader in a new era of public          new direction and the progress achieved to date.
service known as electronic government or
e-government. The provincial government
is applying information management and
information technology in a comprehensive
way to all facets of its activities. Ontario is
committed to having the best-run public

              00 00
               01    000101
E-business and e-government are new concepts spawned by digital
technology. Here is a description of their main characteristics.

                                                Digital Economy

                         e-Government                                  e-Business


       • E-government results from the full application      • E-government is about new information links
         of information and information technology to          that drive fundamental shifts in the way major
         all functions of government.                          public-sector systems such as health, justice,
                                                               education, transportation and resource manage-
       • E-government is about transforming internal
                                                               ment are managed and deliver services. In the
         management and administrative processes. It is
                                                               justice system, for instance, an information net-
         also about providing the information and tools
                                                               work is being developed to link courts, lawyers,
         to support policy-making, planning, monitoring
                                                               police and other participants so the system as a
         and evaluation.
                                                               whole can deliver more convenient services and
       • E-government is about using a variety of              better protect public safety.
         electronic channels to deliver customer-centred
                                                             • In addition, e-government is about “digital
         services where, when and how people want
                                                               democracy”. It increases two-way communication
         them   — including connecting different programs,
                                                               between citizens and government and expands
         different organizations and different governments
                                                               public involvement in governance through more
         to meet demands for integrated services.
                                                               convenient, ready access to information and the
       • E-government is about transforming the relation-      policy-making process.
         ship of government with its partners. The aim is
                                                             • E-government supports e-business by leading by
         to get better results by changing how business
                                                               example, enabling businesses to obtain services
         is done across ministries and with agencies, the
                                                               from and deal with government electronically,
         broader public sector, other levels of government
                                                               and improving the quality and efficiency of public
         and the private sector, for example suppliers
                                                               services. All this gives Ontario businesses a com-
         and delivery partners.
                                                               petitive edge in the global digital economy.

                                                   A COMMON FOUNDATION
                                               •   Both e-business and e-government must be built on
                                                   a solid legal and policy foundation.

                                               •   Ontario has enacted the Electronic Commerce Act
                                                   to ensure that electronic contracts, documents and
                                                   signatures have the same legal effect as those on
                                                   paper. The legislation removes barriers to the legally
                                                   effective use of electronic communications by
                                                   governments and the private sector. Effective in
                                                   October 2000, it was the first such legislation
                                                   in force in Canada.

          e-Business                           •   Prerequisites for both e-business and e-government
                                                   also include privacy and security safeguards that
                                                   give citizens confidence that their personal informa-
• “E-business” is about the effective use
                                                   tion is protected and that transactions are secure.
  of information and information technol-
  ogy by Ontario businesses to compete in      •   The government is proposing private-sector privacy
  the global knowledge-based, digital              legislation to increase public confidence in online
  economy.                                         transactions. It is also making privacy protection
                                                   a priority in all its information and information
• The private sector is moving rapidly into
                                                   technology projects.
  e-business. B2B (business to business)
  transactions are increasing sharply with     •   Subject to passage in the legislature, the proposed
  automakers, for example, joining to create       new privacy law would apply to all businesses as
  an online exchange for parts procurement.        well as to other organizations not covered by
                                                   Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of
• From the Ontario government’s perspec-
                                                   Privacy Act and Municipal Freedom of Information
  tive, e-business strategies include
                                                   and Protection of Privacy Act.
  identifying and eliminating barriers to
  e-business growth, fostering a skilled       •   Based on the Canadian Standards Association Model Code
  workforce, strengthening consumer pro-           for the Protection of Personal Information, Ontario’s
  tection and encouraging a strong                 proposed legislation would be substantially consistent
  information technology infrastructure.           with the federal government’s Personal Information
                                                   Protection and Electronic Documents Act passed in
• E-business is about more than selling
                                                   April 2000. The province’s goal is to develop a com-
  products and services online. It is about
                                                   prehensive privacy-protection framework that would
  the transformation of whole sectors of
                                                   foster a trusted environment for electronic transac-
  the economy, as well as the emergence
                                                   tions, helping to pave the way for both e-business
  of new sectors and new ways of doing
                                                   and e-government.
  business. In short, it is about Ontario’s
  long-term competitive position in the        •   Internally, a government-wide security environment
  world economy.                                   is being created to ensure data confidentiality,
                                                   integrity, availability and reliability. These security
                                                   safeguards will be extended to public-sector and
                                                   private-sector organizations delivering services on
                                                   the province’s behalf.

There are six compelling reasons why Ontario           65% of Ontarians — report having used the
is moving forward with e-government.                   Internet recently. In 2000, 76% of Canadian
                                                       Internet users log on from home and 46% from
01     Better Service                                  work. Almost two-thirds of Internet users in
First and foremost is the public and business          Canada have been online for at least two years.
expectation for quality, simple, accessible and
                                                       According to the 2000 EKOS survey, 68% of
responsive government programs and services.
                                                       Canadians and 75% of Ontarians have a home
The digital age has brought with it not only           computer, while 51% of Canadians and 59% of
a public expectation of good service, but an           Ontarians have Internet access from home. For
expectation of quality service when people             people who do not have Internet access at home
want it, where they want it and how they want          or work, the most commonly used access site is
it. The public demands a convenient choice of          the public library.
access channels to programs from different
                                                       EKOS also reports that there is continued strong
ministries and to services from different levels
                                                       support for governments’ greater emphasis on
of government.
                                                       information technology, with 74% of Canadians
Canadians are embracing the new economy and            saying it is a step in the right direction. Sixty-
the online universe with enthusiasm and confi-         nine per cent of Internet users in Canada agree
dence. According to preliminary results from           that the Internet has simplified Canadians’
the 2000 EKOS survey of Canadian e-consumers           access to government programs and services
and e-citizens, 60% of Canadians — including           (EKOS Research Associates Inc., “Rethinking


