Ontario's Government Delivering New Digitial PlanPublished on April 30, 2019
New digital practices and technologies adopted by Ontario’s government place people back at the centre of everything it does and make life easier for Ontarians, starting with a simpler, faster and better delivery of services across the province. As part of the 2019 Budget, the government revealed its digital plan that includes, among other measures, the Simpler, Faster, Better Services Act, which if passed, will significantly improve how government works and the services it delivers to the people and businesses of Ontario.
“Ontarians have access to many of the goods and services they want, when they want, where they want because years ago businesses recognized bringing services online will better meet customers’ needs. Unfortunately, the Ontario government has not maintained the same standard due to out-of-date, overly bureaucratic processes that have reduced the quality of service provided to the people,” said John Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. “It’s time for the Ontario government to bring its services into the 21st century. Our government has introduced the Simpler, Faster, Better Services Act and a number of other legislative changes to put people at the centre of the services we provide.”
The government’s plan will improve the quality of service provided to Ontarians by:
- Enabling adoption of digital practices across government
- Eliminating outdated approaches to processes, including at ServiceOntario, that prevent the delivery of people-centred services
- Allowing data sharing to support digital government and unlocking high-value data to increase innovation and economic growth.
There are dozens of provincial laws governing multiple ministries that require hard-copy signatures on documents, and rely on inefficient processing methods like fax machines, or traditional mail. The government is making changes to processes and access to meet people’s expectations for service delivery.
The government is also improving its digital platforms to increase online uptake of ServiceOntario’s top 10 transactions.
“Digital first does not mean digital only. We are expanding access to meet people’s expectations for service delivery, whether it’s from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at a ServiceOntario centre or at 10 p.m. from the comfort of your own home,” said Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “This is only the beginning of our plan to use secure digital methods to bring more government services online and remove out-of-date processes. Ontarians have been living in the digital age for a while now, it is about time their government did the same.”
Ontario is also developing a data strategy that will help Ontarians and businesses benefit directly from the data economy, while being confident that their privacy is protected. This act sets the stage for the data strategy by unlocking and opening government data for economic re-use and improving internal data sharing for better policy-making.
- Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to take a digital first approach to government.
- The Simpler, Faster, Better Services Act is a direct response to the EY line-by-line review that recommended to put the people of Ontario at the centre of every service, regulation, program, process and policy.
- In total, 15 Acts and 5 Regulations will be amended in this first phase to enable digital service delivery and data sharing, including: amendments to enable data sharing in a privacy protected way; amendments to explicitly enable electronic communication; amendments to enable electronic notices for legal proceedings; and, amendments to enhance digital service delivery in government.
- Reducing red tape and switching from paper to digital will help streamline government processes, making them more efficient to deliver.