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The Partners

The key stakeholders of OBC are as follows: the community of government process integrators (those responsible for integrating the Ontario government service delivery); the program administrators (mainly the provincial and federal ministries); the community of service delivery partners (private distributors and retailers, partners hosting the interactive workshops, or dedicated stations); the businesses and entrepreneurs themselves; and finally, the political sponsors.

The proposed interaction model of the different stakeholders with the business community is illustrated in Figure 1. The only missing stakeholders are the providers that assist OBC in developing the appropriate technologies for its mandate and those that support its management change efforts.

At the top of Figure 1 are the governmental programs responsible for the policies and information, their processes, obligations, and benefits. Eligibility, specific information of requesters, and databases are all managed at the programs level. The public services manager, in this case OBC, oversees the distributor who acts as middleman between the market of service delivery to the client and the processes and government programs. The distributor updates the registry of Ontario businesses (medium term project), provides authentication, security and transactions services, and keeps a record of all transactions. In addition to being responsible for the distributor, the manager establishes policies and service delivery standards, maintains the business architecture with a responsibility flow chart and develops new delivery systems. The private wholesalers provide retailers with computer systems and applications that allow a variety of value-added products and services of government information for targeted clients. The retailers offer a variety of public and private services to their customers via different distribution channels.

Figure 1  Business Architecture, OBC (1997)

Figure 1  Business Architecture, OBC (1997)

The concept may seem relatively simple, but its operationalization is quite complex. Most of the necessary technologies are in operation in the private sector. Moreover, the service delivery can be changed without affecting the ministries' current systems thanks to intermediary applications. However, the technological solutions required must be deployed on a larger scale than ever before. In addition, the government must learn to become a partner of the private sector, each side must clearly define its expectations and commitments.