                   60%                 76%                     68%

            FIGURE 1                FIGURE 2               FIGURE 3                 FIGURE 4
          Percentage of            Percentage of         Percentage of            Percentage of
         Internet usage           Internet usage        households with       Canadians with Internet
           in Canada                 at home               computer             access from home

the Information Highway: Security, Convergence     confidence in the institutions of government
and the E-Consumer/E-Citizen,” October, 2000).     and the democratic process. This is a second
                                                   reason for moving to e-government.
The September 2000 PricewaterhouseCoopers
Consumer Technology Survey confirmed that          Under e-government managers and staff will
Canadians are using government services online.    have easier access to information to help
In the survey:                                     them measure and evaluate results and make
                                                   sound decisions. E-government will also make
• 44% of Canadians with home Internet access
                                                   the governing process more transparent.
  said accessing government services was one
                                                   Citizen access to information will improve,
  reason they used the Internet — almost as many
                                                   enabling the public to directly assess how
  as the 45% who banked and invested online
                                                   government is doing. Clients will know who
  and more than the 28% who shopped online.
                                                   is accountable for what, and performance of
• Of those using government websites, 83%          both government officials and private-sector
  were getting information on programs and         suppliers will be more readily gauged.
  services while only 10% were applying for
  a service or making a payment and 17%            03   Increased Efficiency and Effectiveness
  were filing a tax return.                        E-government will give taxpayers the best
                                                   value for money from the public service —
• A clear majority of Canadians with home
                                                   lending further impetus to the evolution of
  Internet access expressed interest in online
  access to every category of government
  service — from completing program appli-         With better feedback on results, e-government
  cation forms to renewing a driver’s licence      will be better equipped to adjust its plans and
  to filing an income tax return to paying         policies to improve outcomes. Digital systems
  parking tickets. This suggests the current       will require up-front investment. However, in
  use of electronic services is supply-con-        the longer term they are expected to cut per-unit
  strained rather than demand-constrained.         costs and transaction processing times and to
                                                   reduce overlap and duplication among programs.
As people become more familiar with digital
                                                   The bottom line will be increased effective-
technology, they expect more from it. Each
                                                   ness and efficiency.
increase in the quality of service seems to
lead to even higher expectations.
                                                   04   Transformed Public-Sector Systems
                                                   Our prosperity and quality of life in Ontario
02   Stronger Accountability
                                                   depend heavily on public-sector systems that
E-government provides new information
                                                   reach beyond the provincial government —
tools for measuring results and holding gov-
                                                   such as health, justice, education, social services,
ernment accountable, thereby increasing public

transportation and resource management. The         dealing with government does not become a
province is a major partner in these systems        bottleneck in the progress of e-business. By
as a funder, service-provider or policy-maker.      sustaining a high quality of life through the
The success of these systems depends on             application of digital technology to public
having the right organizations doing the right      services, e-government also will make Ontario
things in the right ways, with appropriate          a more powerful magnet for investors. All this
resources and lines of accountability and the       will result in a stronger economy that will
capacity to share information across organiza-      attract and keep high-value-added jobs for the
tional borders.                                     people of the province.

To produce the best outcomes for the public,
                                                    06   More Relevance
public-sector systems must apply information
                                                    The provincial government has no choice but
and information technology to enhance sys-
                                                    to meet rising public expectations if it is to
tem management. The availability of high
                                                    remain a relevant presence in Ontario society.
quality information across a whole sector is
                                                    If the government does not provide expected
a powerful driving force for working together
                                                    services online, other sources will emerge to
in new ways to improve service to the public.
                                                    deliver what people need. In the long run,
The provincial government, as it becomes an
                                                    citizen ties to government could be undermined.
e-government, is leading and supporting this
transformation. Initiatives in key sectors will     In shifting to e-government, Ontario is commit-
sustain a full range of vital, responsive public    ted to achieving high satisfaction levels, high
services with better outcomes.                      participation levels and frequent repeat business
                                                    from users of services. In fact, e-government
05     Increased Economic Growth                    has the potential to close service gaps by over-
Government services enabled by information          coming distance barriers in rural and remote
technology contribute directly to economic          areas. The government is determined to lead
growth, a further driving force behind              the competition as measured by objective
e-government.                                       benchmarks, and to be a sought-after partner
                                                    by other organizations in the public and private
Ontario’s appeal to investors and business
                                                    sectors. As a result, citizens and businesses
partners rests in part on the effective, reliable
                                                    will look to the Ontario government to meet
and accessible delivery of services to busi-
                                                    current and future needs.
ness, such as quick and easy processes for
starting up an enterprise. E-government will
deliver the results expected. At the same time,
by keeping up with the private sector’s use
of technology, e-government will ensure that


“E-government benefits everybody. Citizens get easier, faster and cheaper access to govern-
 ment information and services. The government benefits by being more responsive to its
 customers while reducing costs. Business benefits by having better, more efficient interac-
 tions with government.”
 – Gaylen Duncan, President and CEO, Information Technology Association of Canada.

