Over the course of the year, the ICCS has continued to collaborate with and to provide support to organizations and jurisdictions implementing the Common Measurements Tool (CMT) at various levels of government, both in Canada and internationally.
In Canada, the CMT has been licensed to several new users, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Service Canada at the federal level, Ministry of Labour in Alberta and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador at the provincial level, and Peel Region at the local level. Licensing arrangements for continued use of the instrument have been made with several other jurisdictions, including New Brunswick and Ontario. In addition, a number of the licensees have requested and obtained CMT Benchmarking Reports from the ICCS.
Internationally, the CMT continues to be licensed and used in a number of countries, including Australia, Belize, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UAE. The number of international CMT licensees has been steadily increasing over the past few years.
In one example, the ICCS has been actively supporting the implementation of the CMT by the Social Security Board of Belize. This included an in-person visit to Belize in April during which the Institute delivered training and orientation on the use of the instrument. In the months that followed, ICCS staff had been providing advice relating to the design phase of the pilot implementation and, after the fielding was completed, produced a benchmarking report based on the collected data.
The Institute has also been working closely with the Civil Service College (CSC) in Singapore. The CSC has obtained a license allowing it to use both the CMT and Citizens First, and has conducted a national survey based on the ICCS methodologies. The Institute has provided ongoing assistance in the period leading up to the fielding and then at the reporting stage. Following the pilot implementation, the CSC has confirmed its intention to continue using the research solutions offered by the ICCS.
The Institute has striven to further expand the range of its clients by taking advantage of various opportunities for promotion and marketing of its products and services. In one such instance, the ICCS presented on the CMT and its research to a delegation from India’s Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances that visited Canada in August.
The year saw a successful completion of Taking Care of Business 5 (TCOB5). The results of the study confirmed that the Canadian public sector has made significant progress overall when it comes to government-to-business service provision, but they have also served to identify many areas where further improvement could be made. Similar to Citizens First 7, the study also took a closer look at the online channel and, specifically, at what it would take to get more businesses to switch to using that particular mode of service delivery.
Presentations on the results of the study have been made both to the subscribing jurisdictions and to the PSSDC/PSCIOC members at the Joint Councils meetings held in Victoria, BC in September. Responding to the broader interest in this type of research, additional presentations were delivered to a graduate class at the Schulich School of Business at York University in October, and to public sector representatives who attended the Service Research Conference hosted by Employment and Social Development Canada in November.
Following the completion of TCOB5 and ahead of the next iteration of Citizens First, the ICCS contracted an external consultant to conduct a detailed review of its research. The review was designed to gauge the extent to which the studies managed by the ICCS were meeting the current requirements of the public sector and in what ways any potential gaps could be closed. In order to meet these objectives and provide actionable input, the consultant conducted a series of interviews with key stakeholders, including public sector organizations, academics and consultants. The resulting report outlined the key areas that should be addressed in the short and long term. Many of the recommendations, including the need for increased engagement with jurisdictions participating in ICCS research, have been used in formulating the approach to the upcoming Citizens First 8 study. Other recommendations will be considered and implemented in the future iterations of the research studies.
While the research review was being conducted, the ICCS began to secure subscriptions to Citizens First 8. The study will see participation by all three levels of government and its results are scheduled to be available in early 2018.