Partners in Change
January 2002
Paule Laberge

The project of overhauling the New Brunswick Department of Human Resources Development (NBHRD) was part of the economic restructuring policy launched by the McKenna government in the late 1980s and aimed to eliminate the Department's budget deficits. Despite attempts at restructuring, the Department failed to achieve the expected results because it lacked the financial resources and know-how required to successfully make the necessary changes. NBHRD decided to turn to the private sector through a common purchasing process and established an innovative partnership with Andersen Consulting Canada. While providing the technological infrastructure and project-management expertise, the private partner financed the entire $21-million project. The project developed a new method of delivering services geared to the needs of clients and focused on results. Introduction of an automated case-management system combined with a reengineering of work within the Department led to provincewide service uniformity and parity.

Partners in Change is an innovative project because of its overall approach in associating the introduction of technology with an overhaul of the organization and management practices to improve the delivery of services. It is also unique in having the private partner finance the full cost of the project under a formula by which the expenses and fees are reimbursed based on the savings achieved as a result of implementation.