 In Ontario’s vision, e-government is the                    E-government enhances government services
 comprehensive application of information and                and program delivery. It gives clients access
 information technology to the workings of                   to services when, where and how they want
 government to serve the public more effectively             them, plus the ability to access programs
 and efficiently.                                            and services across different programs and
                                                             jurisdictions, with appropriate privacy and
 E-government is customer-centred and inte-
                                                             security protection. To illustrate, several busi-
 grated, looking outside its walls to determine
                                                             ness start-up services can now be obtained
 how people want to relate to government and
                                                             together through a single website, telephone
 then inside to determine how to organize and
                                                             number or self-help workstation.
 link services to meet these expectations. This
 innovative approach calls for new ways of serv-             As well, e-government transforms internal
 ing clients, managing operations and working                management processes, streamlining opera-
 with partners like municipalities, hospitals,               tions and yielding better value for money.
 school boards, colleges, universities, agencies,            Initiatives like the province’s Workforce
 the federal government and the private sector.              Information Network and Integrated Financial
                                                             Information System are examples. The Workforce
 Under e-government, information and infor-
                                                             Information Network (WIN) is an enterprise
 mation technology are used not only as a
                                                             human resource system which enables entry
 response to business pressures but also as an
                                                             and update of human resource information
 enabler and driver of new business directions.
                                                             directly from the employees’ and managers’
 As a result, the Ontario Public Service (OPS)
                                                             desktops. The enterprise Integrated Financial
 will become more integrated, accountable and
                                                             Information System (IFIS), now in the plan-
 flexible, with a focus on core business and
                                                             ning stages, will replace numerous financial
 protection of the public interest and a special
                                                             management systems now in place across the
 emphasis on quality service.

Under e-government, major public-sector             is reflected in the Ministry of Transportation’s
systems will be reformed and restructured to        Global Web Conference on Aggressive Driving
meet public needs more effectively and              Issues running for six weeks in the fall of 2000.
efficiently. For instance, with the creation of     This Internet-based forum allowed people to
sectoral networks, every resident who wants         communicate and collaborate instantly from
an electronic Emergency Health Record will          distant locations. Presentations and research
have one, police will spend less time on            papers were posted on the conference website,
paperwork and more time on the street, and          with discussions taking place online. In the
people of all ages will be able to learn at their   future, new and expanded opportunities for
own pace in classrooms without walls. In            citizen participation in the governance process
short, under e-government the broader public        will emerge.
sector will be transformed.
                                                    Creating an e-government is an exciting,
E-government also enhances the government           challenging and promising undertaking for
policy development process. It increases access     the Government of Ontario and the people it
and provides better information management          serves. The next sections of this booklet
tools, so more people both inside and outside       explain how the Ontario government plans
government can take part. An emerging trend         to shift to e-government and outline the
                                                    progress already made.


The province has put in place key building        weak links to the broader public sector.
blocks for e-government. The first, the Ontario   Systems developed for particular purposes
Government Information and Information            could not talk to each other electronically,
Technology (I&IT) Strategy, is bringing about     while differing technologies made it hard to
significant improvement in the government’s       implement systems across ministries.
I&IT capacity. Constructed on this foundation
                                                  All this is changing. The strategy fundamentally
are two other e-government building blocks:
                                                  alters the way the I&IT function is planned and
• an emerging Electronic Service Delivery         managed throughout the OPS by calling for:
  Strategy that will make the Ontario govern-
                                                  • a common I&IT infrastructure across the
  ment a world leader in delivering services
                                                    entire government;
  online; and
                                                  • corporate, government-wide I&IT policies
• a series of initiatives to transform major
                                                    and standards; and
  public-sector systems, such as justice,
  health and education, to improve outcomes       • the restructuring of the I&IT organization,
  for the public.                                   as well as governance and accountabilities
                                                    for I&IT resources.

(I&IT) STRATEGY                                   Recognizing that people are the key to imple-
                                                  menting the new directions, the strategy makes
Released in March 1998 and now well into
                                                  attracting, retaining, directing and organizing
implementation, the government’s I&IT strategy
                                                  qualified staff a top priority. Under the strategy,
provides a roadmap for reaching the goal set
                                                  the largest I&IT recruitment and staffing drive
in its title: Using Information Technology to
                                                  in the history of the OPS is nearing comple-
Transform Government for the 21st Century.
                                                  tion and a new governance and organizational
The strategy charts a course for boosting the
                                                  structure for I&IT has been established.
I&IT capacity of the OPS to enable the trans-
formation to e-government. The strategy           The government I&IT organization has been
covers both information and information tech-     redesigned to provide I&IT services to business
nology, since the management of information       clusters rather than individual ministries.
is no longer separable from the technologies      Clustering provides economies of scale, enables
on which it resides.                              integrated planning and management to
                                                  support new business directions, and creates
When the strategy was introduced, the govern-
                                                  a critical mass of challenging activities that
ment had many different computer systems
                                                  appeal to high quality staff.
with little integration between ministries and

