The project was launched in 1996 but the municipalities have only been involved since November 2000. Evaluation of the results must take into consideration the fact that the project is still emerging, which is tiresome for some of the original partners who compare what the OSBR has done to other electronic services that have developed much faster.
There is one important advantage for municipalities. Although municipal registration has always been mandatory, municipalities lacked means of ensuring that new businesses obtained a municipal permit. Registration at the kiosks, which are often located in municipal offices, makes the registration more automatic. The registration ensures better compliance with bylaws on zoning, license fees etc.
For the ministries involved in the collaboration, process facilitation has had a variety of effects. For one, it meant less clerical staff; for another, it served to improve services for the public. The latter case is interesting. The manager spoken to feels that the progress made possible by OSBR and other similar initiatives has made it possible to use the same personnel as before to provide much better service. In his view, because of a shortage of personnel, the service provided for the public in the past was very poor. It is now good. For everyone, the forms are filled out better than in the past. For front-line personnel, OSBR has made their jobs easier.
For the government as a whole, the project led to substantial savings in costs. For politicians in general, making economic development and business creation easier has been a very positive topic at both the municipal and provincial level. Gaining political support for this project was easy.
One benefit of the program is its motivational effect on many employees who see their province at the forefront. For this motivation to persist, the leadership has to remain a fact. The Ministry in charge is continuing to monitor progress in other provinces and some American states to keep track of developments with comparable projects.