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Background Information

Service New Brunswick (SNB)1 is well-known internationally for its expertise in providing multi-channel “single window” citizen access to government services as well as for developing and maintaining geographic information databases. SNB’s award-winning model provides one-stop-shopping for different government services on behalf of provincial and municipal government agencies, and also provides some linkage to the Canadian Federal Government in a “joined up” government model. SNB was launched in a time of high pressure from citizens for improved service delivery; today it serves the province through its award winning service programs, but also and maybe more importantly in the long run, through its innovations in economic development.

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The numbers behind SNB speak for themselves; customer satisfaction numbers are the highest in Canada going from about 50% in late 1980’s to 92% in 2005. These numbers require that responsible examinations of public value include SNB. But there is more to this story than customer satisfaction ratings. The essential part of the public value story in this case is Service New Brunswick (SNB) as a quasi-governmental organization and its evolution from an integrated service provider to an economic development innovation. SNB is a public corporation with a single shareholder – the government of New Brunswick (NB). This shareholder has guided SNB with one unchanging priority throughout its existence; make public service good business. SNB has four lines of business:
  1. Property assessment - SNB is responsible for providing valuation and classification of all real property in New Brunswick; administering property tax-related programs; and ensuring equity in the tax base for both municipal and provincial governments.
  2. Registries - SNB is responsible for handling the Real Property, Personal Property, Corporate Registries and Vital Statistics for the Province of New Brunswick.
  3. Government service delivery – SNB is responsible for providing services to citizens on behalf of the Government of New Brunswick and more so recently on behalf of other government, such as New Brunswick municipalities and the Federal Government. Services are provided through three different channels: (1) online, (2) telephone services, and (3) service centers.
  4. Geographic information infrastructure – SNB is responsible for creating, coordinating and maintaining the province’s survey control network and base mapping data.
SNB maintains a balanced portfolio by attending to three principles in its project selection and implementation activities; (1) financial sustainability, (2) identifiable public value, and (3) entrepreneurialism. Guided by these principles it has evolved as an organization in terms of its service portfolio and the value it delivers to the province of NB, and more recently to Canada and beyond. Building on its unique successes, SNB has continued to refine its role as a direct service provider to the citizens of NB while increasing the public value it delivers through an expanded market-driven business model.