           Seven I&IT Clusters

     JUSTICE                                                In line with the strategy, a corporate I&IT
     Ministry of the Attorney General, Ministry of the      organization under a Corporate Chief
     Solicitor General, Ministry of Correctional Services   Information Officer (CCIO) has been created.
     COMMUNITY SERVICES                                     The corporate group is responsible for devel-
     Ministry of Education, Ministry of Training,           oping and managing a government-wide I&IT
     Colleges & Universities, Ministry of Municipal         plan and budget, developing corporate poli-
     Affairs & Housing, Ministry of Citizenship,
                                                            cies and standards, designing and developing
     Culture & Recreation
                                                            common infrastructure services, overseeing
     FINANCE                                                vendor relations and providing leadership in
     Ministry of Finance                                    the development of I&IT human resources. It
     ECONOMICS & BUSINESS                                   also delivers IT services to the OPS, and to
     Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Economic              Management Board Secretariat and other cen-
     Development & Trade, Ministry of Consumer              tral agencies, through a service delivery arm,
     & Commercial Relations, Ministry of Labour,
                                                            iSERV ONTARIO.
     Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology
                                                            In addition, each business cluster has formed
     Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,                 its own technology organization, headed by
     Ministry of Community & Social Services                a cluster Chief Information Officer reporting
                                                            both to the deputy ministers in the cluster
     Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs,
                                                            and to the corporate CIO. Each cluster I&IT
     Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of             group develops information management and
     Northern Development & Mines, Ministry of              technology solutions to meet the cluster’s
     the Environment                                        business requirements, using the common
     TRANSPORTATION                                         infrastructure and operating within corporate
     Ministry of Transportation                             policies, standards and plans.

                                                            The success of the strategy also hinges on
                            Justice                         new partnerships. It is vital for government IT
                                                            professionals and their clients in government
     Transportation                         Community       program areas to work together more closely
                                                            than ever. It is also essential to create mutually
                        Corporate                           beneficial relationships with the vendor com-
        Land &                                Finance
       Resources                                            munity, other private-sector I&IT organizations,
                                                            the federal and municipal governments, and the
                Human                   Economics &         broader public sector, including the academic
                Services                  Business          community. All have a role to play in further-
                                                            ing the move toward e-government to provide
                                                            the best possible public services to Ontarians.

Common Infrastructure
                                                   Work is also underway to define and implement
Information infrastructure is the advanced
                                                   the next layer of the common infrastructure
technology — such as telecommunications
                                                   required for electronic-government through
networks and computers — that underpins infor-
                                                   the integrated information, standardized appli-
mation management and information services.
                                                   cation environment and coordinated client
A common infrastructure is critical for
                                                   access initiatives.
e-government because it enables different com-
puters to talk to each other electronically.       Smart Card
This facilitates information links within and      With the government’s fall 1999 announce-
beyond government and lays a foundation for        ment that it plans to proceed with smart card
integrated, customer-centred services across       technology, the smart card has been added as an
the OPS and with external partners.                element in the common infrastructure. The
                                                   government intends to use a smart card — a
Substantial progress has been made toward
                                                   wallet-size plastic card with a computer chip
a common infrastructure. An enterprise I&IT
                                                   embedded — to provide secure, authenticated
architecture has been established as a guiding
                                                   access to public services.
framework, like a blueprint directing construc-
tion of a building. A messaging service to         Management Board Chair Chris Hodgson,
route information from computer to computer        who is responsible for this initiative, has
has been implemented, as has a directory           characterized the smart card as “the next
service resembling an electronic blue pages —      logical step in the evolution to electronic
both initially to support e-mail. A new securi-    government, helping the public service work
ty organization has been created, based in         smarter, faster and better; enhancing choice,
iSERV ONTARIO, the corporate service deliv-        convenience and accessibility for people;
ery arm, to provide end-to-end security.           reducing fraud; and giving people more
                                                   control over the privacy of their personal
Plans are well advanced for an integrated
network to support internal and external
communications while keeping telecommuni-          Like many other organizations, the govern-
cations costs down, and network improvements       ment recognizes that smart cards have major
are being undertaken. Also in the advanced         advantages over traditional plastic cards. The
planning stage is a common IT services man-        chip on a smart card can store a hundred or
agement and service desk project. This will        more times as much information as a magnetic
guide technical support within the OPS and         stripe card – and is much more resistant to
enable links with the technical support systems    tampering and counterfeiting.
of external service providers. Options are being
                                                   Smart cards are particularly attractive because
identified for a standardized desktop to maxi-
                                                   they can authenticate in-person transactions
mize productivity for users, value for money in
                                                   and, with the right infrastructure, could verify
purchasing and the ability to share documents.

online or wireless transactions as well. A         dards. This includes extensive work on a
trusted registration process will be crucial.      methodology for assessing the privacy impact
People will register in person to obtain           of government initiatives.
Ontario’s smart card, with some exceptions
                                                   A security policy framework plus a directive
such as children and others with special
                                                   and operational guidelines have been
needs. This process will provide assurance
                                                   approved. A policy framework for Public Key
that one person gets one card to access services
                                                   Infrastructure (PKI) — a security solution
— and that people presenting cards for access
                                                   providing such functions as message authenti-
to services are who they say they are.
                                                   cation and data encryption — is also under
In using smart card technology, the govern-        development. As well, the existing policy on
ment will ensure that personal information is      intellectual property is being revised in
fully protected. The card design will prevent      the context of the distribution and sale of
surveillance and profiling and maximize client     government information.
choice and control.
                                                   Work is also proceeding on a series of
Policies and Standards                             standards directly supporting common infra-
A stronger emphasis on I&IT policies and           structure projects. Standards for network and
standards across government is essential to        desktop operating systems have been selected
shape the design and use of the common             and are being implemented, a plan for E-mail
infrastructure, support communication within       in the OPS has been approved, and two
the government and with external partners,         database management system standards have
and enable the government to realize the full      been selected.
benefits of information technology. The strate-
gy puts a focus on establishing a few key
policies and standards and enforcing them well.

