The provincial government of Ontario, Canada plans to spend $70.5m over the next three years to improve Ontario’s information systems and build a tightly wired government. According to a government spokesperson, the province will create a plan to completely overhaul its IT strategy based on the concepts of integration and better service. One key goal […]
The provincial government of Ontario, Canada plans to spend $70.5m over the next three years to improve Ontario’s information systems and build a tightly wired government. According to a government spokesperson, the province will create a plan to completely overhaul its IT strategy based on the concepts of integration and better service. One key goal is to integrate its tangle of communications and computer networks so that the various departments of the government can share information. Police could share information on criminal cases, doctors could share patient records and social assistance workers could work better with clients. The government hopes that at the top level it can mine the billions of bytes of information in its systems more efficiently to help plan the province’s future. At the individual level, it hopes a person can fill out one change of address document for a driver’s license which will automatically update addresses held by separate departments such as health and finance. The province currently runs three different communication networks, an MPR network, an X.25 network and an SNA network. It is hoping to have one network provider across the province that’s going to provide all data, voice, wide area networks and local area networks. Ontario would be the first province in Canada to attempt such a project. According to the outline released by the Ontario government, some features of the strategy include: –a comprehensive security architecture to ensure data can be flashed across the province while protecting personal information. — a standardized PC desktop. Each ministry will have to chose one suite of software, making it easier for civil servants to move from office to office and to share documents; –a common help desk along with an easy to remember phone number — common corporate data for better information management. Ultimately the government hopes to build a data warehouse and take advantage of that technology — co-ordinated look for all electronic services and documents it offers from sources like kiosks and Internet sites, making them easier for people to use; — integrated employee directories and messaging infrastructure; –setting standards for application development and design. Ontario currently spends about $352m a year on information technology, with municipalities and other public sector bodies estimated to spend an additional $530m annually. The province has already standardized on Microsoft NT as the government’s network operating system. The government hopes to issue a request for proposals shortly for a database management system.