Shared Services Canada reports on consultation exercise

    Jun 13, 2017

    ITWorldCanada reports that the results of a consultation with stakeholders indicate that Shared Services Canada (SSC) is progressing adequately on its mandate of streamlining technology across the federal government and improving its security. But its path to getting there needs to be re-evaluated.

    SSC was ambitiously created to implement a Government of Canada IT Infrastructure Transformation Plan that includes centralized e-mail system, consolidated data centers, and streamlined procurement of workplace technology devices. So far, none of these goals has been achieved.

    In an effort to make better progress, SSC held a nine-week consultation with stakeholder groups, its own employees, other Canadian government employees, young federal public servants, industry representatives, and the general public. The effort returned some 2,500 responses.

    As a result, the SSC says the majority of stakeholders believe the transformation plan “got it right,” but that the path to completion requires “careful considerations and greater detail.”

    “I joined SSC in 2011. We have come a long way,” says one anonymous comment. “I see the improvements that have happened. We are moving in the right direction.”

    Among the recommendations for improvement are these recurring themes:

    • Investing in staff: incentivize stability among managers, enhance communication within national and regional SSC offices, enable more input on issues so that action can be simpler, and minimize outsourcing by better training staff.
    • Committing to a service-first culture: train employees, apply benchmarks for customer service, and encourage transparency and accountability as guiding factors in any initiative.
    • Enhancing collaboration inside and outside the SSC: place an importance on deploying and using collaborative tools to better communicate with employees and stakeholders beyond the agency, as well as publicize these efforts to measure performance.
    • Demonstrating the rationale behind any software or hardware upgrades and changes, or the reasons for outsourcing services..
    • Reaching out to small and medium enterprises to level the playing field for these players.

    For employees, more stability and better morale were priorities, as were increased training, minimized outsourcing, and better engagement with clients and customers.

    “A true customer service attitude is missing,” one comment says. “The services SSC offers are front and centre, and staff need to be made aware of this. You can set targets and put the latest tools in place, but if you don’t address the fundamental attitude of staff across the organization at all levels, we will never succeed.”

    Canadians, in particular, wish to see more value for their money and more visibility into their government’s transformation journey.

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