Top policy priorities are rewriting the key
directive on I&IT management to reflect direc-
tions in the I&IT strategy, and reviewing the
directive on I&IT procurement in conjunction
with the development of an accountability
framework. In addition, a privacy policy is
being developed to support electronic service
delivery of government services by ensuring
that personal information is protected in
accordance with privacy principles and stan-

First time small business registrants using Ontario Business Connects Self-help
Workstations have commented: “Service is Excellent,” “This worked great, thank you,”
“Cannot think of a thing to change, very happy with attentiveness of staff.”

                                                     may be accessible through the same channels
                                                     as provincial services. This is not technology
                                                     for technology’s sake, but the use of technology
Building on the common infrastructure and
                                                     to meet public needs and expectations.
guided by common policies and standards,
the government is moving toward electronic           The journey toward electronic service delivery
service delivery.                                    began in the mid-1990s with the creation of
                                                     the first Ontario government website. Great
Electronic technology improves access to
                                                     strides have been made since. No longer are
information and services by being available 24
                                                     public services and information offered only
hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a
                                                     over the counter or via the mail or conven-
year. It is easy to use, produces instant results,
                                                     tional telephone lines.
and enables different services to be obtained
through a single portal. And it reduces barriers     Today, individuals and businesses can obtain
to services because it can reach rural and           a growing array of essential information and
remote areas and can be used by people with          services through electronic channels including
mobility or physical challenges.                     websites, interactive voice response phone
                                                     systems, call centres, electronic payment
Electronic service delivery presents govern-
                                                     systems and public access terminals in shop-
ment services as a seamless whole, from the
                                                     ping malls and other convenient locations.
customer’s viewpoint. It organizes and inte-
                                                     Through these channels people can find vast
grates services to respond to citizen needs in
                                                     quantities of government information, down-
a user-friendly way. A client-centred approach
                                                     load forms, file or change information, and
leads to top-quality customer service with
                                                     purchase products and services. As we contin-
unprecedented choice and customization to
                                                     ue to move forward, the number and range of
meet individual needs. Eventually, services
                                                     services offered electronically will expand.
from the federal and municipal governments

 Looking Ahead
                                                       It will become commonplace to access infor-
 By 2003, the provincial government is
                                                       mation and services from many ministries and
 committed to increasing Ontarians’ satisfac-
                                                       different levels of government through a sin-
 tion with government services by becoming
                                                       gle portal. For example, individuals about to
 a world leader in delivering services online.
                                                       retire from the workforce may obtain a variety
 All ministries are developing electronic service
                                                       of useful tools through one online gateway.
 delivery action plans for their direct services
                                                       Or an array of information and services could
 as the basis for a government-wide strategy to
                                                       be combined to meet the specialized needs of
 deliver services electronically. As Management
                                                       a particular industry sector, or to reach clients
 Board Chair Chris Hodgson has indicated,
                                                       in specific geographical areas.
 “We are looking at our direct services to the
 public and to businesses and how we can               Financial transactions available to individuals
 improve customer satisfaction through elec-           and businesses online will likely include pay-
 tronic service delivery.”                             ing taxes, renewing licences and applying and
                                                       paying for permits. Non-financial online trans-
 Over the coming months and years, e-services
                                                       actions may range from changing address
 will include information-based services tailored
                                                       information for multiple government programs,
 to meet individual needs. For example, clients
                                                       to applying for a government job, to applying
 of programs could receive information on
                                                       for or renewing a program or service. In addi-
 changing eligibility requirements, and people
                                                       tion, forms that can be downloaded today for
 interested in particular areas of law could
                                                       filing on paper will eventually be replaced by
 receive amendments to legislation or regula-
                                                       online filing.
 tions as they are enacted.
                                                       In the future, government services may be
                                                       delivered electronically by the OPS directly
                                                       or by partners in the broader public sector or
                                                       the private sector. Where others deliver serv-
“We are looking at our direct services
                                                       ices on behalf of the government, the role of
 to the public and to businesses and how               the OPS will be that of an effective service
 we can improve customer satisfaction                  manager that oversees and monitors and is
 through electronic service delivery.”                 accountable for results. Regardless of the
                                                       delivery channel or agent, the objective is to
 – Chris Hodgson, Chair, Management Board of Cabinet
                                                       provide reliable, cost-effective services when,
                                                       where and how people need them.


Here is a small sampling of the array of electronic service delivery
ventures already under way in the Ontario government.

