Ottawa, February 25, 2003 -- Canada's largest high tech association, CATAAlliance, released today the second in a series of consultation papers that will provide guidance on how to achieve Canada's Innovation Strategy goals. Entitled "Government On-Line (GOL): By, For and About Canadian Innovation" the 10 page consultation paper was developed under the direction of a special CATA Task Force, led by Jane Foy, CATA Senior Research Associate. Findings were drawn from Ipsos-NPD Surveys, and through the input of senior executives from a cross section of CATA's members and leading practitioners from firms, such as IDC Canada.
This paper focuses on the vital role for online government in the lives of Canadians: AS A TOOL OF ECONOMIC POLICY. It argues that if the government wants to make a success of its Innovation Agenda, there is no better place to take action than in its own house. CATA calls on the federal Government to step up action along these lines in three key ways: Government as a model user; Government as a first customer; and Government procurement that is fair, fast and forward-looking.
" CATAAlliance applauds the government's wide range of citizen-focused online initiatives such as its "Connecting Canadians" strategy and single-portal Canada web site. We now urge the government to take concerted and compelling action on a more systemic way to serve Canadians: make GOL an agent for prompting, pioneering and presenting Canadian innovation." said CATA President, John Reid.
Reid added, "More than two thirds of government procurement is spent through avenues other than MERX; many of Canada's most innovative businesses do little business with the government; and prescriptive tenders thwart innovation. CATAAlliance invites the Government of Canada to use the emerging evidence on innovation to guide its leadership on the new economics of advanced technologies. CATA provides a short IQ quiz for a quick assessment of the government's innovation readiness."
Specific observations and recommendations included ten areas for action:
- The Government of Canada articulates a 'next-level' vision of government online and government procurement that gives equal prominence to citizen service and economic growth through innovation.
- Innovation becomes a core competency of public servants and be imbedded in all government policies, programs and practices.
- Government decision-makers be given the strategic direction, intelligence and tools to make innovation a criterion in their decision-making.
- Procurement be integrated so that it makes total government spending accessible and transparent despite diverse buying mechanisms, e.g. MERX and decentralized credit-card buying.
- Innovation and the use of advanced technology be made key criteria in problem-solving and procurement. For example, technology-enabled processes could assign points for innovation and value-added in procurement and evaluation models.
- Champions for innovation and the value-added use of advanced technology be identified/designated at key hubs in every government department and agency.
- Extend the capacity of government decision-makers to 'buy' innovation with the establishment of a Procurement Advisory Council that includes external experts and non-government stakeholders who can contribute to RFP and tender development.
- Create tangible rewards for proactive innovation solutions from external suppliers.
- Develop a methodology to measure and monitor the use of advanced technology and innovation in government decision-making and procurement.
- Establish a Procurement Auditor, reporting to Parliament, to review government purchasing in an annual report. Publish annual lists of the Top 100 contracts in dollar value and the Top 100 suppliers in dollar value.
Reid concluded, "The digital revolution clearly delivers "more, faster" but the truly profound benefits arise when technology is used to do business differently - creating new business models, developing new types of interactive and transactional relationships with clients, and making new classes of goods and services. This is as true of electronic government procurement as it is of any commercial business. That is why CATAAlliance is calling for fast, fair and forward-looking procurement and quick implimentation of its 10 point plan."
+ Call to Action: CATA is calling on the members to provide counsel on the recommendations presented in the GOL paper as part of the process of finalizing its GOL advocacy campaign. Copies are available by contacting email@example.com
About CATAAlliance: CATA is Canada's largest advanced technology organization, providing business development and advocacy for its members. Following its alliance with CAIP, the joint organization will have 650 direct members, plus a Leadership Database of the 15,000 most senior business and public sector makers and users of advanced technology. CATA welcomes all comments and feedback by the community, including suggesting other issues for advocacy consideration.