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Strategies for Public Sector Transformation

Strategies for Public Sector Transformation 2003
Innovation Through Shared Experiences

including the fifth annual
Public Sector Information Technology Awards
Victoria Conference Centre September 8-9, 2003 - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


The 2003 Public Sector Information Technology Awards are meant to recognize leadership, innovation and excellence in the management and use of information technologies within the public service and Crown corporations of British Columbia.

Eligible projects were those completed within the last two government fiscal years (April 1, 2001 - March 31, 2003).

Judging was done by senior volunteers from the Project Management Institute and the Canadian Information Processing Society.

Winners were honoured at an Awards Banquet on September 8, 2003 at the Victoria Conference Centre. The winning projects were:

Category: Public Value / Electronic Service Delivery (under $1M)
Winner: Student Services Branch, Ministry of Advanced Education
Project: On-Line Student Financial Aid Application

Before this process, applications for assistance were entirely paper-based and used the mail for primary communications. With more than 85,000 applications being submitted and a 30% error rate, this was a tremendous manual effort for the students and the Ministry staff. The Ministry's System Services Branch developed the internet-based application over a two-year period, using not only ground-breaking technology for the Ministry, but best practices from other provinces and institutions. Since its inception in March 2002, the system has processed over 50,000 applications with an acceptance rate over 80%. Error rates for on-line applications are less than 2% and on-line applicants receive their 'notice of award' in half the time of paper applicants. The Ministry has been able to redeploy staff resources to other tasks, and has seen a significant reduction in data-entry expenses.

Category: Public Value / Electronic Service Delivery (over $1M)
Winner: Revenue Branch, Ministry of Forests & Pangaea Systems Inc.
Project: E-Commerce Appraisal System (ECAS)

In the past, the Ministry of Forests was encumbered with numerous appraisal systems which were owned by various licensees, which were used to predict the fees required by licensees to harvest crown timber in British Columbia. The process for dealing with submissions was highly manual and repetitive, requiring numerous reviews, approvals, and resubmissions. The E-Commerce Appraisal System (ECAS) automates the appraisal data submission and entry process through the Web. ECAS is the only online timber appraisal system used for crown harvesting in Canada. The use of online applications significantly reduces the amount of effort and paper documents necessary, and thus, reduces the demand on licensees and Ministry personnel, as well as the time and expense of submitting data to the Ministry.

Category: Excellence in Project Management
Winner: Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General & Computronix
Project: Liquor Control & Licensing Systems Replacement Project

In 2002, the Branch was amending the act and re-writing the regulations to support the largest single change in liquor policy since prohibition. Business requirements were not clearly defined and were under change until the regulations were accepted by government in August. With the new legislation to come into effect in December, the new system needed to be ready to handle liquor applications, licence renewals, and enforcement activities at that time. Project challenges included complex policy changes, a large number of affected stakeholders, late confirmation of the business requirements, a vendor based in Edmonton, and considerable need for historical data had to be assessed, cleaned and converted. A third-party post-implementation reviewer spoke very highly of the project and results, calling it one of the best managed projects he has seen.

Category: Innovative Team Development
Winner: School District 23 & Nortel Networks
Project: Kelowna School District Telecommunications Consolidation

The project consolidated three separate Kelowna schools telecommunications services into one common network. This has reduced costs, simplified usage, improved performance and positioned powerful new applications for all users. A new level of organizational effectiveness was achieved in the spirit of partnership and community benefit with a commitment to excellence. This project brought together five disparate teams across a breadth of functions otherwise not engaged - three government organizations, a vendor and a vendor partner - and pulling talent together resulted in a very powerful team.

 Multi-jurisdictional Projects Category: Multi-jurisdictional Projects
Project: Industry Canada & Information Management Branch, Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise

This project not only met, but also reported its activities well for all the requirements, and therefore scored consistently high. The project was judged particularly well in the project specific section, that is, for evidence of cooperation, evidence of information sharing, evidence of successful solutions to inter-jurisdictional difficulties, as well as the judges� view of the depth and scope of multi-jurisdictional activity.

Special Recognition Awards: Builders

The winners in this category were chosen by a special sub-committee of the Public Sector Information Technology Awards Committee.

Public Sector: John Schinbein

John is Chief Information Officer for the Ministries of Health Services and Health Planning. He has over 29 years of experience in British Columbia's health system in clinical and management positions.

John is provincial representative on the Western Health Information Collaborative and National Advisory Committee for Health Infrastructure, Co-chair of its Health Surveillance Working Group.

He is also Chair of CIO Council for Health Authorities and instrumental in supporting their project management offices. The Ministry of Health Services' project management methodology, tools and templates form the basis of the Cross Government Project Management Methodology, whose mission is to improve project management within government and assist those who practice the discipline.

Mr. Schinbein holds positions on various advisory and policy committees including Dalhousie and Royal Roads universities, the Justice Institute of British Columbia and British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Private Sector: Michael Hrybyk

Mr. Hrybyk is the current President for BCNET, and has 20 years experience with Internet networks, Unix systems and software development. He has been an active member of the technology community in the U.S. and Canada, and was recognized in 1997 as a builder of Canada's information society by CANARIE and Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Mike serves as Director of Group for Advanced Information Technology R & D (GAIT) at the BCIT Technology Centre (on leave). He received funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the BC Knowledge Fund to establish the BCIT Internet Engineering Lab, specializing in network performance and testing. GAIT also conducts research in areas of software design, instructional multi-media, geographical information systems, and bioinformatics.

Mr. Hrybyk also serves on the technical committee for CA*net4, the next generation of Canadian high speed research and education advanced network sponsored by CANARIE.

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