O Canada's e-prowess
- By William Matthews
- Sep 18, 2000
While U.S. federal online efforts remain in the formative stage, about half
the transactions between Canadians and their government now can be performed
online. Whether applying for child support or registering a patent, obtaining
a communications license or buying auto decals, Canadians can do it without
standing in lines or mailing in forms.
And since 1997, Canada has had a national chief information officer
to develop and carry out the nation's electronic government plan. As a result,
said Paul Rummell, Canada's first CIO, Canada has sprinted years ahead of
the United States in e-government.
Government services are available through home and office computers
and through electronic kiosks installed in public places. Canada's national
government is linked to its provincial and municipal governments in a network
"we call clicks and mortar," said Rummell, who holds Canadian and U.S. citizenships.
By 2004, all Canadian federal programs and services are scheduled to
be available online, providing "end-to-end electronic service. It is the
ultimate example of what a government can do for its citizens," Rummell
told a U.S. House subcommittee Sept. 12.