Social Media

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Myths and Realities of Digital Public Administration in Canada

By Geoff Salomons

The transformative nature of the Internet has ushered the world into a new era of digital public administration. Today, our world has been revolutionized by digital technology (the Internet, social media, and smartphones). It has changed our conception of space and time. It has also changed our understanding of public sector management. While federal, provincial, and municipal governments have embraced digital public service, fine-tuning is required to adapt e-government to the dynamic complexities of citizen needs.

Three Myths about Digital Government in Canada

Myth #1: Every Canadian has access to the internet, and therefore access to e-government.

Reality: About 87 percent of Canadian households are connected to the internet. Across the country, 86 percent of British Columbians and Albertans have internet access, while Quebec and New Brunswick have the lowest with 78 and 77 percent respectively (Cira factbook). In fact, the lack internet access is highly concentrated among persons with disabilities, seniors, people in rural Canada, and the urban poor.

Myth #2: Digital public administration ensures all-inclusive public governance.

Reality:  Digital government has created new forms of social exclusion, specifically, among persons with disabilities; people living in remote parts of Canada; newcomers and immigrants with low proficiency in English and French; and individuals with inadequate computer literacy (Media Awareness Network).

Myth #3:  Digital public administration promotes organizational flexibility, decentralized service delivery, and grassroots governance.

Reality: Pubic sector leadership turns to centralize because of democratic accountability and responsibility. This reality is deeply rooted in the historical legacies of the Weberian public bureaucracy and the democratic regime in Canada (Aucoin 1997).

To learn more about  digital public administration in Canada, visit the CafĂ© Pracademique website.

No comments:

Post a Comment