E-government in Canada's Provinces: The State of the State
Dr. Christopher Dunn.
Canada's provinces are undergoing a fundamental reorientation in the way they structure and deliver their services. Most have established Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to establish e-government policies and delivery systems. Many governments provide services on-line. Some have moved to integrate services through single portals (like Service New Brunswick). Others have begun to structure unified IT architecture. Some, like Nova Scotia, are undertaking e-procurement exercises, allowing firms to bid on-line for government contracts. Still others have been even more ambitious, like Operation Online, in the province of Newfoundland. Here, nothing less than a profound culture change of a traditional resource economy toward a knowledge-based economy was attempted, using consultants and the internet.
However, this is nothing new to observers of e-government across the world. There tends to be a certain element of boosterism in most descriptions of the jurisdictional activities, which we hope to avoid here. The interesting thing about the provinces is that the move to e-government is uneven, uncoordinated and relatively uncoordinated.
This study attempts to see who are the leaders and laggards in e-government in Canada's provinces, and to explain why this is so. It is a study in international and interprovincial diffusion of innovations in public administration, and what this portends for the public sectors at the subnational level in Canada.
It also expands the dialogue about this area to include discussion of political culture, managerialism and ideology.
Dr. Christopher Dunn (Canada)
Department of Political Science
Christopher Dunn is an associate professor of political science at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He received his undergraduate education from the University of Manitoba and his M.A. and Ph.D. (1990) from the University of Toronto. His teaching and publishing areas have included Canadian Politics, the constitution, public policy and public administration.
He is the author of Canadian Political Debates: Opposing Views on Issues that Divide Canadians (1995) and The Institutionalized Cabinet: Governing the Western Provinces (1995). He was also the editor of Provinces: Canadian Provincial Politics (1996), a comparative textbook, and of the book The Handbook of Canadian Public Administration (2002).
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)