Canada appoints first ever minister for digital government

Written by Sam Trendall on 27 July 2018 in News
News

Scott Brison takes on digital government brief and will be supported by national CIO Alex Benay who has been promoted to a deputy minister-level post

Credit: CC BY 2.0

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Scott Brison as the country’s first ever minister of digital government.

Brison (pictured above) takes on the role in addition to his existing duties as president of the Treasury Board of Canada – the government’s central agency that oversees departmental spending and the operations of the country’s civil service. 

For the last year, the Treasury Board has also been the home of the Canadian Digital Service, which was set up to spearhead the development and delivery of government digital services, as well as cultivating improved technical skills across the civil service and helping support the rollout of major IT projects.


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Prime minister Trudeau said: “Minister Brison will continue his work to transform the government’s digital services so they are designed for the people who actually use them, and better serve Canadians.”

On Twitter, Brison added: “I’m thrilled the Prime Minister has appointed me Canada’s first federal minister for digital government to boost the great work we’ve already begun [at the Treasury Board] to create world-class digital services for Canadians.”

In addition to Brison’s new brief, Trudeau also announced that the Canadian government’s chief information officer Alex Benay has been “elevated to a deputy minister-level position” in which he will support the new digital government minister. 

“This change is a reflection of the government’s commitment to redefine this role to better protect Canadians’ data and strengthen information technology in the federal government,” the PM added.

 

A year on from its foundation, PublicTechnology recently spoke to a range of people who have played a key role in the establishment of the Canadian Digital Service and its development so far. Look out next week for a major two-part feature examining Canada’s ambitions for the transformation of government services across the country, its successes and challenges so far, and what it learned – for good and ill – from its counterparts in the UK.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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