Ontario Parks                                         Ontario Business Connects

For years the reservation system for provincial      Ontario averages 120,000 new business start-up
campsites was a source of frustration for users.     registrations each year. Registering the name
People had to visit the park of their choice to      of a new business through the mail used to take
make a booking or phone the park directly.           six weeks or longer. Today, Ontario Business
Callers faced long-distance charges, had diffi-      Connects (OBC) has reduced the six-week wait
culty getting through in peak periods and were       for registration to 20 minutes. More than 60% of
forced to phone other parks if their preferred       business registrations are handled electronical-
location was booked up.                              ly and the customer satisfaction rating is 96%.

Now the picture is completely different, thanks
                                                     New businesses also can get employer health
to the introduction of a centralized reservation
                                                     and retail sales tax permits and Workplace
service in the spring of 1999. The system enables
                                                     Safety and Insurance Board applications
campers to make reservations on site in the
                                                     through OBC’s website
parks, through a central toll-free phone line or
on the Internet. Campers who haven’t decided
                                                     telephone number or self-help work stations.
where they want to go can visit the Ontario
                                                     The website also links to the Canada-Ontario
Parks website (www.ontarioparks.com), view
                                                     Business Service Centre, a single point of
maps to see where parks are located, research
                                                     access to information on federal and provincial
features and check maps of specific parks, hand
                                                     government programs, services and regulations.
pick a campsite and then reserve it – all online.
                                                     This one-window approach increases Ontario’s
                                                     attractiveness as a place to do business.

What’s more, travellers concerned about traffic       ServiceOntario
on the way to a park or elsewhere can check
                                                     ServiceOntario is the largest service delivery
traffic flow on major roads through online
                                                     restructuring project of any jurisdiction in
cameras via the Ministry of Transportation’s
                                                     Canada, potentially handling millions of routine
COMPASS website (www.mto.gov.on.ca). Users
                                                     transactions with the public each year. Located
can also click on “Traffic Conditions” for updates
                                                     in government offices and major malls across
on highway closures, construction and accident
                                                     the province, ServiceOntario kiosks (or public
locations to help plan journeys long or short.
                                                     access terminals) work like bank machines.
                                                     Customers can use a credit or debit card to
                                                     buy a vehicle licence renewal sticker dispensed
                                                     at the kiosk. They can also file a Health Card

address change, renew a driver’s licence or an       Automated Social Assistance
Outdoors Card, order personalized licence plates
                                                     Automated Social Assistance is a project
or buy a used vehicle information package.
                                                     that allows social assistance caseworkers to
Building on this success, the government in          get client information from all municipal and
spring 2000 combined ServiceOntario with             provincial social assistance offices while
other provincial information services to form a      face-to-face with the client. This results in
new Integrated Service Delivery division with-       better client service. Caseworkers authorized
in the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial           to use the system enter data once in a shared
Relations. The ministry has requested propos-        database. Social assistance applications are
als from the private sector to develop and           processed automatically, thereby increasing
operate a comprehensive system for delivering        efficiency and consistency.
routine transactions electronically to the public.
Environmental Bill of Rights                         The CLAIMaps system gives people round-
The Environmental Bill of Rights ensures that        the-clock access to mining claims maps and
people in Ontario have the right to participate      information on 180,000 mining land units as
actively in decisions about the environment. The     well as approximately 400,000 other land
public can get involved in this decision-mak-        related values within the Province of Ontario.
ing process through a web-based Environmental        Clients locally and around the world can view
Registry, which provides access, in English          this information on screen, or download maps
and French, to vital information on environ-         at no cost through the CLAIMaps web site at
mentally significant proposals, decisions, and       www.gov.on.ca/MNDM. The system provides,
appeal notices. By going to www.ene.gov.on.ca        real time, 7/24/365 site access, allowing any-
and clicking on the “EBR” and “Environmental         one to instantly access critical mining land
Registry” links, people in Ontario currently have    information. Electronic access has lowered
access to approximately 10,000 postings about        administrative costs and increased business
environmental notices which are searchable in        opportunities to significantly enhance the
various ways, for example those affecting their      acquisition and management of mining lands
town, city or region, or by a key topic of inter-    throughout the Province.
est. Ontario residents can use this registry to
find out how to comment on proposals for new
                                                     Integrated Services for Children Information System
acts, regulations, policies or instruments (such
                                                     An Integrated Services for Children Information
as various permits and/or certificates) with
                                                     System is under development to link providers
environmental significance, from any of the 14
                                                     of services for children under age six, such
ministries and agencies involved. They can also
                                                     as public health nurses, speech and language
get information on how to seek permission to
appeal recent instrument decisions.

