President of the Treasury Board Tony Clement spoke at PS Engage 2011, introducing new guidelines on social media and reiterating his enthusiasm for an innovative public service as part of an open government.
What does collaboration mean in the context of your work?
You can look at it any number of ways. But in order to have the greatest impact on an open and modern Public Service, collaboration must be about knowledge-sharing.
This means exchanging information, engaging in dialogue and working together. This is about enhancing our productivity which, in turn, makes Canada more competitive in the global economy.
Internet-based tools are allowing public servants to be more productive than ever, by sharing information and communicating with Canadians more effectively and efficiently than even a few years ago.
The potential for greater knowledge-sharing is there.
There is a tremendous opportunity now to take the tools of information technology and make government faster, more effective and more efficient. I believe the Public Service can enhance core government business such as program and service delivery, and even policy-making, with the right technology tools.
Let’s not underestimate technology’s profound effect on the workplace – in government and beyond.
Faster technology, a more connected world, wider networks and complex problems will make teamwork and collaboration required skills.
Public servants will have to be savvy in their efforts to modernize their workplace. A modern workplace can have a tremendous positive impact on the overall performance of the Public Service and on a renewed organizational culture.
As President of the Treasury Board, I consider myself the minister responsible for championing innovation within government. I want you to help me achieve the goal of a Public Service of the future.
Open Government and Open Data
In Canada, Open Government is being pursued through three main streams:
- Open Data, which is about offering government data in more useful and machine readable formats;
- Open Information, which is about proactively releasing information to Canadians on an ongoing basis; and
- Open Dialogue, which gives Canadians a greater chance to input into the work of government
As part of our leadership role in increasing transparency and accountability, Canada has signalled its intent to join the international Open Government Partnership. This important initiative was launched by the United States and Brazil and aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
The Government encourages the use of new Web 2.0 tools and technologies such as blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These tools help create a more modern, open and collaborative workplace and lead to more "just-in-time" communications with the public.
The [newly released] social media guidelines and policies will lead to improved interaction between Canadians and their government.
Web 2.0 tools and services provide additional means of interactive communications. They are the modern-day equivalents of "town halls" and are being used for various purposes including recruitment, emergency communications, service delivery, stakeholder outreach and as tools for collaboration and consultation.
Access to technology and the Internet
Clement also said, although it is not reflected in the online notes, that it makes no sense for employees to have more access to technology and the web at the coffeeshop than at work. (My paraphrase was "makes no sense for employees to have more access to tech in the coffeshop than at work", @PSEngage paraphrased as "PS should not have better connectivity on their way to work than at the office".)
References & Further Info
Tony Clement tweets @TonyClementCPC
- PR for his announcement: Minister Clement highlights Open Government and new technology at PSEngage
- full text of his speech
- Guideline for External Use of Web 2.0
- Canada's open government site: http://open.gc.ca/
- Canada's commitment to the Open Government Partnership: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/countries/canada
Thanks to @stourang for quickly tweeting links to newly-posted TBS pages.
The Minister was speaking at the Public Sector Engage (PS Engage) conference, hashtag #PSE2011.
UPDATE 2011-12-18: Video of the Minister speaking is now available.