Canadian public sector reform initiatives have exhibited a more complex case for study or assessment. As much as the government tried to initiate many reforms there has been many dimension of view of whether the Canadian government should be involved or not in the public reforms and initiatives. Several reforms have been undertaken but there has been occasional mixed results achieved in some traditional areas of the public sector. Government Involvement in Some Traditional Areas of Public Sector in Canada If we first take into consideration what has been accomplished.
The government has influenced massive Privatization of many cooperate organizations and institution in Canada which began in the time of Mulroney leadership and continued to Chretien leadership. Some of the privatized cooperation include: the Canadian airline and the national petrol company. The Canadian central government’s Program Review which was done in the year nineteen ninety four and the year nineteen ninety was influenced by the need to achieve economic balance. But on the other hand it made ministers and the civil servants to generate many questions regarding the government programs.
Some of the questions included: if they are still useful, if it should be the take of the central government, the provincial leadership, or the private fraternity. When the government made this program review, it led to the doing a way with some subsidies and the entire privatization of crucial services for example the airport services and the air navigation services. On the other hand it was found out that some departments were now able to accomplish there services at extremely reduced input cost by adopting the information technology on board.
A viable example of this is the Canadian human Resources Development. The adoption of the famous electronic kiosks by the Canadian government to enable individuals to search for jobs and to enhance flow of information in the industrial and trade sector brought much achievement on board. To add on this it led to the cutting of expenditure on services and trading of goods by adoption of Information technology, hence the federal government was able to cut down on the number of personnel by almost 25 percent.
This led to a total reduction compared to major economies such as the United Kingdom and the United States federal governments. Through the application of Information Technology Canada has bee able to bring on board some traditional public sectors and involve them into the information flow of the federal government which has been a very major public sector reform in the economic viability of the country. The Canadian public sector has really made good utilization of this new reform and adopted technology such as Internet, the electronic business and the famous electronic kiosk.
More advancement have also been made on the available technologies in order to enhance the linkage of the public to the government to reduce the gap that always exists between the central government and that common public population and the international community. Also in the year 1989 the Canadian government adopted an initiative dubbed ‘the public service year 2000’ which had a ten taskforce comprising of deputy ministers and some senior public servants, and then in just two years the taskforce was able to enhance service improvement to the public and also reduced the control of the central agency control of the public welfare.
Although this recommendations was countered by opposition coming from the central government’s federal office of the Auditing, also from parliament members, from the public unions, and also from the media fraternity it was a visionary way forward for Canadian public and government relation enhancement (Roberts 1996).
The opposition of this public reform by the above mentioned group of people might have been overcome by the strong supporting by the political turn of events during that time since as this reform dubbed the ‘public service 2000’ was getting rooted the members of parliament at that time were busy negotiating on the then intended 1982 constitution amendment.
The then Chretien leadership become focused and decided to commit itself to the development of and publish service standards which was supposed to report its performance in a year time later (The Canadian Auditors General, 1996). The government of Canada has so far been able to make outstanding commitment towards rebuilding of a professional public service after the downsizing of the last few years. It has now adopted the comprehensive hiring of workers at the entrance point, rather than recruiting from outside at middle or senior ranks. The only area where there has been considerable staffing from outside at the central point level is in information technology. ) The regime has also put an importance on transformation the policy capacity of the public service. In the existence year of downsize and financial plan-cutting, there were limited opportunities to develop new policies. Now that there is financial support for new initiatives is available, the communal service has a role to play in implementing them.
Thus the centralized administration is trying to restore the public service along the lines of the traditional model. This traditional public service formed would be unswerving with the main concern of fighting separatism, because career public servants, especially the twenty-five to thirty percent who claim French as their mother tongue, could be expected to be more loyal to the federalist cause than people on short-term contracts.
The most outstanding organizational reform innovation in Canada’s public sector go beneath the rubric of alternative service delivery, which has been defined as a process of public sector restructuring that improves the delivery of services to clients by sharing governance functions with individuals, community groups, and other government entities (Ford and Zussman 1997: 6). Some of the most common examples are like the Canada’s Business Service Centers, which relates to both federal and provincial governments, and Navigation Canada, a non-profit corporation owned by the users and employees of the air navigation system.
These partnership relationships cut down the pricey overlap and replication, and perform actions that the federal government has devolved as a consequence of its Program Review. These partnerships also recognize the difficulty of Canada’s federalism by involving all stakeholders in the ongoing management of services or policy areas. Although Canada has lacked in trivial top down public government administration reorganization, it has had an affluence of bottom up procedures.
These initiatives have been shown in the application to the Institute of Public management of Canadian innovation award. Certainly, provincial administrations have had the most influential charisma in these awards (Borins and Kocovski 1997). A proportionate study of application to the Ford Foundation innovation awards in the US and the IPAC awards in Canada shows extensive similarities in terms of the types of innovations, innovative process, and results achieved.
It also shows that in both Canada and the US the middle managers and front-line staff were the originators of approximately half the innovations which are a surprisingly large role given traditional public sector constraints. at the same time as the complication of their national systems habitually causes annoying overlap and duplication, they also provide opportunities to innovate in what the American jurist Brandeis called ‘laboratories of democracy.
Conclusion Canada should try to adhere to and advance the bottom up reform, in particular the efforts of front-line staff and middle managers, especially if sanctioned from above (for example, the US federal government’s reinvention labs), as well as reforms undertaken by sub-national governments. It should also have an influence on the ideas originating from the private sector, such as service quality, total quality management, and business process reengineering.