Government of Canada announced in its GC IM-IT strategic plan that it shall provide a single window platform for accessing Government of Canada information services. The strategy now termed as OneGC is intended to go beyond single window, but also ensure great experience of service delivery on any platform, any device and from any partner. The approach to OneGC is being explored in all digital government strategic initiatives such as emerging technology, common services, digital identity or digital by design implementations.
“OneGC avoids the need for duplication and the risk of missed/ inconsistent information.”
The idea is to develop “tell-us-once” approach. Many Canadians use multiple government services and are eligible to participate in many government program. For example when a child is born, parents have to approach government for multiple services such as birth registration, birth certificate, social security number and the Canada child benefit. An integrated service shall allow all of these created at the same time. The “birth bundle” is provided by Employment and Social Development Canada in partnership with Canada Revenue Agency and provincial and territorial governments. This is a classic example of departmental coordination to deliver a “bundle” service.
Integration can also occur within systems of different departments. For example Canada Revenue Agency’s services lets people track their tax refunds, review or change tax etc. Employment and Social Development Canada’s services lets people avail employment insurance and pension plan. Both systems need to keep personal information. However, with OneGC the information need not be duplicated in both applications separately. OneGC allows information to be synced and reflected same in both places, in case it is available with any of the department in any of the application.
As part of the Government of Canada’s newly launched OneGC strategy, the departments and industry may also plan to strengthen cooperation through joint service collaboration.
Even if services are not integrated in delivery, information from wide range of services can support delivery of service in multiple programs of different departments. For example in UK, payroll information provided by government is used to pre-populate income tax returns. That means citizens don’t need to file a tax return. In Estonia, government asks for information only once. Such collaboration can also be extended to organizations outside government, and industry and government agencies such as CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) can jointly work together to improve services to Canadian taxpayers by providing world class innovative digital services.
Such a single secure digital platform will allow for use of information for multiple purposes meaning less time in complying or availing services and fewer delays in accessing service.