Consulting Canadians (CA0041)
The Government of Canada will provide direction, and next-generation tools and
resources to enable federal departments and agencies to consult more broadly with
citizens and civil society in support of the development and delivery of government
policies and programs.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
Commitment 12. Consulting Canadians
The Government of Canada will provide direction and next-generation tools and resources to enable federal departments and agencies to consult more broadly with citizens and civil society in support of the development and delivery of government policies and programs.
Modern technology has enabled governments to connect faster and more easily with citizens. Given Canada's geographic diversity, federal departments and agencies often face a challenge in conducting wide-ranging consultations with Canadians from diverse areas of the country and backgrounds. Evolving technological solutions can help government departments and agencies better consult with citizens and civil society organizations on a wide range of policy, program, and regulatory issues. The result will be a more informed society on government programs and direction, and improved policy development for the government.
To meet this challenge, the Government of Canada will develop new and innovative approaches and solutions to enable Canadians to more easily take part in federal consultations of interest to them. The government will also develop a set of principles and procedures to guide consultation processes in order to increase the consistency and effectiveness of public consultations across government. As a result, Canadians will be more aware of the opportunities to engage with their government, will have consistent, advance notice of government consultations, and will have access to easy-to-use solutions for providing their ideas on federal programs and services.
Deliverables to be completed in 2014-16:
- Improve the existing Consulting with Canadians website to facilitate easier access to information on federal consultation activities for citizens.
- Develop and launch a new government-wide consultation portal to promote opportunities for public participation, host online consultations, and share findings from completed consultations.
- Expand the use of social media across government to enable departments and programs to connect to Canadians in innovative ways and enhance engagement in support of citizen-centric services.
- Develop a set of principles and standards for public consultations in discussion with citizens and civil society (e.g., advance notice and promotion of consultations, best practices for in-person and online engagement, effective use of social media, reporting on results), including setting out minimum benchmarks for consultations.
- Conduct targeted consultations on open government themes with key groups in Canada (e.g., youth, aboriginal populations).
Responsible institution: Treasury Board Secretariat, Privy Council Office
Supporting institution(s): None
Start date: November 2014 End date: 30 June 2016
The aim of this commitment is to improve the tools and resources that allow for enhanced citizen engagement.
The new site for consultations, milestone number two, was part of Canada’s first action plan and was not completed. As was noted in the mid-term progress report, the government posted a bid for solicitations on 21 March, 2014 and had established a standing offer for stakeholder/citizen engagement services. According to mid-term interviews with government officials, the new consultation portal was to be launched by June 2016 and was to include a unified consultation calendar, enhanced search functionality, notification and subscription service, and reports and outcomes.
In April 2014, the government contracted with Hootsuite to provide social media account management services. According to information provided to the IRM researcher, 47 federal institutions were using Hootsuite’s services as of July 2015. A review of existing principles and best practices on consultations was underway at that time, including an environmental scan of internal and external guidance documents. The review will be used to draft new principles and best practices. Government officialssaid the draft would be released for public consultation early in 2016 and then finalized. The final milestone of engaging in targeted consultations with key constituencies was behind schedule. Government interviewees noted that some targeted consultations were done with what they referred to as “key” groups around specific commitments in the second national action plan, but no such consultations took place between November 2014 and April 2015.
End of term: Limited
The Consulting Canadians site had been modified in the first year of the action plan. No clearly identifiable progress was made in the development of a new consultation portal during the second year of the plan.
The Treasury Board Secretariat issued new policies and guidelines that, among other things, support the use of social media. The Policy on Communications and Federal Identity went into effect in May 2016. Policy on Communications and Federal Identity, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=30683 The Directive on the Management of Communications went into effect the same month. Directive on the Management of Communications, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=30682
There was no clearly identifiable progress on the development of principles and standards for public consultation after the first year of the action plan. Similarly, there is no evidence of additional ‘targeted consultations’ beyond those mentioned in the mid-term progress report, or reported on in this end of term report in reference to previous commitments. Both of these milestones are ongoing.
Did it open government?
Access to information: Did not change
The reorganization of the existing Consulting Canadians website on the Canada.ca website may facilitate citizens’ ability to discover and access information regarding federal consultations. However, it did not lead to the flow of new information.
Civic participation: Did not change
Overall, the incomplete fulfillment and limited progress made on this commitment presents little evidence that civic participation has been enhanced in any meaningful way. The provision of new tools and resources for consultation, which are at the heart of the commitment, are still works in progress - they have been carried forward to the next action plan.
This commitment is carried forward to the third national action plan, of which the 19th commitment is to ‘Engage Civil Society on Open Government.’ Milestones include:
- Develop and maintain a renewed mechanism for ongoing, meaningful dialogue between the government of Canada and civil society organizations on open government issues across the country.
- Undertake targeted engagement activities to discuss open government issues in specific domains with key civil society stakeholders. Government of Canada, Third National Action Plan, http://open.canada.ca/en/content/third-biennial-plan-open-government-partnership
Commitment 20 of the third action plan is to ‘Enable Open Dialogue and Open Policy Making.’ Milestones include:
- Promote common principles for Open Dialogue and common practices across the government of Canada to enable the use of new methods for consulting and engaging Canadians.
- Engage with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to ensure that these principles and practices support meaningful engagement and reflect the renewed nation-to-nation/Inuit-to-Crown/government-to-government relationships.
- Identify necessary supports (e.g. skills development, resourcing, technological innovation) needed to deliver on the full potential of engaging with stakeholders.
- Identify and support participatory processes undertaken by departments to share lessons learned and demonstrate the value of including stakeholders and members of the public throughout the policy, program or service design and implementation.
