Lise Préfontaine, Valéry Ramonjavelo, Carole Maziade, and Line Ricard
Launched in 1999, the project is based on the idea of integrating existing information services: the 1-800 O-Canada phone line for enquiries, the Canada website and in-person access centres. Service Canada provides citizens with uniform service in the medium of their choice (telephone, Internet or in person) using a common infrastructure, electronic channels. This is a front-line information service that has to meet the citizens’ needs and refer them to the agency offering the specialized service, if necessary.
The challenge in this project lies in the capacity to encompass the thousands of services offered by government departments and agencies while creating a transparent link to the most specialized service. The project was developed through agreements signed with the departments and agencies involved, and with horizontal coordination provided by a Coordinating Committee. To date, 122 access centres have been set up, the Canada website has been overhauled, the services classified and the database underlying the 1-800 O-Canada service reorganized and improved.
The Service Canada initiative involves coordination and cooperation among various departments and agencies. The extent of the services to include, the strategy of offering citizens a choice of means and services tailored to the individual make this project highly innovative in terms of delivering government services.