Recognizing Champions of Innovation, Collaboration and Digital Transformation Across Canada's Public Sector

GTEC Announces 12 Medallists and Two Leadership Award Recipients During the Annual Distinction Awards Ceremony and Gala  

OTTAWA, Ontario, Nov. 2, 2016 /CNW/ -- GTEC, Canada's internationally recognized forum for enabling and celebrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) leadership, innovation and impact in Canada's public sector, announced 12 recipients of the coveted Distinction Award Medal and two Leadership Awards during its annual awards ceremony and gala on the eve of November 1, 2016. In the presence of nearly 500 distinguished guests, GTEC recognized these champions of innovation, collaboration and digital transformation across all levels of government.  These accomplished leaders are taking action on key opportunities and challenges facing the public sector, from the refugee crisis to the sustainable health care, economic reform, security and climate change.

The 2016 Distinction Award Medallists were recognized for leading strategic initiatives that address critical opportunities and challenges in the public sector, and add value to the business.  Selected projects span citizenship and immigration, education, and public safety, and offer solutions that increase the productivity and impact of public service ICT management and service delivery.

Following a rigorous criteria-driven evaluation of the 28 Honourees by leading public and private sector executives, the GTEC Judging Committee selected these 12 accomplished ICT change agents to receive a highly-prized Distinction Award Medal.  A federal, provincial and municipal medallist was selected across each of the following award categories:

  • Excellence in Public Service Delivery: External
  • Transforming the Business of Government: Internal
  • Excellence in IM/IT Operations
  • Excellence in Collaboration
  • Maximizing the Talent of our People

The 2016 Distinction Awards also recognized the following federal and municipal recipients of the Leadership Award for outstanding service to Canadians:

  • Nicolino Frate, Director of Official Languages Employment Equity and Diversity, Human Resources Branch, Canada Revenue Agency; and
  • Alain Rochefort, Manager of IT Operations, Corporate Services, Information Technology Services, City of Ottawa

"The GTEC Distinction Awards and Gala recognize and celebrate outstanding individuals and teams within Canada's public service that work incredibly hard to make a difference in our communities from coast to coast," said Michele Lajeunesse, Executive Director of GTEC.  "Their accomplishments are nothing short of remarkable, particularly given the many obstacles they have overcome to achieve them.  GTEC is truly proud to salute these ICT innovation champions, and support these important endeavours.  This leadership is critical to fulfilling Canada's potential as a digital economy."

In addition to the 12 medallists and leadership award winners, GTEC also recognized an additional 16 Honourees from federal, provincial and municipal government departments across the country. The 2016 Honourees join more than 580 public sector teams and individual leaders who, since 1992, have received this distinction for excellence in public service ICT management and delivery.

The GTEC Distinction Awards recognize and celebrate ICT leadership, excellence and service delivery across municipal, provincial and federal governments.   

Please reference the following backgrounders for an overview of:

For additional information about the GTEC Distinction Awards Ceremony and Gala, please visit: 

Backgrounder: Overview of the 2016 GTEC Distinction Medallists

Category 1: Excellence in Public Service Delivery – EXTERNAL

Group I: Travel Smart App Global Affairs Canada, E-Communications, Communications Products and Services

Travel Smart App Global Affairs Canada, E-Communications, Communications Products and Services The Travel Smart App Project team worked collaboratively across branches to develop a mobile app from the ground up that exemplifies innovation in public service delivery. The app, which provides travel advice and information for Canadians travelling and living abroad, has been installed by more than 25,000 users, and has received positive ratings and feedback. Collaboration with key groups helped build a framework usable by others in the future. Canadians are now positioned to find the information they seek, to communicate with GAC in the event of crises abroad and, through their feedback and feature suggestions, will be actively engaged in steering future directions of the app.

Group II: Provincial Awards

Modernization of Approvals (MofA) Ontario Public Service (OPS), Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), Land and Resources I+IT Cluster (LRC)

Modernization of Approvals (MofA) transformed Ontario's environmental processes. It modernized a 30-year old, paper-based process into two automated services:

  • A simple online registration tool for businesses with low-risk operations. This reduced processing time from months to minutes and saved businesses up to $20,000 per application.
  • For complex environmental applications, an electronic workflow management system was created to streamline and manage approvals. This supports publication of approval records to increase public transparency.