pathologists and autism programs. Ultimately,       ernment publications. It allows customers to
more than 100 community-based agencies              purchase more than 10,000 government publi-
delivering these services will record data about    cations by credit card over the Internet.
contacts with clients consistently, quickly and
                                                    Operated by the Ministry of Natural
only once. The system will enable providers
                                                    Resources, the MNR Store
who need to know this information to retrieve
                                                    (http://mnr.stores.gov.on.ca/mnr/) offers
it easily so they can better co-ordinate services
                                                    a selection of unique products including
for specific children.
                                                    posters, active wear, and souvenirs. It also
                                                    distributes a wide assortment of books,
My OntarioWeb                                       pamphlets, brochures, and fact sheets on
Rated one of the most user-friendly websites        natural resources topics as well as a series of
in Canada, My OntarioWeb customizes                 maps for planning outdoor activities. Customers
information access for four audiences: senior       can order and pay by credit card online.
citizens; families and children; students;
and small business. The website (accessible         E-Laws
through the Ontario government central site
                                                    The Ontario government plans to launch
at www.gov.on.ca) acts as a single portal to
                                                    e-Laws, a new bilingual electronic service that
tap into the information resources of various
                                                    will provide fast and easy online access to up-
ministries, other levels of government and
                                                    to-date provincial laws. E-Laws will provide
not-for-profit organizations. For example, the
                                                    shorter turnaround times in publishing new
families and children section provides
                                                    and updated legislation and easier access to
access to information on topics ranging from
                                                    earlier versions of provincial statutes. Updated
the Block Parent Program of Canada to
                                                    legislation incorporating all amendments will
family law to school boards across Ontario.
                                                    be available online within 14 days of enactment
Information is easy to find because it is
                                                    of the amendments, down from the current 18
organized by user needs.
                                                    months. By the end of 2001, people will have
                                                    access within 24 hours. Point-in-time searching
Ontario Stores                                      will provide access to earlier versions of a law
The provincial government currently offers          as it was at a point in time selected by the user.
two online shopping sites: Publications
                                                    E-Laws will be carried out through the
Ontario Online (POOL), and the MNR Store.
                                                    Ministry of the Attorney General’s Office of
POOL (http://pubont.stores.gov.on.ca/pool/)         Legislative Counsel, which drafts provincial
reflects Publication Ontario’s commitment to        legislation, and Publications Ontario, which
provide better service while reducing the costs     publishes and distributes legislative information.
associated with ordering and distributing gov-

                                                      • the Ontario Laboratory Information System
A crucial aspect of e-government is the trans-          will give physicians timely access to their
formational impact on public-sector activities          patients’ laboratory test results;
funded by the province. Major sectoral reform
                                                      • expansion of the Ontario Drug Network
initiatives are being planned or implemented in
                                                        will enable physicians to improve their
such fields as health, justice, education, resource
                                                        prescribing practices, gain better access to
management and transportation. These
                                                        their patients’ medication histories and
advances are premised on a common infra-
                                                        prevent drug interactions; and
structure, policies and standards within the
OPS that can be extended to external partners.        • an electronic Emergency Health Record will
Key sectoral initiatives are described below.           allow emergency staff to identify life-threat-
                                                        ening allergies or other relevant conditions
                                                        before starting treatment.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
has a vision of a health system that promotes         As the initiative is implemented, Ontarians
wellness and improves health outcomes                 also will be assured of the best possible
through accessible, integrated and quality            protection of their personal health information.
services at every stage of life and as close to       The government is committed to strengthening
home as possible. An initiative called Smart          the rights of all Ontarians to access their
Systems for Health will provide the information       health information when needed, but also to
and information technology underpinnings              respect the privacy of health records.
across the sector to help realize this vision.
Smart Systems for Health will move patient            The justice system is evolving to integrate
information from paper records to electronic          the roles of an array of participants and thereby
formats. It will create a “digital nervous system”    improve the efficiency and effectiveness of
to connect patients with health care providers,       the sector as a whole. The Integrated Justice
providers to one another and to government,           Project is energizing this transformation by
and government to patients and providers.             electronically linking all components of the
                                                      system, including the bench, the bar, courts,
Through a secure information network, health
                                                      police, Crown attorneys, correctional staff and
care providers will be able to quickly access
                                                      probation and parole officials. A joint initia-
health information where authorized and nec-
                                                      tive by the Ministries of the Attorney General,
essary for patient care. This will contribute to
                                                      the Solicitor General and Correctional Services
better service and ultimately better health for
                                                      and private sector partners, the project will
Ontarians. For example:
                                                      reduce paperwork and improve communica-
                                                      tion across the entire justice sector.

For example, police will no longer have to          The strategy is being developed in consulta-
complete as many as 13 different forms when         tion with students, teachers and parents.
a suspect is arrested, and officers on the scene
                                                    Technology makes it possible to achieve a
will have instant access to current information
                                                    new vision of learning centred on the learner
about dangerous individuals and situations.
                                                    and supported by interaction among all
Lawyers will be able to file court documents
                                                    partners in the learning process. A learning
electronically from their offices instead of
                                                    system capitalizing on technology means that:
having to line up at the courthouse, and case
management systems will track the progress          • learners, parents and teachers can track
of every court case to help keep proceedings on       progress of individuals or groups;
schedule. The end result will be more accessible
                                                    • administrators can manage school resources
and more cost-effective justice services and
                                                      and communicate with one another and
safer communities.
                                                      with government, education or private
Life-long Learning                                    sector partners;
Throughout life, people need to acquire new
                                                    • learners can communicate with other learners
skills and update old ones to keep pace with
                                                      or experts in chosen fields and gain access
a rapidly changing workplace and enjoy the
                                                      to digital learning resources; and
benefits of the digital society. The challenge
for the education sector is to expand learning      • learning communities can be created that
opportunities and improve learning outcomes           link learners in classrooms or other loca-
to meet this need.                                    tions with real world experiences.