- Develop, implement the measurement of, and promote indicators for open government to support benchmarking and continuous improvement. Government of Canada, Third National Action Plan, http://open.canada.ca/en/content/third-biennial-plan-open-government-partnership
User-friendly open government
CA0064, 2018, Capacity Building
Financial transparency and accountability
CA0065, 2018, E-Government
CA0066, 2018, Beneficial Ownership
Digital government and services
CA0067, 2018, Capacity Building
CA0068, 2018, Capacity Building
CA0069, 2018, Civic Space
Access to Information
CA0070, 2018, Capacity Building
Feminist and inclusive dialogue
CA0071, 2018, Capacity Building
Reconciliation and open government
CA0072, 2018, Capacity Building
Open government community
CA0073, 2018, Capacity Building
Enhance Access to Information
CA0042, 2016, Legislation & Regulation
Streamline Requests for Personal Information
CA0043, 2016, E-Government
Expand and Improve Open Data
CA0044, 2016, E-Government
Provide and Preserve Open Information
CA0045, 2016, E-Government
Define an Approach for Measuring Open Government Performance
CA0046, 2016, Capacity Building
Develop Open Government Skills across the Federal Public Service
CA0047, 2016, Capacity Building
Embed Transparency Requirements in the Federal Service Strategy
CA0048, 2016, Capacity Building
Enhance Access to Culture & Heritage Collections
CA0049, 2016, Capacity Building
Enhance Openness of Information on Government Spending and Procurement
CA0050, 2016, Capacity Building
Increase Transparency of Budget and Other Department of Finance Information
CA0051, 2016, Capacity Building
Increase Transparency of Grants and Contributions Funding
CA0052, 2016, Capacity Building
Improve Public Information on Canadian Corporations
CA0053, 2016, E-Government
Increase the Availability and Usability of Geospatial Data
CA0054, 2016, Capacity Building
Increase Openness of Federal Science Activities (Open Science)
CA0055, 2016, Capacity Building
Stimulate Innovation through Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX)
CA0056, 2016, E-Government
Align Open Data across Canada (Open Data Canada)
CA0057, 2016, Capacity Building
Implement the Extractives Sector Transparency Measures Act
CA0058, 2016, Capacity Building
Support Openness and Transparency Initiatives around the World
CA0059, 2016, Aid
Engage Civil Society on Open Government
CA0060, 2016, Public Participation
Enable Open Dialogue and Open Policy Making
CA0061, 2016, Capacity Building
Promote Open Government Globally
CA0062, 2016, Capacity Building
Engage Canadians to Improve Key Canada Revenue Agency Services
CA0063, 2016, Civic Space
Implement Directive on Open Government
CA0030, 2014, Open Data
Open Data Canada
CA0031, 2014, Open Data
Canadian Open Data Exchange (ODX)
CA0032, 2014, Capacity Building
Open Data for Development
CA0033, 2014, Capacity Building
Open Data Core Commitment
CA0034, 2014, Open Data
CA0035, 2014, Science & Technology
Mandatory Reporting on Extractives
CA0036, 2014, Extractive Industries
CA0037, 2014, Open Contracting and Procurement
Open Information on Budgets and Expenditures
CA0038, 2014, Fiscal Transparency
CA0039, 2014, Capacity Building
Open Information Core Commitment
CA0040, 2014, Right to Information
CA0041, 2014, Marginalized Communities
International Aid Transparency Initiative: Publish plan to make CIDA activities available and accessible
CA0010, 2012, Aid
International Aid Transparency Initiative: Implement plan
CA0011, 2012, Aid
Opening Government of Canada Records: Increase access to archived federal documents at Library and Archives Canada
CA0012, 2012, Records Management
Opening Government of Canada Records: Issue new mandatory policy on document classification
CA0013, 2012, Records Management
Opening Government of Canada Records: Make classified information available online
CA0014, 2012, E-Government
GCDOCS: Deploy wave one of electronic record and document management solution
CA0015, 2012, E-Government
GCDOCS: Deploy across federal government
CA0016, 2012, E-Government
GCWEB: Develop consolidated web presence
CA0017, 2012, E-Government
GCWEB: Implement new platform
CA0018, 2012, E-Government
Data.gc.ca: Expand number of datasets available
CA0019, 2012, E-Government
Data.gc.ca: Implement data.gc.ca portal
CA0020, 2012, E-Government
Data.gc.ca: Improve standardization of data
CA0021, 2012, E-Government
Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Publish resource management and performance data
CA0022, 2012, E-Government
Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Enhance search and data tools
CA0023, 2012, E-Government
Consulting Canadians: Develop new platform for consultation
CA0024, 2012, E-Government
Consulting Canadians: Develop standard approach to use of social media
CA0025, 2012, E-Government
Consulting Canadians: Pilot a crowdsourcing initiative
CA0026, 2012, E-Government
Consulting Canadians: Enable use of common online tools
CA0027, 2012, E-Government
Open Regulation: Federal regulators to post forward regulatory plans
CA0028, 2012, Legislation & Regulation
Open Regulation: Simplify engagement activities
CA0029, 2012, Legislation & Regulation
Open Government Directive: Issue Directive on Open Government
CA0001, 2012, E-Government
Open Government Directive: Implement Directive on Open Government
CA0002, 2012, E-Government
Open Government Licence: Issue Open Government Licence
CA0003, 2012, Legislation & Regulation
Open Government Licence: Adopt Open Government Licence
CA0004, 2012, Records Management
Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Pilot of online request and payment service
CA0005, 2012, Fiscal Transparency
Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Implement ATI Solution
CA0006, 2012, Fiscal Transparency
Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Make completed ATI request summaries searchable
CA0007, 2012, Right to Information
Virtual Library: Begin design of virtual library
CA0008, 2012, E-Government
Virtual Library: Launch virtual library
CA0009, 2012, E-Government