As a scalable and reusable solution, it has the potential to support approval programs across Ontario. Industry associations have since praised this modernization to the Premier

Group III: Municipal Awards
Open City Initiative City of Edmonton, Open City & Innovation Branch, Financial & Corporate Services

The Open City Initiative is a municipal perspective on the philosophy of open government demonstrated by the City of Edmonton as a way of aspiring to fulfill its role as a preeminent global city: innovative, inclusive and engaged. Administration saw pockets of innovation and creative thinking scattered across the organization and responded with a strategy to unify and further the open government movement. The project leverages emerging analytics capabilities to find innovative ways of solving business problems using open data. With more than a dozen community impacts over the past year alone, the City has a proven it has a culture of innovation, and has fostered relationships with regional partners, agencies, board and commissions, from which real savings are evolving.

Category 2: Transforming the Business of Government - INTERNAL
Group I: Federal Awards

Federal Science Library Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/ Fisheries and Oceans Canada/ Environment and Climate Change Canada/ Health Canada/National Research Council Canada /

Natural Resources Canada/ Public Health Agency of Canada The Federal Science Library, a partnership of seven science-based organizations (AAFC, DFO, ECCC, HC, NRC, NRCan, PHAC), successfully transformed government library business through technology; enhancing access for GC knowledge workers to the global information resources that fuel scientific innovation, program and policy research. These partners collaborated to implement a single portal, cloud-based web service delivery platform enabled by state-of-the-art discovery tools and a single shared integrated library system to support streamlined business processes. The scalable system and collaborative virtual service delivery model will support progress towards a whole of government approach for library and information services that will effectively eliminating traditional physical, organizational and geographic barriers to information access by enabling digital, virtual access to resources and services.

Group II: Provincial Awards
ITS - Transformation Government of Ontario, Treasury Board Secretariat, Infrastructure Technology Services

The Infrastructure Technology Services Transformation Program (ITS-T) focused on evolving and maturing Ontario's IT infrastructure to increase efficiency and simplify service delivery, and generated more than $20M in annual savings. The aggressive three-year transformation plan required the ITS-T team to work across 27 ministries, nine I+IT clusters and with industry partners to ensure technical infrastructure improvements could be made with minimal client impact. The ITS-T Program fostered a new collaborative approach to working across government ministries and I+IT clusters to realize this significant modernization. Established to optimize resources and modernize technology for the future needs of citizens, since March 31, 2016, the ITS-T Program has, beyond its financial savings, built a foundation for the future and improved client collaboration and service.

Group III: Municipal Awards
YorkInfo Partnership - Self Serve Data Depot the Regional Municipality of York, Data, Analytics and Visualization Services Branch, Corporate Services

Data is at the heart of decision-making, so when it's accessible, trusted and shared, the impact can be significant. The Self-Serve Data Depot (SSDD) provides 24/7 access to more than 400 data sets to regional consultants and to the YorkInfo Partnership – whose members are also data contributors, making the data recognized as the best available. SSDD is easy and unique. It replaces a manual process that, instead of taking a week to order and deliver is now downloadable instantly as and when needed, saving time and effort and increasing confidence in consultants' analysis and reports. The Self-Serve Data Depot (SSDD) provides real-time, online access for staff, consultants and partners to trusted, up-to-date data.

Category 3: Excellence in IM/IT Operations
Group I: Federal Awards

Integrated Staffing System (ISS) Canada Revenue Agency, Information Technology Branch and Human Resources Branch / Shared Services Canada

Annually, CRA human resource employees manually screen more than 60,000 applications, answer more than 600,000 phone queries, and create about 30,000 staffing letters. CRA launched the Integrated Staffing System (ISS), an end-to-end, web-based, fully automated solution to modernize the staffing process and ease the administrative burden. The first of its kind in the Government of Canada, the ISS represents a major cultural shift, streamlining HR technology and reducing time to staff. Through the ISS, applicants and employees can start or continue their careers with a more transparent, fair, efficient, productive and adaptive resourcing system. The new system has revolutionized the staffing and recruitment process by increasing consistency and reducing human error, while improving monitoring and reporting and branding for CRA.

Group II: Provincial Awards
Streamline EBS Cloning Process Government of Ontario, Ontario Shared Services, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Enterprise Financial Systems Branch, Enterprise Financial Services and Systems Division

The Enterprise Financial Systems Branch completed an innovative project called the Streamline EBS Cloning Process designed to modernize and streamline a long-standing manual process related to the province's Integrated Financial Information System (IFIS). The team applied both Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen methodologies to define the opportunity and value proposition of reducing the time and effort and improving the quality of services to clients and for its IT service operation. The project has resulted in an 89 percent reduction in manual processes, a 61 percent improvement in delivery time and a 100 percent reduction in operator error. Demonstrating the benefits of streamlining and automating IFIS processes, this project leads the way for future initiatives to modernize and automate other operational processes.