Recognizing this, the Ministries of Education       The Internet has vast potential to support
and of Training, Colleges and Universities          learning both by bringing the real world into
have embarked on a joint project known as           the classroom and by creating a classroom
the Ontario Knowledge Network for Learning.         without walls. Network-based learners will
This initiative brings together private and         collaborate with other learners, teachers and
public sector partners in the education sector      experts while parents will be able to join the
to develop a strategy that maximizes the use        classroom and become learners too.
of information and information technology
                                                    Land and Resource Management
for life-long learning. The strategy will explore
                                                    Land information includes such data as
new ways of using technology to transform
                                                    property boundaries and municipal bound-
all aspects of learning, education and training
                                                    aries; zoning, land-use, assessment and
and to provide people with learning opportu-
                                                    mining rights information; demographic data;
nities where and when they need them.
                                                    and information on topographic features

and water, soil, plant and animal life. This      Research Institute for example, working with
information is used for such purposes as          other governments, universities, and the private
mapping, land-use planning, and co-ordina-        sector is constantly monitoring the impact of
tion of roads, sewers and hydro lines. It is      various natural and man-made events on the
also essential to effective resource planning     health of Ontario’s forests.
and management.
                                                  Above all, the resource management frame-
Both the public and private sectors are           work will provide up-to-date information about
searching for new sources of affordable and       the status of Ontario’s resources and enable
accurate land information to help plan activi-    analysis, planning, and policy development
ties, operate efficiently, and to perform a       for these resources in the future. Being an
stewardship function. In response, a project      effective user of information and information
called Land Information Ontario                   technology with Ontario’s partners across this
(www.lio.mnr.gov.on.ca) is reorganizing the       sector will enable the vision of Ontario as the
way the province’s land information is collect-   world’s “smartest” land, resource and envi-
ed and managed. The goal is to standardize        ronmental steward and user.
processes so that data is collected only once
and is easy to share and integrate — leading to
                                                  The Ministry of Transportation (MTO)
affordable, accessible land information.
                                                  maintains a massive driver, vehicle and carrier
Land Information Ontario, or LIO, is a            information system that supports direct service
significant component of an entire Land and       delivery to the millions of licensed drivers,
Resource management systems framework             vehicle owners and commercial carriers in
which will enable the effective use and reuse     Ontario. This system, however, also performs
of information about Ontario’s land-based         a much larger role in support of road user
resources, including forest and wildlife man-     safety, revenue collection, law enforcement
agement. This framework, which also includes      and Ontario’s most visible service delivery
geographic data management systems, share-        infrastructure to residents and businesses
able applications across the public and private   right across the province. The system provides
sectors, and underlying technology infrastruc-    services to many ministries and facilitates
ture, supports many applications to clients       many inter-jurisdictional exchanges to enable
both within and outside the government            the movement of people and goods, as well
including registration, permit issuing, report-   as fraud prevention.
ing, monitoring, inspection, compliance and
enforcement functions. The Ontario Forest

Currently the Ministry of Transportation is         potential to improve travellers’ convenience,
developing a plan for legacy system renewal         move goods more efficiently, and improve
to ensure not only service continuity to clients,   transportation safety by constantly updating
but to support new ways of doing business in        information available to drivers and officials so
a future e-government context. For example,         smart choices can be made on the spot. The
the renewed system will directly link to Justice    information gathered through the intelligent
with respect to law enforcement, Finance with       transportation systems will also ensure that
respect to revenue collection, and to the new       engineers, planners, and managers are basing
integrated, electronic service delivery infra-      their long-term investment plans on real needs.
structure to provide electronic access to driver
and vehicle license renewals and other related
services. The renewed system will include busi-
ness and management information systems to
ensure the availability to any user of current
information on program rules and procedures, to
allow better performance tracking and account-
ability, and to support planning and policy
development for improved road user safety.

Equally exciting is the potential for intelligent
transportation systems based on information
and information technology. Today, traffic lights
in urban areas are adjusted based on traffic
conditions and drivers are advised of problems
up ahead on major highways so they can choose
an alternate route. Provincial and municipal
transit systems use passenger data to adjust
schedules and routes. Geographic positioning
systems are being used to track and expedite
the movement of goods.

In the future, as these systems are linked
together as well as linked with intelligent
vehicle systems, there will be even greater


Preserving the strong economy and maintaining       This is an exciting new era for the Government
the quality of life we enjoy in Ontario depends     of Ontario and those who interact with
on our full participation in the emerging           government, which includes almost everyone.
digital society. To usher the province into the     The shift toward e-government will lead to
digital age, the Ontario government is leading      improvements in customer service, advances
by example and taking advantage of information      in government efficiency, reforms across
and information technology. In doing so,            crucial public-sector systems, and closer ties
the government is transforming the way it does      with the citizens and businesses of Ontario.
business in order to serve the public more
                                                    E-government is a bold move toward making
efficiently and effectively. The aim is to evolve
                                                    Ontario the best place to live, work and do
into an e-government through the comprehensive
                                                    business in the digital age — a future that is
application of digital technology to everything
                                                    already here.
government does.

Within e-government, the province has set
the goal of becoming a world leader in the
delivery of its direct services online by 2003.
Large public-sector systems such as health,
justice and education are undergoing
transformations driven by the application of
digital technology, through major projects
linking the province and its partners. In
addition, the government is modernizing its
internal operations through I&IT. Electronic
channels for citizen participation in govern-
ment are also emerging.

TEL    416.327.2124
FAX    416.314.7710
WEB        cio
       www. .gov.on.ca
MAIL   c    i o
        cio. nf @mbs.gov.on.ca

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