Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Canada's new Chief Information Officer

Ms Corinne Charette has been named CIO for Canada. "In this role she is responsible for establishing strategies, directions and policy for the Government in the areas of Information Technology, Information Management, Security, Privacy and Access to Information." The role includes a mandate for improving the transparency of information.

In a related article, it was pointed out that Canada has lost ground since the 1990s as a leader in information technology in government. At one time, the eGovernment program was lauded around the world as a model of government usage of technology, particularly the internet, for making services available online to all Canadians.

Now we are lagging noticeably behind in the adoption of new technologies. XBRL is a notable example. Many other countries in the world have adopted XBRL as a means to improve transparency of information and improve the efficiency with which information can be moved around and made available in forms that are far more useful than the old printed form methods. The Netherlands, Australia, Britain, and much of Europe has adopted XBRL in one way or another towards this end. As a result, their information can be made available freely and easily across platforms within government departments and to the public.

The old ways of handling information are not good enough any more. One hopes that Ms Chartette seizes the opportunity she has in her new role to bring about change - change that will usher in a new era of information availability, mobility and transparency.


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