Category 4: Excellence in Collaboration
Group I: Federal Awards

Knowledge Sharing Platform Canada Revenue Agency, Information Technology Branch & Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch

In support of the international tax agenda, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) developed a Knowledge Sharing Platform (KSP) to assist developing countries increase their knowledge and expertise in the administration of tax. The KSP is an online collaboration tool, hosted in the cloud, designed to promote the sharing of tax knowledge and expertise among tax administrations around the world, allowing broader access to training and learning opportunities, as well as instant support from tax experts. Embracing the ability to collaborate with experts in order to enhance service delivery for the benefit of their citizens and country, the program responds to a call by the G20 to support capacity building in tax and is intended to positively contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Group II: Provincial Awards

Collaborating to Modernize Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Government of Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), Housing Programs Branch, Housing Division

A small but dedicated team from the Information Management and Analytics unit of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) demonstrated the impact a collaborative, open and supportive approach can have on a project. Throughout the course of an project, the team worked diligently to engage more than 120 participants from groups across all levels of government and activate the Open Government community and help inform decision-making. The end result was the successful implementation of a modernized information system which realized more than 30 percent improvement in processing times and funded more than $385 million towards Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention programs in 2015-16. Most importantly, the team managed to transform how the Ministry delivers services while overcoming many obstacles to ensure client satisfaction.

Category 5: Maximizing the Talent of our People
Group I: Federal Awards
Digifest Correctional Service Canada, Department of Finance, Department of Justice, Communications Community Office

The Government of Canada had previously ascribed to a "digital first" approach to communications, reducing its reliance on paper-based products and embracing the ease and flexibility of electronic media to keep pace with the 21st Century. To help foster skills development within the community, Digifest sought to leverage the concepts of gamification within the broader move to digital by default, by creating a real-time team-based skills competition to develop core expertise and empower participants. Focused on the goal of helping communicators stay nimble when developing relevant and accurate content to be able to respond as conversations are happening online, the event reinforced the principle of "just-in time" communications and the need to streamline approvals, tolerate risk and drive online participation.

Judge's Choice Award

Group I: Federal Awards
Operation Syrian Refugee (OSR) Canada Border Services Agency | Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada | Canada Revenue Agency | Shared Services Canada

A team of CBSA, SSC, CRA, and IRCC IT specialists is recognized in the Judges' Choice category for their critical contribution to ensure the success of Canada's historic commitment to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees. This integrated and multi-disciplinary team tirelessly collaborated to implement diverse and innovative technology and processes for Canadian and overseas operations in less than 30 days. OSR presented unique challenges, requiring close collaboration to rapidly establish and deploy enabling technology and processes, and to provide continuous availability to process thousands of refugees for a prolonged period without impacting Canada's commitment to strong security and identity validation. Innovative processes and technology enabled the business processes, allowing front-line staff to focus on mission delivery.

About GTEC
GTEC is Canada's internationally recognized forum for enabling and celebrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) leadership, innovation and impact in Canada's public sector.  Since 1993, GTEC has brought together more than 100,000 public and private sector innovators, leaders and enterprises to explore and drive leading-edge ICT initiatives, application and service delivery.  Building on targeted webinars, summits, and roundtables that stimulate dialogue throughout the year, GTEC's annual flagship Conference and Exhibition attracts more than 4,000 participants, and delivers:

  • Education and training opportunities that develop top ICT talent
  • A robust conference program with compelling keynote presentations and panels on current strategies, opportunities and trends
  • An extensive exhibition showcasing emerging technologies, innovations, and solutions that enhance productivity and performance
  • A wealth of collaboration, business development and networking opportunities
  • Distinction Awards that celebrate ICT excellence in Canada's public sector

For additional information on GTEC, please visit:

About UBM Tech
UBM Tech engages technology professionals live and online through its world-class brands, including Black Hat, InformationWeek, Enterprise Connect, Game Developers Conference (GDC), Dark Reading, HDI, GTEC, Network Computing and Interop. We're dedicated to fostering real engagement by creating environments where the technology industry can make connections, share insights, and network effectively. UBM Tech is the only media company that delivers large-scale industry events, leading online brands and content marketing services serving the Enterprise IT, Information Security, Game Development, Enterprise Communications and Technical Services and Support communities. UBM Tech is a part of UBM (UBM.L), a global provider of media and information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion. For more information, go to



For further information: Sonya Shorey, Communications Strategist, Cell: 613.851.9416,

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